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National Profiles

National Profiles


          Ralph Acosta

          Steve Erdos
          Bill Hughes ... profile
          Ted McLean
          Hans Stierle ... profile
           Hans Stierle 1964-1976... profile
           Ron Ricklefs 1976-1979
           Hans Portegies 1979-1982
           Don West 1982-1985
           Burt Haimes 1985-1989 & 1992-1995
           Steve Karinshak 1989-1992 
           Harvey Lightstone 1995-1998
           Geary Gorup 1998-2000
           Joel Mark 2000-2004 
           Pete MacPhail 2004-2007
           Mike Wade 2007-2011
           Paula Berriz 2011-  
    National Hall of Fame
           1996 Inductees
                 Brian Davies
                 Paul Harris
                 Bill Hughes ... profile
                 Norm Jackson
                 George Kay   
                 Sigi Schmid ... profile
                 Hans Stierle ... profile
                 Bill Wolstencroft
           1997 Inductees
                 Ken Aston ... profile
                 Howard Krollfeifer Jr.  
                 Ron Ricklefs
                 Donald West
           1998 Inductees
                 Karl Bizjak
                 Rick Davis
                 Bill Mason
                 Adrian Mercado
           1999 Inductees           
                 Mario Machado...profile
                 Fred Mautner
           2000 Inductee
                Dick Wilson
           2002 Inductees
                Paul Caligiuri
                Harvey Lightstone
           2003 Inductees
                 Mary Harvey
                 Steve Karinshak
                 Sal Pantezzi   
           2004 Inductees
                 Bill McLean
                 John Enroth
                 Carin Jennings
           2005 Inductees
                 Larry Caplinger 
                 Joe Karbus
                 Eric Wynalda
           2006 Inductees
                 Brandi Chastain
                 Joy Fawcett
                 Julie Foudy
           2007 Inductees
                 Brian Hall
                 Jack Sullivan
           2008 Inductees
                 Marilyn MacDonald
                 Joel Mark
           2009 Inductees
                 Burt Haimes
                 Cherie Tucker
           2011 Inductee
                 Joseph "Joe" Bonchonsky. SR ... profile
           2012 Inductees
                  Ron Littlefair ... profile 
                  Mike Michalski
                  John Oullette
    Pioneers of AYSO Honorees
            Clay Berling ... profile
            Roger Bryant  ... profile
            H.Y.Hung ... profile
            Brian Pugh ... profile      

 National Profiles Rough drafts

The profiles of the above persons are noted on this page in the order that their names appear in the above listings. Presently, the profiles herein are in the "rough draft" stage and will be edited within a standard minimum and maximum length (TBD). In submitting your profile it is suggested that "more is better than too little." It will be easier to edit as opposed to gather more information. While the National Profiles will be limited to various categories, every Pioneer of AYSO who has contributed to the success of AYSO is entitled to submit their individual profile to be included in the Hall of Fame at the regional level which will be included first at the regional level of the Pioneers of AYSO History. When the person is included in the above categories (listings), their regional-located profile will be relocated to the National level noted above.
All individually prepared documents throughout the AYSO History (past and present) are to be submitted first to your regional Historian who will verify the story in conformance to the history of the region and then the Regional Historian will input into the website. Area historians will edit for accuracy and conformance to the Area's format. 
In the Guideline Page (of this website) instructions will be centered for regional participation in the preparation of the regional portion of the web site. For example, each Regional Hall of Fame candidate must have their Individual Profile prepared and submitted to their Regional Hall of Fame Committee for consideration of election into their Regional Hall of Fame. Regional guidelines for their Hall of Fame will be included in the Guidelines "page" of this website.
The word "page" in a web site refers to a self-standing identification of a subject and provides the methodology for "authorized control" of the contents therein. For example, the "Regional pages" of an Area will be inputed and controlled by the authorized Regional Historian (1,000+). The verification procedure will allow for the 100+ Area Historians to manage the unlimted potential of the Pioneers of AYSO History at the regional level (1,000+). The Section Historians will assist the Area Historians to implement into the web site in accordance with the general guidelines of the National Historian and the National Historian Committee members. The objective here is to provide the readers of the web site to have continuity and basic commonality of the "story telling" amongst all regions and thereby a factual, compatible format of following the history of AYSO and in all regions.   
The initial preparation of basic statistics of the number of players, teams, names of officers, and profiles including regional Hall of Famers of each region is at the foundation of the History of the Pioneers of AYSO. Regional STORIES of IMPACT will follow. The success of AYSO has always been led by dedicated volunteers and therein the unbelievable growth of each region. We honor all Pioneers of AYSO by including first the Profiles of outstanding persons at all levels of  the organization and especially within each region. It is incumbent upon each region under the guidance of the regional historian and the regional historian committee to be diligent in the preparation of their unlimited "pages." 
AYSO is our organization, yours and mine, and as Pioneers of AYSO, past and present, together we will, with our varied experiences and multitude of sacrifices, come together and work together, to advance AYSO in her rightful station as one of the premier youth sports organizations not only in the United States of America but also worldwide.
The volunteers of the Board Of National Officers (BONO) of the Pioneers of AYSO in its early formation will determine "tasks" to be implemented and then request volunteers to fill those additional positions at the National level. Presently the National Chief Historian (Joe Bonchonsky) and Information Technolobgy Specialist (web site formation and its management) (Tim Oey) are determining and establishing activities to make the Pioneers of AYSO History not only of the highest quality but also a "participatory story." Each one of the millions of former AYSO players and volunteers are requested to particpate not only in writing their profiles but also participate to allow the multitude of joys of living in the HISTORY of AYSO as PIONEERS become supportive of every youth in America. 
The Pioneers of AYSO will become a major asset in many ways; (1) passing along their experiences in life and in AYSO, (2) by continuing to support AYSO in a multiple number of opportunities including active involvement via "time and treasure,"  (3) by providing a visible sign of broadcasting their connection to AYSO and developing further comradery as a result of refreshing acqaintances (old and new), (4) fullfilling the needs of AYSO determined by the growth of AYSO as we invite every youth into AYSO to develop their leadership skills by playing AYSO youth soccer. We Pioneers of AYSO have an opportunity to band together and become a major asset to AYSO by our gathering in this www.apayso.org website and organizing in a friendly presentation of the History of AYSO and to find ways of continuing the awesome accomplishments of  EVERYONE INVOLVED.
In presenting the history of the PIONEERS OF AYSO Profiles we begin at the National level. The profiles are intended to reveal "some of the best" who sacrificed beyond the norm with their "time and treasure" for the youth of America in the worldwide sport of soccer. The Pioneers of AYSO, PAST AND PRESENT, have traveled far and we are still in our infancy. We will soon celebrate our 50th Anniversary and  Our History of the past will be the beginnings of Our Offsprings' History of the Future.    
Enjoy the profile stories at the national and regional levels and especially the personal notes therein. Enjoy!  


