The Queens Resident Volunteered as the CJSL Secretary For Over 40 Years
New York Soccer News: Tributes are pouring in from all over the local soccer community
New York soccer is mourning the loss of the legendary Emil Cohill on March 30 at the age of 82. The Woodside, Queens resident dedicated his life to soccer, particularly to the players of the Cosmopolitan Junior Soccer League (CJSL).
Emil emigrated to the United States from Croatia in 1952. He attended St. Mary’s Grammar School in Tacoma, Washington, where he was a CYO All-Star before moving to New York in 1955 and studying at Power Memorial Academy. He attended Fordham University where he was the team’s MVP in 1962, before playing for Dalmatinac Soccer Club in the Cosmopolitan Soccer League (CSL) from 1963 to 1980.
He served as a referee for four decades, riding his bicycle to the Metropolitan Oval on weekends to ref games.
“He was like a silent hero to the game, because that’s the way he wanted it. The game and the players were more important than anything else,” former CJSL President Jim Vogt explained. “We had many conversations over the years, and it was never, never about him.
“It’s always about the game, always about the players.”Jim Vogt, CJSL President
So, he was a hero. Most people look for accolades. He probably should have gotten many, many more accolades, but he never wanted it, never pushed for it because the game, and the players were bigger than anything else,” said Vogt.
Like it or not, Emil did receive accolades as he was inducted into the Eastern New York Soccer Hall of Fame in 1999, was the first person inducted into the CJSL Hall of Fame (2003), was a CJSL Life Member and was honored at the 2017 New York City Soccer Gala.
“Emil Cohill will be missed on all fronts, most of all in the impact he had on New York City youth soccer. The many decades Emil dedicated and devoted his time for the game and to improve the quality of the sport here in our state,” commented CJSL President Ron Restrepo.
“Emil was very quiet at times but those who knew him were aware that he loved talking about the game and all of the history around the the CJSL. It is a very sad day for us all at the CJSL but we will always remember Emil for all that he has done for the league and development of the sport,” said Restrepo.
“We have lost an incredible person who gave all for others and most important, lead by example,” added Restrepo.
“Emil will be missed and we will always celebrate his life as there are few folks who devote themselves to the sport the way he did.”Ron Restrepo, CJSL President
In 1976, Emil was elected CJSL Secretary, a volunteer position he amazingly held for over 40 years. He also served as the Director of the CJSL’s Herbert Heilpern Indoor Tournament and volunteered on the Hall of Fame Committee of the Eastern New York Youth Soccer Association (ENYYSA).
CJSL Director Dimitrie Draguca said, “We are all saddened by the passing of Emil who gave so much to our league and to our sport. The amount of time, hours and commitment he gave are unmeasurable. We used to kid Emil in our meetings that we would get him a Mac book, but he just smiled and said ‘Are you kidding me, why do I need that?’ He was happy and content with his typewriter, cause it did the job and did it right.”
Eastern New York Youth Soccer Association: With 100,000 youth soccer players–both boys and girls–and more than 25,000 volunteers, the non-profit Eastern New York Youth Soccer Association (ENYYSA) reaches from Montauk Point, Long Island to the Canadian border.