The Rochester Lancers professional soccer club will celebrate the 50th anniversary of the team's founding in 1967 on Saturday, Oct. 7 and fans have been invited to join this occasion.
A special dinner with many Lancer legends will be held that Saturday evening at the Italian American Sport Club (IASC), the birthplace of the Lancers. The IASC is located at 1250 Buffalo Road in Rochester and the ceremonies kick off at 6 p.m. that evening.
Many players and personalities have worn the blue and gold through the years. They include Carlos Metidieri, Manfred Seissler, the Three Musketeers -- Francisco Escos, Frank Odoi and Eli Durante -- Charlie Mitchell, Roberto Lonardo, Dick Howard, Don Lalka, Pat Ercoli, Jack Brand, Nelson Cupello, Jim Pollihan, Don Droege, Craig Reynolds, Jim May, George Gibbs, Renato Cila, Frank Caricchio, Tito Laurini, Mauro Felipe, Frank Tata, Luis Fernando, among others.
The original Lancers made their debut in an international friendly against Concordia of Germany at old Aquinas Stadium on May 30, 1967 and played in the American Soccer League through the 1969 season. The team moved to the North American Soccer League in 1970, saving the league from extinction, and won the NASL title in their first season in the league. The Lancers became the first U.S. pro soccer team to compete in the CONCACAF Club Championship, finishing fourth in 1972. Rochester, then coached by Don Popovic, also reached the 1977 NASL playoff semifinals against the New York Cosmos and Pele filling up Holleder Stadium with a soccer record crowd of 20,005.
Many memories will be stirred and stories will be told. The public is invited to partake and meet their heroes of the past.
Tickets are $30 apiece or $200 for a table of 8 and can be purchased at:
- Top Notch Monogramming, Northfield Common (50 State Street) in Pittsford
- Donuts Delite, 1700 Culver Road at Empire Boulevard in Rochester
- Salvatore’s Pizzeria and Restaurant at The Garage Door, 149 East Ridge Road in Rochester
- Salvatore’s Pizzeria and Pub, 1217 Bay Road in Webster
- Salvatore’s Pizzeria, 2496 West Ridge Road in Greece near Greece Ridge Mall
- Salvatore’s Pizzeria, 4165 Buffalo Road in Ogden near Roberts Wesleyan College
For more information, contact Joe Sirianni at 585-414-5122 or Andrew Battisti at 585-451-6701 or visit the Facebook page for the Lancers Reunion at www.facebook.com/lancers50