Grosz, Deszo : Jews In Sports @ Virtual Museum

Grosz, Deszo

Grosz was a fullback (defender) who played for the Hungarian National team. He was also a member of the famed Hakoah-Vienna team in the 1920s. According to Andrew Handler in From the Ghetto to the Games, Grosz was masterful with the ball, both in the air and on the ground. Although overshadowed at left back in Hungary by the great Jozsef Fogl, Grosz possessed flawless technique, kicking skills, and incredible speed. He was also a calming influence on the field. In 1926, Grosz emigrated to the United States and played five seasons in the American Soccer League.

Birth and Death Dates:

Career Highlights:
In the early and mid-1920s, Grosz played for the club team VAC in the Hungarian League; at the time, it was the only exclusively Jewish club in the Hungary. Along with teammate, goalie Lajos Fischer, Grosz led VAC to a fifth place finish in 1924, a seventh place finish in 1925, and a tenth place finish in 1926. During this time, Grosz also appeared in two games for the Hungarian National team.

In 1926, Grosz left Hungary for Austria and joined the famed Jewish club, Hakoah-Vienna. That year, he was part of the Hakoah tour of the United States, in which they played ten games in front of a total of 200,000 fans (including a record 46,000 at the Polo Grounds in New York City). Following the tour, Grosz remained in the U.S. and joined the Brooklyn Wanderers of the American Soccer League (the Wanderers were owned by Nathan Agar). That year, Grosz appeared in 28 games for Brooklyn, who finished seventh in the league.

Grosz remained with Brooklyn for two more seasons and then switched to the Philadelphia Field Club in the middle of the 1928-29 season. The following year, Grosz joined a new ASL team, the Brooklyn Hakoah, and played 16 games, although the club finished second to last in the league. In the second half of the 1929-30 season, Grosz returned to the Brooklyn Wanderers after the ASL merged with a rival league. He remained with Brooklyn for the rest of his ASL career and retired following the 1931 season. Grosz played in 182 ASL games in his career.


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From the Ghetto to the Games: Jewish Athletes in Hungary, by Andrew Handler (Boulder, Colorado: East European Monographs, 1985)
The American Soccer League, 1921-1931: The Golden Years of American Soccer, by Colin Jose (Lanham, Maryland: Scarecrow Press, 1998)