A star with the Philadelphia Ukrainian Nationals when that team was the best in American soccer in the early 1960s, and a U.S. national-team regular in that same period.
Ely, a midfielder, played for the Ukrainian Nationals from 1959 to 1965, a period during which the team won a string of major honors. The Uke Nats won the American Soccer League championship in 1961, 1962, 1963 and 1964, and the U.S. Open Cup in 1960, 1961 and 1963, thus becoming the only team since the Fall River Marksman of the 1920s to win the double twice. The first of those victories may have been the most dramatic. In 1960, the Ukrainian Nationals scored a 5-3, double-overtime victory in the cup final against the Los Anglees Kickers.
The year before, Ely had been a member of the United States team that scored a surprising bronze-medal finish at the Pan-American Games in Chicago. Ely also played for the United States in the qualifying rounds of the 1962 and 1966 World Cups.
After playing for several years in his native Brazil, Ely returned to the American Soccer League in the early 1970s for a four-year stint as player-coach with the Philadelphia Spartans.
Inducted in 1997.