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Illinois Youth Soccer Legend Julius Roth Dies

A look at the lasting impact of the Czechoslovakia native on local soccer

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US Youth soccer organizer and founder Julius Roth passed away April 28, leaving behind a legacy of development in women’s and youth soccer programs across the Midwest.

Roth originally began to help expand youth soccer throughout the United States when he organized the US Youth Soccer State Associations throughout the Midwest, and pushed the U.S. Soccer Federation to allow women’s teams the opportunity to play regularly scheduled games.

He attended the first US Youth Soccer meeting in 1972, at a time when the association had only 80,000 registered youth players—that number had jumped to over 3 million in 2014, according to US Youth Soccer’s website.

Roth was also a member of the Illinois Soccer Association, and in 1974 he became the chairman of the board of directors of US Youth Soccer’s Region II. He served in the role until 1976.

Roth was also active in the founding of the Illinois Women’s Soccer League in the 1980’s. The IWSL now has just under 800 teams, according to an Illinois Youth Soccer release.

In 1990 Roth was inducted into the Illinois State Soccer Hall of Fame (located at Toyota Park), and served as the Illinois State Soccer Association’s historian from 1997 to 2001. Since then, he has served as Chairman of their Hall of Fame Committee.

In 2006, Roth was inducted into the United States Adult Soccer Association’s Hall of Fame, and in 2008, he was inducted into the US Youth Soccer Hall of Fame.

On behalf of everyone here at Hot Time in Old Town, we would like to offer our condolences to the family and friends of Julius Roth.