Gene Olaff

The leading American goalkeeper of the 1940s, and captain of the Brooklyn Hispano team that won the American Soccer League-U.S. Open Cup double in 1943.

Olaff, who played for amateur teams in New Jersey and Brooklyn as a teenager, turned pro with Hispano in 1941. In 1943, when Hispano won the double, he was serving in the U.S. Navy in Washington and playing soccer on weekends. Hispano won the double again in 1944. In the final at the Polo Grounds in New York, Olaff got a shutout as Hispano won by 4-0 over Morgan-Strasser of Pittsburgh, the same team they had beaten in the previous year’s final.

Olaff continued playing for Hispano until 1953, and they  had another good season in 1946, finishing a narrow second to Baltimore Americans in the ASL standings and winning the Lewis Cup.

Olaff played several times for the ASL against touring foreign teams, and made one appearance with the U.S. national team, against Scotland in New York in 1949. His national-team career was limited by the fact that the United States didn’t play a single full international between 1937 and 1947.

Inducted in 1971.