2014 Honorees

Wednesday, March 5, 2014 | New York Athletic Club

Coach Mike Petke Shep Messing Ben Boehm George Gjokaj Dr Joseph Machnik Mark Lugris Joseph Barone

Coach Mike Petke, New York Red Bulls

Hired as the head coach of the New York Red Bulls in January 2013, Mike Petke has ties with the club that date back to 1998 when he began his 13-year MLS playing career. Petke led the Red Bulls to the 2013 MLS Supporters' Shield and finished as runner-up for MLS Coach of the Year honors in his first season on the sidelines, a season that saw the Red Bulls tie a club record with 17 wins. Prior to being named head coach, Petke served as an assistant coach with the club for two seasons.

A three-time MLS All-Star, Petke was drafted by New York with the eighth overall pick in the 1998 MLS Draft and had two stints with the club from 1998-2002 and 2008-10. In between, Petke won an MLS Cup with D.C United and also played for Colorado. One of 16 MLS players to have appeared in more than 300 regular season games, Petke retired in 2010 with New York club records in games played, games started and minutes played.
Petke was a standout college performer at Southern Connecticut State University and helped the squad win the 1995 NCAA Division II National Championship.


Shep Messing, New York Cosmos

One of the premier American soccer players in the 1970's and 80's, Shep Messing played in both the NASL and MISL before embarking on a broadcasting career.

Messing began his professional career in the NASL, playing with the likes of Pele and Franz Beckenbauer as the goalkeeper with the New York Cosmos. After helping the Cosmos win the 1977 Soccer Bowl, Messing became the first player to sign with the Major Indoor Soccer League when he joined the New York Arrows. Messing spent six years with the Arrows and led the team to four-straight MISL Championships. Prior to his professional career, Messing played for Team USA at the 1972 Summer Olympics and earned All-America honors at Harvard.

Messing then transitioned to broadcasting and has called the action in four World Cups (2010, 2006, 2002 and 1986) as well as the 2008 Olympic Games. Messing has also served as the primary analyst for the New York Red Bulls since 2001.


Ben Boehm, BW Gottschee Soccer Club

Many a biography has been written about an individual's past achievements and their impact on sport or people around them, but seldom can you find on that is still being written. That one is the one on Ben Boehm.

With well established credentials as a player and coaching for many years, Ben Boehm continues to play an outsize role in many levels of the US soccer scene. Building on his passion and adherence to playing the game the way it's meant to be, skillfully and creatively, Ben has and continues to influence countless players, trainers and coaches with sound instruction and advice. Rumored to be a stickler for detail, his insistence on attention to effective, basic training principles and placing demands where they ought to be, has resulted in a very successful run for Blau Weiss Gottschee and its players.

While Ben Boehm might minimize the importance of a single individual toward player development, his is undeniable. Often delicately dispensing with novel or unproven methods, Ben's general oversight and ability to guide trainers and coaches in establishing a proper training environment has proven invaluable. Never far from the field and never too busy to help, Ben continues to provide direct input, from the earliest intramural youth beginner to the most advanced Academy player. Additionally, no detail is too small for his attention. Often seen with an early version of a PDA (pen and paper) in his shirt pocket, Ben captures the information and in short order action is underway. Also a phone company favorite, he consistently follows up field activity with a personal call to ensure administrators and coaches have everything they need and are clear of purpose. To some this may seem like a lot of extra work, but to BW Gottschee it's the glue that holds the Club together.

Ask any present or past Blau Weiss player about the significance of Ben Boehm on Gottschee and the answer is undeniably clear. More impressive however, are the number of individuals not with the Club that will invariably ask, "is Ben still with the Club" or "is he still at the soccer field", etc., a clear sign of his impact and contribution to the sport and individuals involved, which will surely continue to be felt for some time.


George Gjokaj, St. John's University

An outstanding leader, George Gjokaj came to St. John's as a senior in 1995 and served as team captain in his only season with the Redmen. Gjokaj helped lead St. John's to its fourth-straight NCAA Tournament appearance, a feat that capped a season in which the squad also won its fourth-straight BIG EAST Tournament title and posted a 16-5-1 record.

A member of the Eastern New York U-23 State Select squad that won a National Championship, the midfielder started all 22 games that season for St. John's and tallied two goals and one assist. Gjokaj earned first team ISAA Senior Recognition honors that season as well.

George's passion for soccer has carried over after college and he is now a volunteer coach at Mt. Pleasant United FC and FC United Youth Clinics.

He is currently the owner /founder of Proformance Industries, an automotive repair facility in New Rochelle, NY, which specializes in alloy wheel and auto body repair servicing elite clientele. He has collaborated with Designers from Ferrari and Ford Motor Co. in building and fabricating concept cars and parts.


Dr. Joseph Machnik, LIU Brooklyn

Machnik began his career at LIU in 1961 as one of the nation's top goalkeepers. In 1962, he was named a National Soccer Coaches Association of America All-American. He went on to become head coach of the program from 1966-68 and guided the Blackbirds to an impressive 37-8-2 mark.

In addition to two Metropolitan Conference titles, Machnik led the Blackbirds to the NCAA championship game in 1966, and the semifinal match in 1967. Machnik was inducted into the LIU Brooklyn Athletics Hall of Fame in 2001.

In 1990, Machnik was named as the head goalkeeper coach of that year's United States World Cup Team. He also served as the vice president of Major League Soccer, and has worked as an official since the league's inception.


Mark Lugris, Fordham University

Mark Lugris began his fourth season as an assistant coach at Fordham. It is his second stint at his alma mater, having served as assistant coach from 1983-84.

A 1982 graduate of Fordham was a prolific scorer as well as a superb sweeper for head coach Frank Schnur, leading the Rams to their best ever record of 11-2-4 and a fifth place ranking in New York State during his senior year.

He was drafted by the New York Cosmos of the NASL upon graduation and spent eight years playing indoor soccer with the Houston Dynamos and Columbus Capitols of the AISL and the Dallas Sidekicks of the MISL. A two-time MVP with the Capitols, Lugris was also named to the AISA All-Star team and holds the league record for consecutive games played at 122. In 1990, as a member of the Puerto Rican National Team, he played in Puerto Rico's World Cup qualifying match.


Joseph Barone, St. Francis College

Joe Barone Brooklynite at heart migrated to the United States in 1974 from a small beach town Pozzallo, Italy. He is married to Camille and has four children, Pietro, Gabriella, Salvatore and Giuseppe. Joe graduated from St. Francis College in 1989 with a Bachelor of Science in Business Management.

Giuseppe, at St. Francis College, was a four year letter winner on the soccer team under legendary coach Carlo Tramontozzi. Since 1989, Joe continues to work for Banca Monte dei Paschi di Siena New York where he heads its treasury desk. He spends all of his free time on the field coaching and helping Brooklyn Italians Soccer Club in many projects.

The love for soccer has brought him priceless satisfaction in helping youngsters continuing their education at the college or professional level. Joe has been the founder and Director of the Christopher Columbus Cup and the New York City Indoor Classic, both hosted by Brooklyn Italians Soccer Club where he currently serves as Vice President. Giuseppe also serves as Chairman of the National Premier Soccer League, the biggest men's armature national league in the United States. Joe also served on the Board of Directors of the Cosmopolitan Junior Soccer League and currently serving on the Sub- Committee of the Lamar Hunt US Open Cup.


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