St Louis Soccer Greats- Part 1 Frank Borghi

while we continue to wait (not so patiently) for professional soccer in St. Louis, I thought was should look into the rich history of soccer and the players in the city. 

Frank Borghi World Cup Hero

Frank Borghi was born in April 9, 1925, he as raised  in The Hill neighborhood of St. Louis, Missouri.He began playing sports and played professional baseball. In 1946, he played in the Kansas-Oklahoma-Missouri League (KOLM) where he suited up for Carthage for one season. This was considered the D League of the St Louis Cardinals .  Frank Borghi played in 103 games and batted ,.261 with 272 at bats, 71 hits, 27 RBI’sand 10 stolen bases for the year. By most standards it was an average year.

Frank Borghi Turns to Soccer

Frank Borghi

He turned to soccer and admitted he didn’t have the skills that others had so he made himself a goalkeeper.  It is said he never kicked the ball as a goalie but preferred to use his strong baseball arm to toss the ball out. He helped St Louis Simpkins-Ford to win the National Challenge Cup in 1948 and 1950. In 1949, he was selected for the U.S World Cup team and and played in four World Cup qualifying matches for  the U.S. national team.

Frank Borghi- World Cup Star

In 1950, they played the team from England , which was heavily favored. It took several key saves from goalkeeper Frank Borghi to secure a 1-0 World Cup win for the United States. In 1954, he appeared again in the World Cup qualifying match against Mexico.

In 1976, Frank Borghi was inducted into the United State National Soccer Hall of Fame along with all of his teammates.

Franl Borghi World War Service

In World War II he served as a medic at the Battle of the Bulge and the crossing of the Ludendorff Bridge In 1945. Borghi was awarded a Bronze Star and a Purple Heart.

Frank Borghi After Sports

In 2003, he became a funeral home director. He died on February 2, 2015 and is interred at the Jefferson Barracks National Cemetery.

Obituary HERE.

 

His life was portrayed in the film “The Game of Their Lives”  and he was featured in the documentary in 2009 called, “A Time for Champions”.

He was also featured in the documentary Voices of the Veterans discussing his service as a medic in the United States Army during World War II.

Frank BorghiWith professional soccer almost playing in St. Louis, we need to know and respect those that came before us and honor them. It is my hope I have done that justice in this post.

Frank Borghi was named to the St Louis Sports Hall of Fame.

Coming Soon:

Part 2- Harry Keough

Part 3 Gino Pariani

Part 4- Frank (PeeWee) Wallace

Part 5- Charley Colombo

Part 6- Bob Annis

Part 7- William (Chubby)Lyons

Part 8-The St Louis Stars

 

Author- Tom Knuppel
I am a lover of ALL sports- big or small- some even obscure. I am a retired High School English teacher/coach that loves to write. and do book reviews of many sports. I want to write a book. Some around here  (St Louis Sports) call me “Dad” I am a St.Louis Cardinals fan from birth. Check out my History of Cardinals dot com site Advice: Remember to always have a solid plan!  Email [email protected]