William “Bill” Hughes ... ONE OF FIVE FOUNDERS                

Born in England


The story of the founding of AYSO on August 15, 1964 is contained in the National Level of the history of the Pioneers of AYSO but every accomplishement begins with the "values" in the human side behind these adventures. Bill Hughes, the prominent founder of AYSO, and the stories of my/our good friend Bill will be located throughout the AYSO PIONEERS story. His AYSO life philosophy/story is as follows:


Bill was the prime, original founder of AYSO and also one of the greatest supporters of those actions that followed and allowed AYSO to succeed. In these paragraphs, we convey to you what one very humble man, always cheerful, can do to impact hundreds of thousands of American Youth in his lifetime through his singular perseverance and dedication.


Bill had some of the greatest advantages. First, he knew that the future of America, his adopted country, would be heavily dependent upon the “training of the youth in sports” and Bill knew that his love for the “sport of soccer” was/is the best route in which he could contribute. Bill also knew that the best of “youth in soccer” would possibly be misinterpreted by some that place soccer above youth. Bill not only initiated the Americanization of Youth Soccer; he followed through with the soundest of principles. In the founding of AYSO on August 15, 1964, Bill insisted that an American-born (Hans Stierle) be nominated as the first President of AYSO; this occurred after Bill was initially nominated but Bill’s strength was in his convictions of the lessons learned during his first foray into youth soccer via the Southern California Soccer Association. Bill, on many occasions, stated that his nomination of Hans Stierle was one of his most rewarding acts.


The best disclosure of the depth of Bill Hughes is not only in his “years of persistence” to initiate an American Youth Soccer Program but also under duress, when his wife was ill, Bill continued to seek the obstacles that youth soccer would encounter and to personally overcome them. Bill knew that soccer uniforms (quality required), and soccer balls (no USA manufacturer in the 1960s) must be readily available and affordable for the anticipated growth of AYSO. Bill’s friend at that time was H.Y. Hung (of Pasadena, CA) and assisted Bill in purchasing 10,000 soccer balls from Shanghai, China (identical to soccer balls bought by Great Britain). Bill insisted that the uniforms of highest quality and design be manufactured locally in the Los Angeles Area. Bill convinced H.Y. of forming a company to be named “MODSOC” and five investors (@$5,000) were gathered. Bill nominated Joe Bonchonsky as the first President of MODSOC. Bill’s objectives of having the best quality soccer ball available at the lowest price made it possible for EVERYONE in AYSO to have his/her own soccer ball to practice with at home.


The colorful, well-designed AYSO soccer uniforms in the early years of AYSO became the pride and joy of EVERY youth player. Bill and H.Y. rented a building on Normandie Avenue and Torrance Blvd in Torrance, CA and hired 23 seamstresses to produce the quality of soccer uniforms that would set the standards for decades to come. MODSOC had established the “purchasing competition” that would be required to fulfill the cost-effective growth requirements of AYSO and Bill Hughes always reveled in the fact that his starting the “competition level” for soccer equipment made it much easier for parents to enroll their offspring in the AYSO youth soccer program. AYSO growth was properly paved with the continuous efforts of Bill Hughes and with a solid foundation.


Having spent many hours (at MODSOC and at the playing field) with Bill Hughes provided me with a strong glimpse into the “strength” of his convictions in support of the American Youth participating in his beloved sport of soccer. Years later, when AYSO catapulted forward and MODSOC succumbed to bankruptcy, Bill stated that the $5,000 dollars that each of us had invested was the most profitable $5,000 that we ever lost. When the $5.00 to $7.00 youth soccer player registration was maintained for years and the AYSO numbers grew, as Bill forecasted, we knew that our investment would be returned manifold in AYSO growth. Bill “beamed,” as only Bill could, when we recalled the “equipment support adventure” that Bill and H.Y. had journeyed.


When we mention Bill Hughes’ name, we should all be thankful that he and the four other founders of AYSO not only expended countless hours for AYSO to come into fruition but that Bill, with his British accent and great sense of humor, always possessed an AYSO smile a mile long. One of the great moments with Bill Hughes occurred when I reminded him that the USA National Team beat England in the 1950 World Cup. Bill quipped that it was a “Brit” by the name of Bill Jeffries that coached the USA Team and I would follow up that Jeffries was a Scot and not an Englishman, Bill Hughes responded with a Bill Hughes gaggle of laughter and state, “But still a Brit.” 


It was my pleasure to have enjoyed many hours/years with Bill Hughes primarily because Bill was always a believer in the American youth, and in his “heart” knew that “youth soccer” was his destiny/contribution as an American and the Land he came to truly love.  Bill also retained a love of England and expressed that love with magnificence via his complete/full dedication to the youth of America in a Sport that he promoted and treasured.


Today, EVERYONE who played, coached, and reffed, etc., in AYSO YOUTH SOCCER is not only indebted to Bill Hughes but should also be mindful that Bill Hughes always let it be known that “you” were part of his AYSO FAMILY. It was the YOU in YOUTH SOCCER that allowed Bill to fulfill his dreams, to assist you in your accomplishments and be assured that Bill rests comfortably in AYSO HEAVEN observing the present-day AMERICAN MULTITUDE playing in his beloved sport. We will always love Bill Hughes and the treasures he brought to not only our youth but also to the many AYSO PIONEERS that journeyed with him. May God Bless His Soul….. Forever.      




