Thursday Kicks: Torrance AYSO pioneer honored and more

i-ed51eda13663c669ae8ed07aded1f862-smisek.jpgAYSO pioneer: Dick Smisek was honored at Tuesday’s Torrance City Council meeting for his contributions to the development of AYSO, which began in Torrance. He’s pictured here with Mayor Frank Scotto, left, and Carl Kaemerle, right, president of the Rotary Club of Del Amo, which also recognized Smisek earlier in the day at the new AYSO headquarters in Harbor Gateway. (Photo courtesy city of Torrance).

Long-time Torrance resident Dick Smisek has received a proclamation from the city of Torrance for his role in growing the American Youth Soccer Organization during its humble beginnings in Torrance.

The document reads:

WHEREAS, the City of Torrance recognizes with great pride, Dick Smisek, who from 1969-1970 volunteered to be the Chief Referee in the South Bay in an effort to help build the American Youth Soccer Organization (A.Y.S.O.): and

WHEREAS, in 1964, AYSO began operations with nine teams, four teams in Torrance and five teams in Culver City. Under the guidance and vision of Dick Smisek as the Boys (ages 6-9) Commissioner from 1970 -1971; and

WHEREAS, in 1971 Dick was responsible for helping to establish AYSO Region 14, the West Torrance Area and was the Region 14 Commissioner from 1971-1973: and

WHEREAS, Dick expanded Region 14 as the Commissioner from 25 teams to 69 teams in one year, and assisted in getting at least one soccer field in every public school in West Torrance: and

WHEREAS,1975-1977 Dick was Vice President of Organization in AYSO where Dick went to cities through out California making presentations to encourage soccer through AYSO and

WHEREAS, Dick was an AYSO referee in the South Bay from 1970-1990; and

WHEREAS, thanks to its pioneers like Dick, AYSO has more than 50,000 teams, more than 650,000 players and is supported by more than 250,000 parents across the nation, who passionately dedicate their time and talents as coaches, referees, team parents, administrators and sponsors.

NOW, THEREFORE, I, FRANK SCOTTO, as Mayor of the City of Torrance, California, do hereby honor, commend and express sincere appreciation to Dick Smisek for his outstanding contributions and dedicated service to the youth of the community. Dick Smisek has made a positive and lasting impact on many lives and serves as an inspiration for all citizens.

In other soccer news this morning:

*Staff Writer Phil Collin wraps up the comings and goings at the Galaxy and Chivas USA in the dead tree edition for those of you who missed the posts at this blog yesterday.

*Loyola Marymount senior Roger Downes, last year’s WCC defender of the year, was one of 42 players named to the 2011 Missouri Athletic Club’s Hermann Trophy Watch List watch list, the second time in three years an LMU men’s soccer player has been named to the short list honoring the nation’s best male college player. UCLA sophomore midfielder Kelyn Rowe, who has had trials recently with European clubs and was the Pac-10 Freshman of the Year was also named to the list.

*UCLA’s Sydney Leroux, the program’s leading scorer the past two years, was named as one of 42 players named to the corresponding list for the women’s award.

*The USC women kick off their season at 3 p.m. Friday at McAlister Field against Long Beach State, then hosts San Diego at 1 p.m. Sunday. The 49ers host Sacramento State in their 1 p.m. Sunday home opener.

*The Cal State Northridge men kick off the 2011 season with an exhibition against Cal State Dominguez Hills at 7 p.m. Saturday at Matador Soccer Field. Admission is free.

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About Nick Green

South Bay-based Los Angeles News Group columnist and blogger Nick Green writes about soccer at the 100 Percent Soccer blog at www.insidesocal.com/soccer and craft beer at the Beer Goggles blog at www.insidesocal.com/beer. Cheers!