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College Soccer

COLLEGE SOCCER

December 19, 2012
FIRST CLASS
NYC Soccer Gala to honor Belson, Gulati, Ficken, Ramirez, Schnur, Tramontozzi


Arnie Ramirez (right), with his wife Julia, is one of four legendary coaches who will be honored at the NYC Soccer Gala on Feb. 7.
Arnie Ramirez (right), with his wife Julia, is one of four legendary coaches who will be honored at the NYC Soccer Gala on Feb. 7.
Photo by Michael Lewis
Four legendary coaches, the president of U.S. Soccer and a force behind St. John's University's soccer stadium will be honored at the inaugural NYC Soccer Gala at the New York Athletic Club on Thursday, Feb. 7.

The first class of honorees include:

* Jerome Belson, recipient of the Humanitarian Award

* U.S. Soccer president Sunil Gulati

* Dieter Ficken (Columbia University)

* Arnold Ramirez (Long Island University)

* Frank Schnur (Fordham University)

* Carlo Tramontozzi (St. Francis College).

ďThe gala is the result of a unique partnership formed to honor the truly great people in the sport of soccer with an event that is bigger than any individual school,Ē St. Johnís coach Dr. Dave Masur said. ďThe teamwork in organizing this inaugural event has been fantastic and we are all looking forward to a wonderful evening that celebrates New York City soccer.Ē

Five schools are members of the organization: St. John's University, Manhattan College, Fordham University, Long Island University and St. Francis College.

Here is a quick look at the honorees:

Jerome Belson, St. Johnís

The Belson name has become synonymous with St. Johnís soccer since the construction of Belson Stadium, a state-of-the-art facility on the Queens campus that has served as the home field for both the menís and womenís soccer programs since 2002 and was primarily funded by a $6 million gift from the Belson family. After becoming involved in real estate in 1952, Belson (Ď48L, í80HON) begin creating non-profit co-op housing developments throughout New York City and was overseeing 50,000 apartments by 2005. A chairman of United Cerebral Palsy of New York City, a trustee of both the National Jewish Fund and Handicapped Boy Scouts, and a member of the Board of Directors for Disabled and Alone/Life Services for the Handicapped, Inc., Belson has served on the St. Johnís Board of Trustees for more than 20 years.

Sunil Gulati, U.S. Soccer president

Gulati, the U.S. Soccer president since 2006, has served in many roles within the organization, including executive vice president, managing director of National Teams, chairman of the international games committee and chairman of the technical committee. A former Major League Soccer deputy commissioner, Gulati served on the board of directors for two Womenís World Cups and serves on the FIFA ticketing subcommittee. An economics instructor at Columbia, Gulati is a member of the board for the U.S. Soccer Foundation and the CONCACAF executive committee.

Dieter Ficken, Columbia

The 1983 national coach of the year, Ficken directed the Lions to 252 victories in 27 seasons and coached 10 All-Americans as well as 10 Ivy League players of the year. In a dominant span from 1979-85, Ficken led the Lions to a pair of NCAA Final Fours and seven straight Ivy League championships. Ficken began his coaching career at his alma mater, LIU Brooklyn, and led the Blackbirds to a 32-9-7 record and three postseason berths in four seasons. As a player, Ficken led LIU Brooklyn to a pair of postseason appearances before playing professionally for Entracht S.C. in the German American Soccer League.

Arnold Ramirez, LIU Brooklyn

Ramirez coached LIU Brooklyn for 20 years from 1979-98, leading the Blackbirds to four NCAA Tournament appearances, four Metropolitan Conference championships, two New York Region championships, two ECAC Tournament appearances and one Northeast Conference regular season title. A three-time Metropolitan Conference coach of the year, Ramirez directed nine All-Americans. An All-City star as a player at George Washington High School, Ramirez went on to play at LIU and was a two-time team captain.

Frank Schnur, Fordham

The coach of the Rams for 34 seasons, Schnur led the program to five Tri-State Conference titles, three Metro Atlantic Athletic Conference championships, one NCAA Tournament appearance, the first in program-history, one Patriot League championship and one Atlantic 10 Conference crown. A three-time MAAC Coach of the Year, Schnur also earned Metropolitan, Patriot League and Atlantic 10 Coach of the Year honors in his career. Schnur led the Rams to 15 winning seasons, including nine straight from 1979-87.

Carlo Tramontozzi, St. Francis

Tramontozzi founded the menís soccer program at St. Francis and then coached the squad to a 190-110-32 record as well as six NCAA Tournament appearances. A two-time New York Metropolitan coach of the year, Tramontozzi also earned one East Regional Coach of the Year honor and is a member of the St. Francis College Hall of Fame. In three seasons as a player at LIU Brooklyn, Tramontozzi scored 46 goals and led the Blackbirds to three Metropolitan Championships and two NCAA Tournament appearances.

The event begins with a 6 p.m. cocktail hour and is followed by a 7 p.m. dinner and program of events. Tickets are priced at $200 per person, while a 10-person table can be reserved for $1,900. For more information or to RSVP, contact Elizabeth Austin (í08 TCB, í10 MBA) at 718-990-2548 or austine@stjohns.edu. The deadline to RSVP is Friday, Feb. 1.
 
 
 
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