Hans F.W. Stierle                   ONE OF FIVE  FOUNDERS ... FIRST PRESIDENT


First president, first chairman of the board of AYSO and one of the “five founders.” Born December 9, 1932 in Chicago, Illinois, married to Christel Feinhals, three children, Paul (played on one of the first four teams at Jefferson Field located across from their home on Talisman Street, West Torrance, CA), Kurt, and Heidi.


When Hans’ parents moved back to Germany, Hans played soccer, 1940 to 1946, as a young boy and from 1947 to 1950 Hans played soccer in the Chicago area. While in the United States Army, 1953 and 1954, Hans was the leading scorer as player/manager and also a member of the U.S. Army all-stars soccer team. In 1961, Hans founded the Garvey Park Youth soccer program in San Gabriel, California. From 1961 to 1964, Hans Stierle was fully involved in publicity, promotion, and public relations at the youth, juniors, semi-pro, and professional level of soccer in the Los Angeles County area. His strong background in all aspects of soccer established the foundation for Hans Stierle’s greatest of achievements. On August 15, 1964, Hans, one of five founders, was elected president and chairman of the board of the American Youth Soccer Organization. Fifty years later, August 15, 2014, AYSO will celebrate its 50th Anniversary with over 6 million alumni pioneer graduates. AWESOME AND BELIEVABLE.      


The five founders tried to initiate AYSO programs in four locales in the Los Angeles County Area in 1964, and the City of Torrance led by Hans Stierle was the only region that survived the first three years. With his solid background in soccer, Hans Stierle, as the first commissioner of the region located in West Torrance, mediated the “old country traditionalists" with the “new country enthusiasts." His home became the “first national headquarters” of the youth soccer program that welded the old and the new in its Americanization. With but 4 teams in Torrance, Hans and Christel Stierle, carried the banner of a youth soccer revolution that would impact not only the youth of America but the totality of soccer in the high school, college, professional, Olympic and World Cup soccer programs of America.


As a player, coach, referee, founder, administrator, and family man, Hans Stierle devoted his “time and treasure” to the American youth in the sport of soccer.  With Bill Hughes, Steve Erdos, Ralph Acosta, and Bill McLean electing Hans Stierle AYSO’s first president on that most memorable of days, August 15, 1964 in Southern  California, these five men commenced the beginning of the youth soccer revolution by Americanizing the route that youth were to play soccer in the United States. For fifty years, Hans and countless other men and women would volunteer their services to find the way for every boy and girl to not only play in the sport of soccer but also to benefit by the multitude of lessons learned in playing the one youth sport that best builds skills in leadership for everyone. Early on, Hans, in his own soccer playing days and multiple contributions to the sport of soccer, knew that he wanted every American boy and girl to enjoy the thrill and joys of character and leadership building that are best achieved in the world’s sport of soccer.


Hans met every challenge that was presented to AYSO, first in its early survival and then the unprecedented early growth years to follow. With his soccer experiences, inside and outside of California, Hans absorbed the many challenges attempted by other youth organizations, acknowledged that the “old country tradtionalists" wanted their old country ways to prevail in the USA, and recognized that the influx of American-born players were entitled to the Americanization of the player’s organization that was necessary to succeed in this new country of youth soccer players.        


One of the greatest challenges for Hans was to change the course of the affiliated soccer traditionalists. While recognizing the affiliated successes and lack of successes in meeting the Americanization of youth soccer, especially on the West Coast, Hans always wanted the best of relationships with the affiliated but, too often, the financially burdened affiliated adult programs tried to impose financial requirements on this fledgling youth soccer program. One year during the AYSO early years, Hans met with his Board of Directors, consulted with key AYSO Pioneers such as Ron Littlefair, Joe Bonchonsky, and the eight South Bay district commissioners, and then Hans decided that the unimpaired route of AYSO  going-it-alone (un-affiliated) would be most advantageous to the youth in AYSO and the untold number of volunteers. AYSO, based on a volunteer system of coaches, referees, and administrators, made major decisions that would overcome a century of minor successes by others. Finances were a key element to having every boy and girl playing youth soccer in America and this commitment of financial independence was integral to the success of American youth in soccer.


The “old country” norm of national success in soccer was based on special attention to the gifted players to move up in the soccer playing world. American sports success was to be based on a youth, high school, and college playing route in that not only players would be developed but also coaches, referees, and administrators would be developed best in the American normal procedure of other sports’ successes. The benefit of locating every gifted player throughout the Americas was only possible when everyone is invited and everyone plays. The key for Hans was to determine the upper age limit that would have the AYSO graduate players encourage their parents to descend upon the high school administration to introduce boys’ and girls’ soccer programs into the tens of thousands of high schools in the USA. The letters of correspondence that Hans Stierle presents in the PIONEER STORY, WEST TORRANCE., 1968, herein, clearly illustrate Hans Stierle’s ability to determine the success route for soccer to grow nationally in the Americas.       


The Hans Stierle years of starting and building AYSO into the foundation of success in America is not only to be measured by the millions of AYSO player graduates today but also the individual success stories of the gifted players. Sigi Schmid, Eric Wynalda, Ricky Davis, Julie Foudy, Landon Donavan, etc., (names to be listed under page titled AYSO GRADUATES) are but a few of the household names that are prominent in the discussions of AYSO youth throughout the Americas. The “time and treasure” expended by Hans and Christel, especially in those early challenging years has been well spent and the fact that AYSO volunteers are, after 50 years, reaching out to every youth in the Americas bodes well for the AYSO foundation established by five men on August 15, 1964.  Hans Stierle, Bill Hughes, Steve Erdos, Ralph Acosta, and Bill McLean , all with their own special trials and tribulations in youth soccer programs before 1964, came together one evening, accepted and approved  rules and regulations and elected five officers who envisioned success that would someday shock the soccer world.


On August 15, 2014, the 50th Anniversary of AYSO, their dreams are alive and the next 50 years will witness a ten-fold+ increase in AYSO players, boys and girls, who will be most thankful that the sport of soccer entered their lives for the better. The parents who volunteered their services and the parents yet to participate in the next years are the true benefactors evidenced in having their youth enjoy the skill developed and comradry of fun with friends that commenced on that memorable day of  of the first AYSO game on February 13, 1965 in Torrance, California, the birthplace of AYSO.   


