2016 Honorees

March 3, 2016 | New York Athletic Club

Alfonso Mondelo Robert Montgomery Giovanni Savarese Thomas Duffy
Peter & Michael DiMaggio Alber Hot John Wolyniec  

Alfonso Mondelo, Technical Director, Competition, MLS

Following an extensive career as a player, coach and executive, Alfonso Mondelo joined Major League Soccer’s New York headquarters as Director of Player Programs in 2005.

Mondelo, a native of Spain, works closely with the Commissioner’s Office and the Competition Department, focused on player development and acting as a player consultant for all 20 MLS clubs. Mondelo currently works as Technical Director, Competition overseeing MLS’ on-field competition and player development programs, such as Sueño MLS Presented by Allstate Insurance Company and Generation adidas Cup, and is part of various player and competition committees dedicated to the growth of the sport.

Since 2009, Mondelo has served as Match Commissioner and General Coordinator for FIFA and CONCACAF events, including World Cup qualifiers and the Under-20 World Cup tournaments in Colombia and Turkey.

Mondelo also served as a member of the U.S. Soccer Federation’s National coaching staff, having worked with the Men’s National Team in the 1999 Confederations Cup as well as the Under-14 and Under-18 youth national teams. He is also a member of the U.S. Soccer’s coaching education staff.

Prior to joining MLS’ headquarters, Mondelo’s coaching career included the MetroStars in MLS (1998), Tampa Bay Mutiny (2001) the Puerto Rican national team, winning a National Championship with the Long Island Rough Riders in the A-League, and the assistant coach for the U.S. National team (1999-2001) under then coach Bruce Arena. Also, Mondelo served as Director of Coaching and Director of the ODP Program for ENYYSA.

Mondelo moved from Spain to Queens, N.Y. at age 13, but later played professionally for Spanish Second Division club A.D. Torrejón before his career was cut short due to a knee injury.
Born August 13, 1958 in Baracaldo, Spain, Mondelo and his wife reside in Franklin Square, NY. They both have two daughters and three grandchildren.


Robert Montgomery, Director of Red Bulls Youth Academy,
Former Head Coach Adelphi University

Bob Montgomery is a two-time NSCAA Regional Coach of the Year at Adelphi. He went 258-224-39 and made seven NCAA Tournament appearances in 29 seasons as the head coach of the Panthers, who were consistently ranked in the top 25 nationally. He led seven of his teams to the NCAA tournament, and his 1987 squad advanced to the quarterfinals.

Montgomery led the Panthers to their first Atlantic Soccer Conference regular season and tournament titles and received ASC Coach of the Year honors in 2006. He was named NSCAA Regional Coach of the Year in 1987 and 1990, honored as the 1990 New York State Coach of the Year and was selected NCSC Coach of the Year in 1995. Montgomery served as an Associate Athletic Director at Adelphi from 1989 until 2006, where he was responsible for compliance and eligibility for over 250 athletes. In addition to his duties at Adelphi, Montgomery served as an assistant coach for the U-14 U.S. Men’s National Team from 2000-2011.

In 2007, he joined the New York Red Bulls as the Academy Director. In this role, Montgomery oversaw the Red Bulls Player Development System, including the New York Red Bulls Academy and Grassroots Training Program, and has helped guide the academy to multiple National Championships.

During his tenure as Academy Director, the Red Bulls Academy became one of the premier development academies in North America. Of the four academy teams that receive national rankings, all four are consistently ranked among the top-five academy teams in the nation. The U-13, U-14 and U-16 teams enter the 2016 Spring U.S. Soccer Development Academy season ranked first in the nation in their respective age groups, while the U-18s are currently ranked fourth.

On February 18, 2016, Montgomery was named Director of Coaching Education and Youth Partnerships with the Red Bulls. In his new role, he will serve as a daily coaching education resource to the first team, USL and academy coaching staffs to ensure that the club’s philosophy, style of play and core principles stay consistent between all three platforms. Montgomery will also begin an outreach program to begin sporting partnerships with local clubs, and be a resource to young players and their parents.
Bob is an Adelphi University Athletic Hall of Fame member and became involved with the US Youth Soccer Association in 1985. He coached top players ages 12-19 in Region I and has traveled as a coach to events all around the world.

Montgomery attended Nassau Community College before transferring to Adelphi. He was a defender for the Panthers from 1972 to 1973 and went on to receive his Bachelor’s degree (1975) and Master’s degree (1984) from Adelphi. He is married to wife Jennifer and has three daughters Jessica, Danielle, and Stephanie.


