A former soccer star from Woodside will be honored for his tremendous work both on and off the pitch over the last 54 years for the Cosmopolitan Junior Soccer League (CJSL) during the Fifth Annual New York City Soccer Gala on Wednesday, March 1, at the New York Athletic Club in Manhattan.
Emil Cohill immigrated to the United States from Croatia in 1952. He began his soccer career at an early age as he attended St. Mary’s Grammar School in Tacoma, Washington, where he was a CYO All-Star. After moving to New York in 1955, Cohill continued his education at Power Memorial Academy.
After graduation, he attended Fordham University, where he was the Rams’ Most Valuable Player in 1962. He later played for Dalmatinac Soccer Club in the Cosmopolitan Soccer League from 1963 to 1980.
While still a player with the Cosmopolitan Soccer League, Cohill was elected secretary of the CJSL in 1976, a position that he still holds today, 41 years later.
When he hung up his cleats, Cohill became a referee in 1981 and is still an active official. Cohill is currently the director of the 40th Annual Herbert Heilpern Indoor Tournament, which will be played at Go! Tennis – Bayside Tennis and Racquet Club in Bayside this winter.
Cohill was inducted into the Eastern New York Hall of Fame in 1999, and was honored as a Life Member of the CJSL in 2003.
“In this day and age of internet and cellphones, Emil is a throwback who has kept things in perspective and at an even keel, always reminding us how things were done in the past without today’s technology and it somehow all worked,” said Dimitrie Draguca, director of CJSL.
Also being honored at the New York City Soccer Gala are Charles Balsamo of Columbia University, Kevin Daly of St. John’s University, Chris Donovan of Fordham University, Mario Fava of St. Francis College, Martin Jacobson as coach at Martin Luther King High School, and Mickey Kydes of LIU Brooklyn.