Hans and Christel Stierle were not alone when the challenges began and today, (2012) retired on Vashon Island, west of Seattle, Washington, they both not only reminisce but also remain awed by the 50 years of volunteers that have evolved and each one is cherished. The best compensation to Hans and Christel is that they are remembered in many ways but none more rewarding than the long hours of working with the American youth and their parents that has improved the health of this nation by joint efforts of the “old country” youth soccer traditionalists and the “new country” enthusiasts    


In the AYSO National Offices on 19750 S. Vermont Street in the City of Torrance there are plaques on a special wall listing the Presidents of AYSO throughout the years and Hans Stierle is first of all , well deserved. 


Throughout the AYSO ALUMNI PIONEER STORY it is good to remember that there were many good and deserving leaders and when today’s region commissioners, and all others, consider their challenges, be reminded that the earliest years of AYSO with their beginning challenges were met with the pride and joy that you possess today. AYSO is awesome not only for the players but also the parents who truly enjoyed every moment of true happiness. 


Our hats are off to Hans and Christel, parents who care.




Seigfried “Sigi” Schmid, 

Birth, West Germany,


Education: Bishop Montgomery High School, West Torrance, CA; UCLA, (BA………)


(profile to be updated) (TBC)




A newspaper article by Brian Landman, Staff writer, 1984(?).




Don’t try to tell UCLA men’s soccer coach Sigi Schmid that a nationally competitive college team must be primarily composed of foreign-born athletes.

He won’t buy that for a second.

In fact, Schmid, a native of West Germany, is the only foreign-born member of the Bruins.

However, not too long ago, UCLA’s soccer teams had substantial international flavoring.

Schmid, a four-year starter out of Bishop Montgomery High for the Bruins from 1972-75, said he played alongside two Ethiopians in the middle, while two other Ethiopians and a Colombian assumed the forward positions.   

But as a coach, he relies on American-born athletes to carry, or in this case, kick the ball.

And it has worked. UCLA is ranked No.2 in the nation, and Schmid will be seeking his 100th coaching victory against SMU in the quarterfinals of the NCAA tourney at UCLA at 2 p.m. Sunday.

“There’s been a shift in philosophy here at UCLA,“ said Schmid, whose family came to the U.S. when he was 3 in 1956 and moved to Torrance in 1962.


“I won’t actively recruit a foreign-born athlete. I’m not going to turn him away, but I will not entice him to come here.”

The foreign soccer player has many opportunities to develop his skills and perhaps pursue a professional career, Schmid says.

The same is not true for the American soccer player.  

“When the American player comes out of high school, he doesn’t have a lot of options to play at a high level other than college.” He said.

“But when a foreign player wants to study and play here, he generally has not exhausted all of his opportunities to play.

“If I give him the opportunity, then I can’t give it to an American. And the American kids deserve it. 

Historically, greater opportunity has translated into the foreign soccer player possessing stronger skills.

But Schmid, who learned all his skills in the U.S., said he believes the talent disparity is steadily decreasing.


The remaining difference between the foreign and the domestic collegians is age.  Foreign recruits are usually older.

Schmid said that means the foreigner is more experienced and usually wiser.

The University of Nevada-Los Vegas, the Bruins opponent last week, started five players from South Africa.    

Schmid said the Rebel’s central defenders were 25 and 24, while UCLA’s counter parts, Paul Caligiuri and Eric Bielfield, are 21 and 20.

UCLA won, 1-0, in overtime.

Schmid’s approach has proven effective in more than just the one NCAA playoff game.

In his six years at UCLA, he has compiled a 99-17-14 record.

“My No. 1 objective when I first came to UCLA, was to recruit the best players in California,” he said. “Then I knew we could compete on a national level.”

And his recruiting track record hasn’t been too shabby.

He has landed Tim Harris, an All-American goal keeper from South Torrance High School in 1983 who now plays for the MISL’S Lazer’s; Jeff Hooker, a member of the 1984 U.S. Olympic team, and senior All-American Dale Ervine, out of North Torrance High, the team’s leading scorer.

“Some people say, ‘Your successful but look who you’ve had.’ ”

“But Harris didn’t join a national team until he was at UCLA and Ervine was recruited and signed a letter of intent before playing for a national team.

“Being able to spot the talent is half the game.”

But then Schmid has enjoyed success whenever and wherever he’s been around a soccer ball.

Bishop Montgomery didn’t have a soccer program when Schmid played there. And even though he played in the San-Pedro based Greater L.A.  Soccer League, his chances of competing in major college seemed bleak.

“I was lucky that Joe Bonchonsky, whose sons played for West Torrance, took an interest in me and helped to get me in at UCLA,” Schmid said.

“At the time, I was the first American to receive a scholarship.”

In his four years as a player, the Bruins finished second in the nation in 1972 and ’73.

He returned to Bishop Montgomery after his graduation in 1975 as co-coach (along with another Bishop Montgomery graduate, Marine Cano, now the Cal State Dominguez Hills coach).


In Bishop Montgomery’s first year, Schmid led them to a league title and into the CIF playoffs.  

He returned to UCLA as an assistant in 1977 and 1979.

In June 1980, he succeeded Steve Gay as coach.

Since then, Schmid has led the Bruins to the NCAA tournament four times and was named Coach of the Year by Soccer America in 1984.

He is now six wins away from passing Dennis Storer (1967—73) on UCLA’s all time soccer coaching victory list.

He will then trail Ed Stewart, whose 194 wins from 1949-66 came when soccer was still a club sport.

SMU (17-4), the 10th ranked team in the country and winners of 14 in a row is all that stands between Schmid and win No. 100.

He said that plateau represents a special personal achievement, but is actually more of a testimonial to the players, the athletic department and the entire coaching staff.

The thing that I wanted when I came here was that when people talked about good college soccer, they’d think of UCLA quickly,” he said, “And I think that’s happened.”

“That’s what the 100 wins means.”     


The above article was written in 1984 +/- and reflects his early career


     Sigi Schmid's record at UCLA is---- TBC.  

     Sigi Schmid, the 2009 Seattle MLS Soccer Head Coach,  has--- TBC.