Giovanni Savarese, LIU Brooklyn

Giovanni Savarese is a native of Caracas, Venezuela who turned professional at age 15, garnering 30 caps and 10 goals for the Venezuelan National Team. The striker played collegiate soccer at Long Island University, Brooklyn. In his time as a Blackbird, Savarese was tabbed the 1992 Northeast Conference Player of the Year and ranked fifth in the nation with 21 goals. He was a three-time All-NEC honoree and a First Team NSCAA All-American in his final season at LIU. The Venezuelan product finished his collegiate career with an impressive 50 goals, currently ranking sixth on LIU's career goal scoring list and was elected to the LIU Athletics Hall of Fame in 2009. In 2016, Savarese became the first Blackbird to be inducted into the Northeast Conference Hall of Fame.

After starring at LIU, Savarese joined the Long Island Rough Riders. He then was drafted by the New York/New Jersey MetroStars in the ninth round of the MLS Inaugural Player Draft, where he remained for three seasons, scoring a then-club record 44 goals in all contests that stood for 12 seasons. In August 2010, he joined the New York Cosmos in the role of Director of the Cosmos Academy. In November 2012, he was announced as the head coach of the Cosmos for the 2013 North American Soccer League season. As head coach, Savarese has captured two Soccer Bowl titles with the Cosmos in 2013 over the Atlanta Silverbacks and in 2015 with a thrilling 3-2 victory over Ottawa Fury FC to claim the crown.


Peter & Michael DiMaggio, Columbia University

Peter DiMaggio: Peter DiMaggio’s soccer odyssey began in Leonia NJ, at the age of 3 in the town recreation program.  Fourteen years later, after playing for the NJ State Team, East Coast Regional Team, and the US Youth National Team, and winning a youth club national championship at the McGuire Cup in 1988 with the Union Lancers, Peter made his way to Columbia University.

The illustrious career for Peter at Columbia began in 1988, and was highlighted by two All-American awards in 1990 and 1991. In his final season, DiMaggio took home Ivy League Player of the Year honors, and was a first-team All-American. In addition, DiMaggio was named an Academic All-American in 1991, and was awarded the Eisenhower Watch in his senior year at Columbia University for having the highest cumulative grade point average of all male athletes.

After earning his master's degree in structural engineering from Columbia, DiMaggio began his career in 1994 at Weidlinger Associates Inc, a structural engineering firm in lower Manhattan. Today, the firm has merged with structural engineering powerhouse Thornton Tomasetti and Peter has been elevated to the title of Senior Principal. His firm is responsible for some of the most prestigious structural engineering projects worldwide, including embassies in Berlin, Moscow and The Hague, some of the world’s tallest building in Asia, NY, and the Middle East, and stunning athletic stadiums throughout the world. 

When not in the office or with his family, Peter can often be found volunteering as a youth coach in both his hometown of Chatham NJ, or in the Ironbound district of Newark, in an attempt to transfer his love of soccer, and the lessons that it can teach, to the next generation of US players.

Michael DiMaggio: Peter’s son Michael, who is now 12, has been playing soccer since he was 3 years old.  In October of 2014, Michael was run over by a car, while walking home from school on the sidewalk, and suffered horrendous injuries.  After a lengthy hospital stay, a year of multiple surgeries and rehabilitation, and overcoming the threat of losing his leg, Michael was able to get back on the field in the fall of 2015 to play in his club team’s final league games, scoring a critical goal in his first game back. Michael’s strength, determination, and positive attitude, coupled with his love of the game of soccer, were all instrumental in his ability to overcome tremendous adversity, and persevere despite the incredibly serious nature of his injuries.

Thomas Duffy, St. John's University

A four-year letterwinner at St. John’s from 1983-86, Tom Duffy served as a team captain as a senior and finished a 64-game career with 50 points on 16 goals and 18 assists. As a senior, Duffy tied for the team-lead in goals (5) and also led the team in both assists (6) and points (18). Duffy had four goals and three assists as a junior to help the 1985 squad finish with 11 wins, a new program-record at the time. Prior to a three-goal, six-assist sophomore campaign, Duffy began his collegiate career with four goals and three assists.

Duffy graduated in 1987 with a degree in accounting and currently works as a Producer/Partner at Charter Oak Insurance and Financial Services, which helps individuals, families and businesses with insurance, financial services and fee-based financial planning. Duffy is also the President and founding member of Sports Angels, a 501 (c)(3) organization dedicated to making a difference in people’s lives through sports by producing fundraising events for the benefit of not-for-profit organizations with a connection to sports.

Duffy previously served as the CEO at Music Nation, BigNet Holdings Corporation and MusicVision, Inc. The former VP, CFO and Treasurer of the Board at Major League Baseball Enterprises and Properties, Duffy also worked in the MLB Office of the Commissioner. Duffy began his post-graduation professional career as a Senior Auditor at Ernst & Whinney, now Ernst & Young.

A member of the University’s Loughlin Society since 2008, Duffy earned the Alumni Outstanding Achievement Award in 2012 and has served on the organizing committee for the NYC Soccer Gala.


Alber Hot, St. Francis College

St. Francis College is honored to recognize Al Hot, a 1984 graduate of St. Francis College, as this year’s NYC Soccer Gala Honoree.

