Heilpern, Herb : Jews In Sports @ Virtual Museum

Heilpern, Herb

Herbert Heilpern

Heilpern was born in Austria and played for Hakoah-Vienna before immigrating to the United States.

Birth and Death Dates:
b. March 19, 1919 - d. Sept. 27, 1999

Career Highlights:
Heilpern, a former soccer goalkeeper for the Hakoah club of Vienna, emigrated to the United States in 1939. He then became the president of the German-American soccer league of New York from 1969-1975, and was also the co-founder of the North American Soccer League in 1967 and the New York Cosmos in 1971. Herb had made his mark as a player and administrator, and was known to speak his mind. He always believed that Americans needed to play in Europe to improve.

Years before Major League Soccer started in the U.S., he said he would have sent two or three American teams to play a regular season in a European league -- first, second, or third division. Herb said: "To play American against American, you're never going to learn." He was inducted into the National (U.S.) Soccer Hall of Fame in 1988. The only other Jewish member of the Hall of Fame is Erno Schwartz.


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