 Mario Machado        


Birth: Shanghai China. Wife, the former Marie Christine D'Almada Remedios and four children Brian, Michelle, Dennis, and Andrea.    


One of the earlliest Vice-Presidents of AYSO and probably the most effective "public relations" servant of AYSO was Mario Machado. Born of Chinese and Portuguese parents in Shanghai, China  became a talented soccer player, Mario effectively publicized the AYSO youth soccer program during the critical years in the 60s and 70s. The beginning of girls' soccer in AYSO has been attributed to Mario Machado at the National Office meetings because he carried their banner until nearly every AYSO Region at that time had girls' soccer and most of the high schools had girls' soccer in Southern California.


Mario was blessed with a clear distinctive voice and became the first English-speaking Chinese on-air reporter. Mario was a CBS and PBS regular and KMEX soccer broadcaster including the presentation of the World Cup soccer programs' replays. His PBS days included charitable fund-raising duties in the Los Angeles Area. Most important to AYSO was the WC half-time show on KMEX when he would invite AYSO personalties to extol the growth of youth soccer. Many a youth team was thrilled to be interviewed live by Mario and there is no greater promotion for the growth of youth soccer than witnessing the enthusiasm of young players describe the excitement of playing on the sane day of their live-TV interview. Because of his knowledge of youth soccer and position as the vice-president of  AYSO, he would effectively spread the word about the AYSO throughout CA and the USA. 


Mario Machado was a notable Hollywood TV and film star and quite often played himself as a news or sports reporter. His movie credits include "Brian's Song," "Oh God," "Airport '79," "Scarface," "St. Elmo's Fire," and the "Robocop films."   


Mario would not only present the play-by-play accounts of the WC games but he was the Public Address anouncer for international soccer games at the LA Coliseum, the Los Angeles Aztec professional games and would quite often have an AYSO youth soccer game as the preliminary game in the Coliseum and El Camino College stadium.


Mario was busy in his full time vocation but expended tremendous time in his love for youth soccer. During his AYSO vice-presidency, Mario always made time to not only be on the field of play but at continuous AYSO board meetings which shaped the future of AYSO in the years when the foundation was being established.


Mario passed away on May 4, 2013 and will always be remembered for not only the youth and girls' soccer in AYSO but also for how many times the acronym AYSO was heard on television. Fortunately, we will continue to view him on movie replays for many years to come.

Mario, Thank You. 





 Joseph P. Bonchonsky, Sr. 

Joseph P. Bonchonsky Sr, 1334 Ramona Drive, Mount Shasta CA 96067                                 

Born in Pittston, PA, a coal mining town in NE Pennsylvania, fourth of nine children. Five brothers: three in WWII, one Korea, one Vietnam Vet.

Education: Pittston High School, Wyoming Seminary (Kingston, PA), Kutztown State Teachers College, Penn State University (BS, Industrial Engineering).

Military Duty: USA Army Corps of Engineers; Fort Leonard Wood, MO, Company Commander, Battalion Staff (Roads & Airfields), Regimental Staff (Ass’t Adjutant, Information & Education Officer, Athletic Director, Physical Training Officer); Camp Fuchinobe, Japan, prepared Rebuild Schedule for Far East Theater engineering equipment rebuild at Camp Zama, Japan. In 54, Joe was to be dropped behind enemy lines with seven other 2nd Lieutenants to blow-up bridges. Mao Tse Tung had amassed over a million soldiers to invade all of Indo China. President Dwight Ike Eisenhower airlifted every available military man to the Far East. For two weeks of the most intense planning, Joe and the 7 other USA Army Corps of Engineer Lieutenants concentrated on every detail of our last days on earth, behind enemy lines. The year was 1954 and Joe experienced two close calls, once in the preparation of leading an engineering company during the Korean War and the second time in the close call of the Chinese Army invading Indo-China.    

Family Soccer Information: Joseph Sr., Spouse Ingeborg, coach.  Sons Michael, Joseph, Andrew, Daughters Michelle, and Tatiana. Grandchildren Thye, Carley, Molly, Tyler, Nyah. Great Grandchild Kieran, Liam.  Son Michael & grandson Tyhe coached Carley’s AYSO teams together. Wife Inga coached Michelle to three AYSO Girls’ All Star State Championships. JPB Sr, first assisted on opening day, 1965, in carrying the very heavy wooden goal posts and field maintenance at Jefferson School Field (one of my toughest years).

Sons Michael, Joseph Jr (both played in the first game on Feb,. 13, 1965) and Andrew played on West Torrance CIF Championship teams). Michael pioneered soccer at El Camino College. Joseph Jr pioneered college soccer at Cal Poly San Luis Obispo, and played on the LA Aztecs pro team. Andrew played college ball at El Camino, UCLA, coached at Dominguez Hills College, Cal Berkeley. Andrew is Director of Soccer Coaches in Gilbert, Arizona (2008-) (previously at BayOaks, Oakland, CA) (2000-2008).  Daughter Michelle, with Carrie Britnacher, and Theresa Richter and many Torrance Soccer Moms approached the Torrance Unified School District BOD and begged for the commencement of girl’s high school soccer, which followed shortly thereafter. Daughter Tatiana, a gifted AYSO player.

Joseph Sr. lettered as a quarterback in high school football. At Wyo Sem Joe lettered in three sports; fullback and safety in football, free style swimmer, and baseball pitcher. At Kutztown STC, as a freshman on the varsity football and baseball teams, Joe started every game at left halfback and corner back on defense. On the Kutztown baseball team, Detroit Scout George Katalinas of Oly, PA offered Joe a Detroit baseball-pitching contract. At Penn State, primarily with WWII vets in 1949, Joe, a sophomore, made the starting team as a defensive corner back. In his sophomore year. Penn State planned to switch from Single Wing to T-formation and Joe was to be one of three quarterback candidates. Joe Paterno as Rip Engle’s quarterback coach (while still a senior at Brown University) arrived during Penn State baseball season where JPB was pleased to be.  Joe Paterno requested the baseball coach, Joe Bedenk, to have JPB play on the Penn State Spring football team. Sharing two sports at the same time and studying industrial engineering was complex. Joe also joined Phi Sigma Kappa fraternity to concentrate on his engineering degree and ROTC Officer’s School. As Regimental Athletic Director at Ft. Leonard Wood, MO, Joe played baseball, coached and reffed boxing, and coached the football team. At Camp Fuchinobe, Japan, Joe started to play golf and later at the Mount Shasta Resort, CA, parred the 70-par course at age 75. Joe in his 82nd year (2012) plays golf 4 times a week and fly-fishes regularly on the Upper Sacramento and McCloud Rivers, and manages his own youth program, ice skating and fly-fishing ponds for local families.

