Horsham Soccer History
Horsham Soccer Association’s home fields are named in memory of Werner Fricker who, as president of the U.S. Soccer Federation, led the bid that brought the 1994 World Cup to the United States. Mr. Werner passed away at the age of 65 on May 30, 2001. Mr. Fricker was born on January 24, 1936, in Karlsdorf, Yugoslavia,moved with his family to Austria at the end of World War Two and emigrated to the United States in 1952. Captain of the United German-Hungarians team of Philadelphia from 1958 to 1969, including the National Amateur Cup winning team of 1965 and the teams defeated in the finals of 1964 and 1970. He also served on the executive committee of CONCACAF and was chairman of the CONCACAF Finance Committee. Mr. Fricker was also a member of the U.S. team that failed to qualify for the 1964 Olympic soccer tournament, then was elected USSF president in 1984 and helped develop the World Cup bid. The Americans received 10 votes to seven for Morocco and two for Brazil in the vote by FIFA’s executive committee on July 4, 1988. One year later, the United States qualified for its first World Cup appearance since1950. But shortly after the Americans went 0-3 at 1990 tournament in Italy, FIFA decided to back Los Angeles lawyer Alan Rothenberg, who defeated Fricker and became the USSF president in August 1990. Werner was a true U.S. soccer pioneer and will be remembered by everyone involved in the sport as we continue to reap the benefits of his leadership across more than 40 years of involvement at the game’s highest levels, USSF president Robert Contiguglia said. Without his leadership and personal commitment the U.S. would never have earned the right to host the 1994 FIFA World Cup.Mr. Fricker, a real estate developer based in Horsham, was inducted into the National Soccer Hall of Fame in 1992.
Each August since 1988, Horsham Soccer hosts a Girls Invitational Soccer Tournament. This tournament has been known as the Colleen Reilly Girls Soccer Tournament since 1991. Colleen Reilly is the daughter of Pat and Marge Reilly. She was not a soccer player, but was a great fan. Her brothers and sister played for Horsham Soccer and her father was a Horsham coach and past president of the club. Colleen attended many of the games to root for her family and for the Horsham teams regardless if she knew anyone on the team.Colleen was diagnosed with brain cancer in 1988 while at college. She underwent treatment and valiantly fought the disease for about a year but ultimately lost her battle.That same year Mr. George Mood and Mrs. Kathy Bott were co-chairpersons for the Horsham Girls Tournament and renamed the tournament in honor of Colleen and the continued participation of her family in the Horsham program.Many members of the Reilly family continue in the Horsham and Hatboro-Horsham School District soccer programs with a third generation player and many members coaching. We are pleased to welcome Colleen's father Pat, and brother Brian back to Horsham Soccer as coaches of the 2003 U17 girls travel team. Brian also coaches at HHHS.Colleen's spirit and enthusiasm for the tournament and the soccer program continues. Article contributed by Patrick Reilly.
Horsham Soccer soon became a force to be reckoned with, not only in the Bux-Mont area, but around the world. In the summer of 1981 Horsham's U10 boys team traveled to Helsinki, Finland to compete in the Helsinki Cup Tournament. The team triumphed and brought home the 1st Place trophy! Two of the original 37 players became the area's first Olympic Development players, and part of this original group formed the nucleus of the first HHHS Boys Suburban One Soccer Champions in 1990.
Horsham Soccer Association was founded in 1978 by Wolfgang Rudolph (Rudy) Fischer. Rudy foresaw the population explosion about to occur in Horsham and wanted to provide a soccer environment for those players aspiring to a higher level of play, as well as for intramural players. Rudy conscripted - we hear you didn't need to volunteer with Rudy - several soccer moms and dads and founded the Horsham Soccer Association in 1978. The Club originally played on a field along Route 611 across from where Bazaar Beverage now stands. At some point, the Club moved to fields behind the Township Building along Horsham Road, and eventually moved to the new Kohler Park fields donated and built by Werner Fricker (see below)Article contributed by Jason Vogel. Jason was of the original 37 Horsham Soccer players, and now runs Dynamic Soccer Training at Horsham Athletic Club. Jason started playing at age 4 for Hatboro-Horsham Soccer, and later was one of the original players to move to the new Horsham Soccer Association. Jason played on the Helsinki Cub team, and was later selected as an Olympic Development player. He was part of the Suburban One Championship team at HHHS in 1990 and was named a PA All-State Selection. He later traveled to Europe to play several times.