Member of the United States National or Olympic Team
Kutis Soccer Team Represented the United States in 1958 World Cup Qualifier
SAINT LOUIS KUTIS = U.S. NATIONAL TEAM
The city of Saint Louis started making their mark on the Open Cup back in 1920, when the Ben Millers – sponsored by a local hat company of the same name – picked up that year’s title. Since then, the Gateway City has produced seven winners including three-time toppers Stix Baer & Fuller and twice-champions Saint Louis Kutis, who were so good in their 1957 title run that then-US Soccer Federation decision-makers simply had them change their shirts and represent the USA in 1958 World Cup qualifying.
Taken from United States Soccer Federation website
Ruben Mendoza Inducted into St. Louis Soccer Hall of Fame 1984
When Ruben Mendoza passed away in 2010, two gentlemen tried to figure what could be done to honor the person who brought soccer to Granite City and was affectionately nicknamed “The Father of Granite City Soccer”. The two men, Bobby Galvan and Domingo Valencia, took it upon themselves, to form a committee, and to have a statue designed and produced that would replicate Ruben’s famous bicycle kick.
Granite City was Ruben’s home and place of business and he brought Soccer to Granite City. Convincing the High School that soccer could be another sport that the kids could play.
On June 1st, 2019, not only was the statue unveiled, but a portion of Niedringhaus Ave. was renamed Ruben Mendoza Memorial Way.
Attended by friends, family, and those who Ruben had mentored, gathered for the unveiling of the street name, but also the 7ft. 6in. statue of Ruben in his Kutis uniform performing his famous bicycle kick.
Speeches were made by fellow coach, 1997 Hall of Famer Gene Baker, player 2017 Hall of Famer Keith Gehling, and granddaughter Isa Scaturro.
Some of the photos were taken by Committee photographer Terry Pierce