After coaching the AYSO South Bay Hawks in the first year (1967-68) of Under-10 teams, winning the South Bay Championship, and the Cup Championship, and reaching the AYSO Finals in the Los Angeles Coliseum, Joe moved on to reffing and had the distinction of coaching, reffing, and playing (LA Press team) in the Los Angeles Coliseum.  Joe wrote over 100 articles for the Soccer West/Soccer America weekly magazine that included a series of classes in reffing soccer (So You Want To Be A Ref)(1972).

AYSO soccer graduates were reaching high school age and in need of referees. Joe eventually became “President” of the Southern California Soccer Officials Association, referees for both high school and college soccer. SCSOA was affiliated with the National Intercollegiate Soccer Officials Association (NISOA). The LA Jr. Chamber of  Commerce organized the WATTS SUMMER GAMES after the WATTS RIOTS. As chief referee of the soccer games portion, Joe formulated the THREE REFS ON THE FIELD (TROF) (detailed in AYSO Referees Philosophies page).

In 1985, Joe and Inga retired to Mount Shasta, CA and immediately became involved in the local youth soccer program as a referee, coaching instructor, referee instructor and also commenced a Soccer Camp with son Andrew (then Cal Berkeley Women’s soccer coach).

Today, Joe and Inga are delighted to watch AYSO player graduates in the MLS Soccer professional teams, men and women going forward in the FIFA world with successful World Cup adventures and defeating Spain (2-0) (2009), the No.1 European National Team in the FIFA sponsored World Confederation Cup Tournament, is priceless. I remember my sophomore year at Penn State when my Engineering Foundry Instructor Bill Jeffries, coach of the USA NATIONAL SOCCER TEAM, had just returned from defeating England 1-0 in 1950 and upon roll call the first day of class, Coach Jeffries addressing me as the “American football player” asked me to explain when football players use their feet in playing football. In reply, I stated, “When we kick off, field goals soccer style, punts, and occasionally after a fumble..” Bill Jeffries, a Scot, epitomizes the wonderful contribution that foreign-born soccer coaches have brought to the USA. The USA THIRD-PLACE in the first ever World Cup in 1930 was just our beginning. We in the USA have come a long way in soccer and great credit is heaped upon the many adults who championed the AYSO youth soccer program and especially in the AYSO PIONEER DAYS.
Joe Bonchonsky, today, is leading the PIONEER OF AYSO Historians to compile the PIONEERS OF AYSO history and to primarily honor all of the PIONEERS OF AYSO, past and present, who unselfishly volunteered to dedicate their "time and treasure" to the youth of America. In reading the many Profiles herein, you can grasp an inkling of the quality of the PIONEERS OF AYSO. The story of each and every individual is unique and therein lies the reason for success in AYSO.



Ronald Thomas Loomis Littlefair (1926-2004)  


Born in Brooklyn, New York


Education: Syracuse University, B.S. Political Science.


Military Duty: US Navy World War II, and US Air Force P-51 fighter pilot in the South Pacific. Captain US Air Force, recipient of Distinguished Flying Cross, Air Medal. Ron was a 100 missions survivor in a P-51 Mustang in the Korean Conflict.


Work Experience: Owner operator of Detroit Helicopter Service, became the first American to call traffic on the radio in Detroit in 1956. Ron became the first American to place a steeple on a church with a helicopter in Oakland County, Michigan. In 1974, Ron was the #1 producing salesman for Travelers Insurance Company while working for Keenan and Associates.


Family Soccer Information: Ron Littlefair, Spouse Marion, Sons Thomas1965 and Andrew1967. The City of Torrance with Mayor Dan Walker honored Ron posthumously on May, 14, 2005 with the Jared Torrance Award for 40 years of Community Service including AYSO, Founder of the Torrance Farmer’s Market, Campaign Manager to Kathy Geissert, former Mayor of Torrance and a multitude of other civic activities..    


Ron Littlefair is to be considered not only as one of the earliest AYSO PIONEERS but also one of the most influential. Ron’s history in AYSO could fill a volume on its own. The first years of Ron’s involvement resulted in being the Public Relations Director for AYSO SOUTH BAY, then Regional Commissioner when the South Bay Area formed into 8 AYSO Districts which under Ron’s leadership formed into 8 AYSO Regions. Ron served for many years at the AYSO National level and most importantly solved the financial problems that allowed AYSO to fund the unbelievable growth during Ron’s years.


AYSO started out with a $5.00 registration fee per player and with Joe Bonchonsky as his Assistant Regional Commissioner they promoted the “Team Sponsors’ Program” which allowed each team to raise $150 per team to finance the best of equipment. Ron always looked forward and deemed it necessary not to have parents sell “food” at the games and planned on every parent watching their offspring play instead of working the “stand.” The problem to grow AYSO financially was solved when Ron, an insurance agent, programmed AYSO to self-insure itself to cover “only major injuries.” The result the first year that AYSO reached 18,000 players was a $30,000 income to AYSO. This act and this act alone provided a foundation for AYSO to locate in a special national headquarters building but even more important was to impact AYSO national growth.


The major ingredient in growing nationally was to have the VIP’s of each State, each Region therein to be self-sufficient and free to manage in the most advantageous way for that State and their Regions within One Familty.  Financial independence provided growth independence and with national growth and self-dependency, AYSO blossomed via individual State Programs and Leaders with their ability to innovate without major constraints by outsiders. AYSO soon moved into 26 States conforming to the basic principles that their State AYSO Program was their program and oriented to the benefit of their youth. AYSO Commissioners throughout the USA soon found out that AYSO National. was fully supportive in every possible way. While there will always be “growth and operational burdens” in the AYSO State Programs and Regional Programs therein but the efforts of Ron Littlefair, along with the many AYSO National officers, made it possible for each State to be truly independent in determining their own future. There are many keys to the success of AYSO YOUTH SOCCER and the early AYSO PIONEERS, of which Ron Littlefair stands out,  provide an unlimited growth for USA YOUTH in AYSO SOCCER.


