Umberto Abronzino, soccer Hall of Famer, dies at 85
July 5, 2006
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ONEONTA, N.Y. -- Umberto Abronzino, whose lifelong dedication to soccer earned him a spot in the sport's hall of fame, has died.

Abronzino, who died Saturday in San Jose, Calif., was 85. No cause of death was given, according to Jack Huckel of the National Soccer Hall of Fame.

Abronzino's career included playing, managing, organizing leagues and refereeing. Already an accomplished player in his native Italy, he came to the United States in 1937 and continued playing in the Hartford, Conn., area while also beginning his managing career there.

In 1952, Abronzino moved to the San Francisco area and within five years had organized the Peninsula Soccer League. He served the Peninsula League in a number of roles, including organizing one of its teams, the Sons of Italy.

Abronzino also was an officer in the California Soccer Association, helped organize California North Youth Soccer, served on the U.S. Soccer National Amateur Cups organizing committee, and was a referee. He was elected to the California Soccer Association Hall of Fame in 1964, the California Youth Soccer Hall of Fame in 1979, and to the National Soccer Hall of Fame in 1971.

"Umberto was one of the great gentlemen of the game," National Soccer Hall of Fame president Will Lunn said in a statement Wednesday. "He is a wonderful example of what earns one election to the Hall of Fame."

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