On Oct. 28, Philadelphia Parks and Recreation will be honoring a legend in the local youth soccer scene.
The Lonnie Cohen Memorial All-Star game will be played at Jacobs Playground (4500 Linden Ave, Philadelphia, PA) at 5:45 p.m. and will feature the 11 teams from the Philadelphia Parks and Recreation Soccer League that are part of Eastern Pennsylvania Youth Soccer.
“Lonnie Cohen was a legend,” PPR Soccer Commissioner Steve Schmidt said. “He’s been the commissioner for the entire indoor and outdoor soccer as well as the director for outdoor soccer. He was also the facilities supervisor at Hillside Recreation Center. Not only was he the soccer commissioner, but he was also a recreation leader.”
The games are being played for boys and girls from U8 to U14. There will also be special guests and presentations happening during the contests.
“The game is being played in his honor,” Schmidt said. “[His family] has been invited to come back and they’re going to flip the coin for the opening game. One club – the Torresdale boys club – over 200 kids are wearing t-shirts that say ‘In memory of Lonnie Cohen’ on the back. The first day I saw it, I cried.”
This season Roxborough United Soccer Club has been wearing uniforms with the initials ‘LC’ on the chest in memory of Cohen. According to Schmidt, the club will be presenting a jersey to the Cohen family and Philly Parks and Rec will be presenting a blanket to the family as well.
In addition to that, Schmidt said that Philadelphia Parks and Rec are in the process of building the Lonnie Cohen Memorial Scholarship. A former Philly Parks and Rec All-Star will also be coming back to sing the National Anthem. However, it does not stop there.
“We have over a dozen retirees, going back 20 years, coming back for the game,” Schmidt said. “They never come back to watch the games. They’re coming back to participate in the coin flip and the presentation.”