Ron Littlefair had a great advantage by starting out with some great men and women through work parties, public relations, and then in management of growth activities. Every little detail was covered, for example, in Ron’s first year as Public Relations director for AYSO SOUTH BAY AREA, Ron printed a weekly soccer report, titled, AYSO KICKER, and on every game day, each player would smile as he read the previous game results (See West Torrance, 1967-68). The AYSO philosophy of EVERYONE PLAYS was supported by the attention devoted to each game and “win or lose,” always important, was also “player enhanced” by reading “team effort” in their previous game. Ron’s AYSO Kickers provided a “family relationship” within each team. This is but one of Ron’s many, many advantages. During Ron’s days as V.P. of AYSO National Growth and Development, Ron was an effective salesman, he understood City government, registration organization, equipment management, and most importantly, the ability to assist people to manage people. Always with a great smile and tireless involvement himself in the minute details, Ron Littlefair led the AYSO SOUTH BAY AREA into 8 distinct, and then most successful Regions that motivated the growth and the early foundation of AYSO, centered in Torrance.


Alongside Ron was his devoted wife Marion, a pillar in the Littlefair and AYSO Family. In addition to their two sons, Thomas and Andrew, playing AYSO Soccer, Marion helped Ron to manage their family time not only as a soccer family but also as a community family. Ron and Marion privately financed many AYSO activities, helped high school soccer programs and framed the growth into college soccer. From assisting in organizing the first AYSO Jamborees at El Camino College, Alpine Village Field, and then the Los Angeles Coliseum, Ron carried more than his share of the early AYSO PIONEER DAYS.


There are many great stories amongst the AYSO PIONEERS and AYSO PIONEER PLAYERS, including Bill Hughes, Hans Stierle, Bill Wolstencroft, Andy Keir, Sr. and Jr., Frank Pisciotta, Sigi Schmid, and the multitude of commissioners, coaches, and referees, especially during the 1960s, and Ron Littlefair will always be up there in the top echelon with them all. Ron continued on for more than a decade at the highest level in AYSO and for many years thereafter. The single most outstanding feature about Ron Littlefair during the entirety of his lifetime in AYSO is his genuine “happy, positive outlook” alongside his hearty laugh. The early AYSO PIONEER DAYS were most successful not only because Ron Littlefair led in many ways but he also made it possible for others to lead.


Ron has passed onto his eternal reward leaving a legend behind him and taking a great history with him. Many good men made AYSO succeed and Ron Littlefair was a giant amongst them. AYSO breeds good men and good men breathe with AYSO.







In 1970, Clay Berling founded the soccer weekly magazine, SOCCER WEST, and prolific writers came forth to present the American influence of the sport of soccer. The reaction to SOCCER WEST was excellent. Not only were the semi-pro and pro leagues represented but also the colleges, high schools, and youth programs were captured. Girls’ soccer in AYSO revealed the family aspect of soccer. AYSO coaches were soon to receive worldwide attention by their EVERYONE PLAYS philosophy. Referees were represented and ref schools became commonplace. But most importantly, SOCCER WEST soon reached across the USA and SOCCER AMERICA had a greater voice, the voice of Clay Berling that welcomed all writers to participate in the growth of soccer. Clay Berling via Soccer West and Soccer America publications gave national voice to the efforts in AYSO and thereby THE GOOD NEWS OF AYSO traveled throughout the United States. 


SOCCER AMERICA provided AYSO with an outlet of their multiple philosophies that captured not only EVERYONE PLAYS but also EVERYONE PARTICIPATES, BALANCED TEAMS and YOUTH BEFORE SOCCER. Clay Berling, through SOCCER AMERICA, provided the American prolific writers to complement the ethnic writers and soon AYSO soccer reached across the world.  Men like Brian Pugh, Paul Harris, Joe Bonchonsky, etc., within AYSO, added a balance to the Americanization of soccer. SOCCER AMERICA became a “must read” weekly in order to be informed by the involved.


Clay Berling not only provided his “time and treasure” but also added a unifying element in the cooperation of the affiliated and the unaffiliated. The heated debates continued but strong participants soon conquered the American way for soccer to grow. The fact that Clay allowed all sides to present their point of view, the sport of soccer would grow at all levels in the USA. AYSO would benefit tremendously because its objectives were represented fairly by Clay Berling and his unlimited support of soccer never wavered. Clay Berling helped transform soccer in America via SOCCER AMERICA by providing an information medium that was based on fair play and healthy organization. Clay Berling with his perseverance presented decades of soccer information that captured the American spirit. Soccer in America has the best of guidance in SOCCER AMERICA and the Active Pioneers of AYSO have one of the best honorees in Clay Berling. 




The growth of AYSO is measured in many ways and there are those men and women who travel that extra mile outside of their way to provide their assets to have an impact on AYSO growth both statistically and materially. H.Y. Hung, a chemical engineer graduate of USC in Los Angeles was a close friendr of Bill Hughes, one of the five founders of AYSO, and the connection of AYSO needs and H.Y. Hung, a sporting equipment importer, were to solve major problems in the early days of AYSO.


Bill Hughes wanted the best of equipment for the youth of AYSO and with not a single USA manufacturer of quality soccer balls, he knew that England purchased their top quality, hand stitched, leather soccer balls from Shanghai. With AYSO showing signs of accelerating growth, Bill and H.Y.Hung formed an USA Company, called MODSOC, and made arrangements for the availability of thousands of soccer balls. MODSOC required an investment of $25,000 in the first year of operation. Youth soccer uniforms was a major problem in that they were bland in design and Bill Hughes, with Joe Bonchonsky as the first president of MODSOC, hired a professional designer and 23 seamstresses in Torrance to manufacture uniforms that each player treasured as his prized possession. MODSOC served multiple purposes proposed by Bill Hughes (i.e., donating team uniforms to AYSO travel teams) in that he wanted AYSO to have the best of everything to be more American than the other sports. One of those many objects was soccer novelties.


