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Memoirs of a Soccer Vagabond

Storm Alumni Author Coming to Denver June 25th

By Amy Snider - May 18, 2018

An early contributor to the Colorado Storm, Ron Maierhofer, is an author and will be visiting Denver on June 25th. We are exploring a book signing event during his Denver visit for our members.  Please look through the review below and click on the link for more information on purchasing his books.

Book Review

 

“Memoirs of a Soccer Vagabond”

 

Author:      Ronald P. Maierhofer

Publisher:  Sports Club Management

                   5722 Whistling Duck Drive

                   North Myrtle Beach, SC 29582

                   $19.95 www.sportsclubmanagement.org

 

Reviewer:  Len Oliver

                  Washington, DC

                  May 10, 2018

 

Introduction

 

    Most books on our sport of soccer are in the “How To” category.  We seldom find a treatise of one man’s journey over time as a player, coach, trainer of coaches, and soccer club owner—a “soccer vagabond” as he calls it.   Ron Maierhofer, a good friend, has led

just such a life, and has now written about his own “soccer journey.”  If you are interested in soccer history and one man’s journey, this is a great read.

 

    Maierhofer, a first-generation American with German immigrant parents, asks early on:  “Have you had dreams of playing for your country?” He did and his memoir covers the period from 1942-2018.  He followed a first-generation American’s dream about playing for the U.S. National Soccer Team when he made the U.S. National Team which played in the 1959 Pan-American games in Chicago, winning a bronze medal.  With a Scottish father, I experienced the same feeling on hearing our National Anthem and wearing “USA” on my chest during the 1963 Pan -American Games in Sao Paulo, Brazil.

 

Along the way, Maierhofer played soccer in 19 states and 42 cities as an amateur and then as a professional.  Once his playing days were over, Maierhofer turned to coaching teams in six states, and founded soccer businesses that played across 14 states.  He then became owner of the Denver Avalanche in the Major Indoor Soccer League, and the book describes the inner workings of a sports franchise—how to organize the operation, recruit staff, manage the market for a pro soccer team, or as Maierhofer puts it: “how to market the dream.”

 

    Maierhofer’s book should appeal to players, sports marketers and educators, would-be pro soccer team owners, and sports entrepreneurs in every sport.  The book illustrates what your dreams in sports can lead to. As Maierhofer puts it, “I have strived to achieve my soccer dream,… Telling my soccer story is one of my dreams, a story of a working man’s lifetime in soccer.”   He has done this, perhaps encouraging other soccer personalities along the way to write their own histories.

 

    Maierhofer has four sons—Scott, Jeff, Tim, and Craig—all of whom played soccer at some time in their careers.  He has eight kids in all, with 19 grandchildren.

 

Telling His Story

 

The Buffalo Experience.--Maierhofer’s German immigrant parents settled in Buffalo in 1926.  

Since soccer had flourished in the Buffalo ethnic communities since 1910, Maierhofer was attracted to our game in his younger years in the early 1940s.  For him, “soccer was an everyday event in our family.” For our immigrant population, as it was in Philadelphia and other urban areas, ethnic clubs sponsored soccer teams—from adults to youth teams, with little coaching where we learned the game by example, in ”street soccer,” where we focused on team play.

 

Military Service and Cornell.--Maierhofer has an excellent memory for names, teams, places, and especially for coaches who influenced his life.  He traces his soccer history through high school, service in the 101st Airborne, and then a soccer scholarship to Cornell, later being named to the Cornell Athletic Hall of Fame in 1996.   On his awards, Maierhofer admits that “all of the awards were due to my success at playing my sport. A first-generation blue collar, German-

American’s dream, achieved by working hard, perseverance, and luck.”

 

Moving On.--Maierhofer relocated to Los Angeles in 1963.  By 1966, he had four sons, all eventually playing soccer.  He continued playing with Maccabi in Los Angeles, then his profession of sales management took him to Dayton, Ohio in 1968 where he continued to play.  By 1971, he found himself in Dallas becoming a player-coach for the Richardson-Sparta Soccer Club. As he points out. “Wherever my occupation took me, I was involved with soccer.”   

Blessed with a good memory, Maierhofer cites teams he coached, personalities he met, and soccer exploits.

