EPISODE #24: Soccer “Renaissance Man” Dr. Joe Machnik

Fox Sports soccer rules analyst and newly minted National Soccer Hall of Fame inductee Dr. Joe Machnik (So You Want to Be a Goalkeeper; So Now You Are a Goalkeeper) has done just about everything across the American soccer landscape in his 60+ year career.  As a player, coach, referee, administrator, match commissioner, and soccer camp (No.1 Soccer Camps) pioneer, “Dr. Joe” has had a direct hand in helping achieving some of the sport’s major milestones in the US at virtually every level – amateur, collegiate, professional, and international.  Entwined within that legacy were memorable stops in oft-forgotten places like the original Major Indoor Soccer League, the scrappy American Indoor Soccer Association, and the chaotic early days of Major League Soccer – all of which host Tim Hanlon obsessively grills Machnik on in this episode, including his:

·         Instrumental role in crafting and codifying the professional indoor soccer rulebook for the MISL;

·         Championing of the MISL’s novel move to hire full-time professional referees;

·         Indisputable memory of the 1981 MISL All-Star Game at New York’s Madison Square Garden, and its role in helping birth Arena Football;

·         Coaching travails with the once-mighty New York Arrows, depleted by major player trades and an ownership change;

·         Frequent bus rides in the decidedly minor league AISA; and

·         Fortuitous friendship with an AISA arena owner in Rockford, IL that led to a pivotal role in stabilizing the launch of Major League Soccer.

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