H.Y. Hung came to the rescue with the game of Soccer Chess (already in production in H.Y. Hung’s homeland of Hong Kong), plus soccer ball radios, key chains, etc. It was a matter of weeks before fundraisers within AYSO were underway at the regional level. MODSOC served an important objective in having the best of quality at the lowest of prices. The price of uniforms and soccer balls became most competitive and with competition from American suppliers, MODSOC with an additional $80,000, would soon go bankrupt. H.Y. Hung, Bill Hughes, and Joe Bonchonsky fulfilled their objectives at personal expense and with “soccer novelties” remaining to provide soccer youth with a compatible position to other sports, H.Y. Hung and Joe Bonchonsky formed a company called “B & H Company” to continue to provide anything that AYSO would need. B & H Company continues to this day but primarily as a support service, on call, to the youth in American soccer.       


The PIONEERS OF AYSO  STORY website will require funds to operate and H.Y. Hung was the first to volunteer and assist in raising the monies through a product sale.  For more than 42 years, one of the most supportive friends of AYSO is H.Y. Hung and despite financial losses, he is fully aware of the unbelievable assignment that AYSO has performed for American youth. We, the  PIONEERS OF AYSO proudly honor H.Y. Hung for his generous support in “time and treasure” during his many years. We AYSO  PIONEERS recognize that there are many that have sacrificed much toward AYSO and we are pleased to honor all of them.






Brian Pugh, born in Coventry, left his heart in England when he traveled to Torrance, California to find employment at Garrett-AiResearch. Soon, Brian who followed Coventry City Soccer to the highest degree was involved in AYSO via his two children and then as coach. Brian is one of the most prolific writers not only as a Los Angeles Aztec game reporter for Soccer America, but as a City of Torrance AYSO soccer enthusiast. Brian loved Coventry City but he treasured Torrance. Brian readily understood that AYSO was truly Americanizing the sport of soccer by their EVERYONE IS INVITED and EVERYONE PLAYS PHILOSOPHIES. Brian truly became an American and supported AYSO through his exceptional talents, especially as a gifted soccer writer. An example of his writings illustrates his respect for America, the City of Torrance and AYSO’s place in American soccer history:

"Torrance-Soccer-City, USA by Brian Pugh.1974. The City of Torrance is just one of that cobweb of sprawling cities that constitute Greater Los Angeles. It has the luxury of about a mile of beach to breathe the saline air of the Pacific Ocean, and is a buoyant city of 150,000, thriving on modernity and its plethora of aerospace workers. Shoppers swell its population considerably, heading for its mall, one of the world's largest. It is a cheerful, healthy city. But what has Torrance in common with Oneonta, New York? Soccer, of course. While Oneonta is the soccer phenomenon of the east, Torrance has become an adopted brother of the west. Soccer was virtually unknown in Torrance until 1964 when five citizens met in a restaurant to form the American Youth Soccer Organization. Now it is an established fact that more soccer is played in Torrance than all other sports combined. UnAmerican? Please read on. While readers of this paper know that soccer is not a foreign game, it is an arguable point that association football has been defeating itself in the United States through ethnic groups insisting on doing things their way, and inevitably winding up fighting each other in the name of the "old country." When the five gentlemen mentioned above sat in that restaurant, one of them, an amiable Englishman named Bill Hughes, insisted that the president should be a native-born American citizen. Only one, Hans Stierie, born in Chicago, whose parents had taken him to Germany prior to World War II and returned after it, filled the bill, and so Stierle took the helm. Nine teams (aged 9 to 12) were formed around the Torrance area, four of them in its bounds, the remainder in the West Los Angeles area. So AYSO proudly completed the 1964-65 season. The following year, the game spread across Los Angeles to the San Fernando Valley and Sierra Madre, and AYSO teams more than doubled to nineteen. Then during 1966-67 came the most critical part of AYSO's existence, when, despite adding another age group (12-15), the number of teams dipped to sixteen. At this time the western area ceased to function, due to loss of key leadership personnel, and morale began to weaken. But in Torrance an impregnable spirit was engendered. Soccer goalposts were being battered and uprooted by footballers and the acquiescent European minds were being treated with polite disdain by school principals in their quest for pitches. "Hey!" said the American parents, now aficionados of the game, "Those people should be working for us!" So the soccer citizens of Torrance, led by a determined aerospace engineer, Joe Bonchonsky, a former Pennsylvania State University-footballer, and another ex-football player from Syracuse, New York, Ron Littlefair, campaigned for, and won, more school playing fields. Bonchonsky's reply to the football vandals was to start a tubular metal goalpost factory. These posts were erected with four feet set in concrete below ground level. The posts remain to this day. Joe Bonchonsky was introduced to soccer after his wife entered two of his sons in the inaugural 1964 year. His eldest, Michael, in fact, scored the first goal in AYSO's history. Bonchonsky has been actively involved in the game ever since. With such inspirational examples, AYSO blossomed, and the following year ended with 72 teams: a 351% increase. 'The word sensational is something of an understatement when one considers the succeeding annual team growth figures of AYSO: 122, 216. 379, 744... until now when the figure stands at 18,000 teams and over 250,000 players nationwide, and this does not reflect other developing associations, such as the outstanding California Youth Soccer Association. But the seeds were sown in the City of Torrance, and while the city basked in the California sunshine, its soccer converts certainly did not. Bonchonsky and others had "sold" soccer to American minds, and with help from foreign support, in no small way by the "brain drain" of aerospace engineers from Britian - it was no accident that the hub of AYSO was built around the organized minds of aerospace engineers - in the city of Torrance. While bumper stickers can be seen bearing the words ..Torrance, Soccer City, USA" there is no hint of an Oneonta, move over" attitude. The people of Torrance are merely grateful to see their youth run, jump and kick, and having fun with the world's greatest game. They would wish Oneonta, and its National Soccer Hall of Fame, all the success in the world and be happy to be its kid brother. EDITOR’S COMMENT: So far we have heard of the following "Soccer Cities": Oneonta, NY., Danville, PA.; Torrance, CA. If you have one in your state or near you. please write and let us know so we can include them in our mailing list."