Peter “Pete” Renzulli

A goalkeeper who played for a string of American Soccer League clubs in the 1920s and won three U.S. Open Cup titles.

Renzulli, who ranked on a par with Jimmy Douglas as the top American goalkeepers of their era, began playing at the semipro level in 1911 and gradually rose through the ranks to become a star of the professional ASL when it began operations in 1921. Perhaps Renzulli’s greatest feat was the run of success that he had in national cup competitions in the early 1920s.

In 1920, he Robins Dry Dock team from Brooklyn won the American Football Association Cup, no longer the national championship but still an important competition, with a 1-0 victory over the great Bethlehem Steel team in the final. In 1921, Robins completed a significant double, winning the AFA Cup again and taking the U.S. Open Cup with a 4-2 win over Scullin Steel of St. Louis. By 1922, Robins had been renamed Todd Shipyards, and was one of the teams of the new ASL. That team won the AFA Cup but lost to Scullin Steel in the U.S. Open Cup final. In 1923, Renzulli was with Paterson Silk Sox, the second of the five ASL teams he played for. He faced Scullin Steel in the U.S. Open Cup final for the third consecutive year, and won the title for the second time. He won a third U.S. Open Cup in 1928, when New York Nationals beat Chicago Bricklayers.

None of Renzulli’s teams ever won the ASL championship, and he never was selected for the U.S. national team, but he had a great deal of success in games for ASL clubs against touring foreign teams. Perhaps the most noteworthy of these was a 1-0 victory over Scottish Cup champion Kilmarnock in 1930 by a combined New York Nationals-Brooklyn Wanderers team.

Inducted in 1951.

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