At 12 years old, Al came to Staten Island from Sarajevo, capital of Bosnia and Hercegovina and began his life in the United States. Having played soccer as soon as he could walk on a daily basis, he missed soccer for the next five years as soccer in the U.S. did not catch on until the excitement surrounding the New York Cosmos Soccer Team.

The breakthrough for Al came at the Big Apple Soccer Tournament when the head coach of the St. Francis Brooklyn Terriers, Carlo Tramontozzi saw that he was an outstanding defensive player.  Carlo and St. Francis College’s own Brother George brought Al to campus and added him to the Terriers roster. Al was expected to be a key member of the defensive unit until he exhibited a talent for scoring goals. In his first start in the first half of the game, Al scored four goals and soon became one of the speediest offensive players for the Terriers.

The success of the soccer team back then was somewhat miraculous, the Terriers did not have a home field and practices were held down on Tillary Street, but Carlo Tramontozzi was able to take players from all over the world, jokingly referred to as the UN, put together a great team, every time. During his time at St. Francis, the Terriers were ranked 4th in the country. It was a very exciting time to be a part of the SFC soccer team, and the whole school attended games to rally around the team, which fueled the excitement.

Al happily remembers when the team traveled to Hartwick College in 1981 to face the Hawks for their homecoming match and when the crowd shouted “no fair, what country are you guys from” Al proudly yelled back, with a fist pump for emphasis, “BROOKLYN!” and the whole place erupted in loud cheers and high fives.

While at St. Francis College, Al transitioned from a business major to a degree in communications and proudly made the dean’s list (to the great excitement of head coach Carlo Tramontozzi- he was more excited than Al at the time). Al was Senator of the Junior Class, a member of the Troupers (drama club), started a martial arts group on campus and was a member of the fraternity Phi Rho Pi.

After graduation, Al began his career in construction management. Prior to founding his company, Al served more than 10 years as Project Manager for several prestigious New York City Construction Management firms, including NICO Construction and NYC Builders Group, where he oversaw construction management, project management and operations. Twenty-one years ago he proudly started his own company, FastTrack Construction and is currently the president.

Al is an 9-year cancer survivor and has no intentions of slowing down. He continues to play indoor soccer with his NJ neighbor Tab Ramos at the Tab Ramos Sports Complex, participates in martial arts activities daily and in 2003 was inducted into the World Karate Union Hall of Fame and was selected as the International Fighting Martial Arts Association Black Belt Fighter of the year.

Al continues to give back to St. Francis College and is an excellent representation of an SFC alumni fulfilling his dreams and living by the college’s mission; “the small college of big dreams”. Al is happily married to his wife Laura for over thirty years and has (2) children; daughter Jeneta, Asst.  VP at Credit Suisse and son Reggie who is director of field operations at Everlast Interiors an Architectural Woodworking Co.


John Wolyniec, Fordham University

John Wolyniec, a Bronx, N.Y., native, played college soccer at Fordham University. Wolyniec is the fourth Ram to be honored at the NYC Soccer Gala, joining his former coach Frank Schnur (2013), Mark Lugris ‘83 (2014), and Jack Shannon ‘85 (2015).

Wolyniec was the most prolific scorer in Ford-ham men’s soccer history. A 1998 All-American, he graduated with the school career records in goals scored (75), assists (34) and total points (184), shat-tering the old records of 44 goals, 18 assists, and 106 points. He also holds the Fordham career record with 80 games played and 77 games started.

The 1998 Atlantic 10 Player of the Year, Wolyniec led the NCAA Division I in scoring that year with 60 points, setting the Fordham single season record for most goals in a season (25) and points in a season. Wolyniec was named the Vincent T. Lombardi Award winner in 1997 and 1998.

Academically, Wolyniec was just as well decorated, being named First Team Academic All-American in 1999 and Third Team Academic All-American in 1998. He graduated in just three-and-a-half years in order to train with the U.S. National Team.
As a professional, Wolyniec played nine seasons for the NY/NJ MetroStars and New York Red Bulls. He made 142 appearances for New York, tied for fourth-most in club history, and totaled 26 goals and 14 assists. He also played for two other New York clubs, including the Long Island Rough Riders and Rochester Rhinos. He finished his MLS career with 192 regular season appearances, including 101 starts, with 33 goals and 16 assists.

John joined the Red Bulls staff following his final season in 2010 and was named Player Development Coordinator and head man of the Red Bulls’ MLS reserve team in 2013. In 2015, John was appointed head coach of New York Red Bulls II, the club’s United Soccer League team. In the club’s first season, John led his side to a fourth place finish, playoff berth and its first postseason victory. In the same year, Wolyniec was voted into the Red Bulls Best 20 in 20, which honored the best 20 players in club history during the team’s 20th season in MLS.

› back to top