 

The Denver Experience

 

Maierhofer moved to Denver with his Information Handling Services work in 1976.  By 1976, Maierhofer had attained his USSF “B” License, served as Director of Coaching for the

Colorado State Youth Soccer Association, created a bronze statue of Pele which he presented to the Brazilian in New York in 1978 when Pele starred for the New York Cosmos. and wrote his first book, ”No Money Down,” on his ownership of the Denver Avalanche  from 1979-1983.   As he admits, he had always wanted to own a pro soccer team, and the Avalanche fulfilled that dream, playing in the Major Indoor Soccer League (MISL).  As Maierhofer points out,

 

“I got enmeshed in the world of taxation and venture capitalism.  Introducing a new product to new fans in a new city was an opportunistic challenge….We were not in the soccer business… but in the entertainment business.”

    

    The experiment with indoor soccer worked, with the first home game held on November 19, 1980, attracting 8,705 fans.  Maierhofer received great press for the team, which encouraged “a family market,” low ticket prices, a cheerleading team called the

“Snow Cats,” corporate sponsorship including Coca Cola, McDonalds, and Anheuser-Bush, and televised games by Denver’s CBS affiliate, KNGH-TV, one of the first soccer contracts with a national network.  Maierhofer essentially brought “a marketing

philosophy” to soccer.

 

Continuing to Play and Coach

 

    Maierhofer played on men’s adult teams wherever he went.  He relocated to Springfield, Virginia in January, 1997 and played on an “Over 30” team in Alexandria.  I know from experience that everyone has a history in these senior teams, with many mutual friends. That makes them more interesting.

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A Storm Player for his Entire Youth Career Signs for College


By Amy Snider - May 18, 2018

Goalkeeper Eddie St. Martin signed this week with Aurora University. Eddie has been playing with Storm since the age of 5, and his mom Kelly is an administrator in our club.  Pictured with keep coach, Jeff Oleck and team coach, Jon Jacobs. Congrats Eddie and Kelly!
 
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Tryouts for u11-u18 Competitive Teams (Birth years '08-'00)


By Amy Snider - April 23, 2018

Tryouts are May 29th-31st. We also have Age Group Trainings in each region prior to the actual tryouts for new and current players to meet our coaches and get familiar with their age groups. 

For dates, details, and information please click on your region below:

Fort Collins information Fort Collins Tryout Registration link
North information & North Tryout Registration link
South information & South Tryout Registration link
Castle Rock information & Castle Rock Tryout Registration link
 
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Summer Soccer Camps

Storm offers camps throughout the summer to keep you sharp and have fun in the off-season

By Amy Snider - March 19, 2018

Colorado Storm is getting the summer camp schedules set in all regions.  For your summer planning, please refer to the links below to find camps in your region.  Also, check out another region to work with different coaches or get a camp which fits your schedule.

FORT COLLINS
NORTH
SOUTH 
CASTLE ROCK

Questions?  Contact Us




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TOWN HALL MEETING South Recreational Coaching Directors


By Amy Snider - February 15, 2018

 

You are invited to attend Colorado Storm Recreational Town Hall Meeting!

Wednesday, February 21st @ 

UCHealth Training Center*
13403 Broncos Parkway
Englewood, Co 80112

Parents of U7, U8, U9 Boys and Girls- 6:00-7:15 PM

Parents of U10 Boys and Girls- 7:30- 8:45 PM

*Parking is available next to the training center on the south side.

The purpose of this meeting is to introduce the Boys and Girls Coaching Directors for the Colorado Storm Recreational Program and to share our vision of development. Our coaching leadership is committed to providing every member an organized progression from the introduction of soccer, through recreational stages, and into our competitive and elite programs. This meeting will share important dates for the spring season and provide an organized explanation of the programs offered in your age group. Time will be dedicated to the following items:

                                *Spring and Fall Programs

                                *Upcoming camps & clinics

                                *Tournaments

                                *Tryouts

We will introduce two additions to our rec program, Mr. Dave Kunitz and Mr. Tommy Alioto, both licensed A coaches. They will be responsible for the boy's program this Spring. They will replace Herman Sullivan and add additional support to the rec program along with Eric Jensen and Felipe Quiroga on the girls’ side. We hope to implement exciting changes to the Rec, Thunder, Thunder Plus and Thunder Select programs.

 

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