Eastern Pennsylvania Youth Soccer Names U15 Boys State Cup In Honor Of Richard Groff
Groff, a Bucks County native and former President of Eastern Pennsylvania Youth Soccer, was instrumental in raising the profile of U.S. Soccer in the late 20th Century.
Plymouth Meeting—May 17, 2017— Eastern Pennsylvania Youth Soccer is proud to announce that the Under-15 Boys Eastern Pennsylvania State Cup championship trophy will be named the Richard Groff Cup, as voted on by the Board of Directors. This year’s State Cup Finals will take place on May 20 at United Sports Training Center, where the Richard Groff Cup will be awarded for the first time.
The Richard Groff Cup is the latest addition to Eastern Pennsylvania Youth Soccer’s perpetual trophies, which include the Frank Olszewski Cup (U17 Boys), Werner Fricker Sr. Cup (U16 Boys), Charlotte Moran Cup (U17 Girls) and the Robert Urban Cup (U16 Girls). All four trophies were introduced at the 2016 Eastern Pennsylvania State Cup Finals.
“Richard Groff is one of the biggest names in American soccer over the last 25 years. He went to exceptional lengths to raise the profile of the sport in both Eastern Pennsylvania and throughout the United States,” said Eastern Pennsylvania Youth Soccer CEO Chris Branscome. “He’s more than deserving of this honor, and we look forward to having youth teams learn about Richard’s contributions to the game.”
Groff, who played for Pennridge High School (Perkasie, PA) and Lafayette University, began coaching in the mid-1980s. Werner Fricker Sr. encouraged him to get involved on the administrative side of soccer. Groff was elected Eastern Pennsylvania Youth Soccer Vice President in 1986 and President in 1987.
To help grow soccer in America, Groff assisted U.S. Soccer in promoting U.S. Men’s National Team games starting in 1989. He organized games across the country including a record crowd of 43,000 at Philadelphia’s Franklin Field. He brought the U.S. team back to Philadelphia in 1991, along with 44,000 fans at Veterans Stadium. These were two of the largest crowds to see the national team prior to the 1994 World Cup.
Groff was elected treasurer of U.S. Soccer in 1990. He promoted the women’s game during that period and helped launch the inaugural Chiquita Cup International Women’s Tournament. In 1994 he was named Commissioner of the American Professional Soccer League, building what is now the USL, the second tier in American professional soccer. He recently served as president of the U.S. Adult Soccer Association from 2010-2014. In January 2014, he received the Werner Fricker Builder Award, the U.S. Soccer Federation’s highest honor.
“Eastern Pennsylvania Youth Soccer has developed a very high level cup competition that is respected throughout the soccer world,” said Groff. “I am very honored to be associated with the Under-15 Boys State Cup.”