June 18, 2012
Ex-NY Hungaria standout, U.S. international Mate dies at 72
NEW YORK -- CONCACAF was informed Monday that former United States National Team midfielder Andrew "Andy" Mate passed away last month in his native Hungary. He was 72.
Mate died on May 13.
The Hungarian-American standout played most of career with New York Hungaria SC of the German-American Soccer League (renamed Cosmopolitan Soccer League in 1977), leading the club to five league titles, plus one U.S. National Challenge Cup (now Lamar Hunt/U.S. Open Cup) crown in 1962.
That national title led to a place in the 1963 CONCACAF Champions' Cup, where Hungaria faced two Mexican clubs -- eliminating CD Oro, but losing to CD Guadalajara.
During the CONCACAF tournament run, Mate became the first American to net a hat-trick on Mexican soil, when he scored all of NY Hungaria's goals in a 3-2 opening-match victory over CD Oro on March 18, 1963.It was also the first win by a U.S. club over a Mexican side in a CONCACAF event.
With five goals, Mate completed that competition as joint top scorer with Salomón Santvil, who played with eventual tournament winner Racing Club Haitien of Haiti.No other player from the U.S. finished as the Champions' Cup scoring champion until Roy Lassiter of D.C. United accomplished the feat with six tallies in 1998.
"It was natural for me to score," Mate told CONCACAF.com in his final interview earlier this year. "Our coach [Geza] Henni always told the team 'give the ball to Andy, he'll score, and we'll win' ."
After earning an international appearance for the U.S. National Team vs. England in 1964, Mate continued his club career playing with West Germany's Hamburger SV, Deportivo Cali of Colombia and the New York Cosmos during its inaugural season (1971) in the North American Soccer League.
Mate returned to the CSL, suiting up once again for NY Hungaria, before closing out his career with the New York Greek-American AA at the age of 41.