On Saturday November 30th the St. Louis soccer community came out to celebrate Coach Pete Sorber’s 90th birthday and the impact he’s had on the community. It was an overflow crowd at the Trainwreck Saloon in Westport Plaza as multiple generations attended to offer their congratulations, reconnect with teammates and foes and reminisce about an important era of the game here in the Gateway City. Pete Sorber’s 90th Birthday Celebration
PHOTO GALLERY Pete Sorber’s 90th Birthday celebration. If you’d like to share your photos from the celebration, contact Ole@SoccerSTL.net
Coach Sorber is a member of the St. Louis Soccer Hall of Fame and was joined by his son Mike in 2017 in being recognized by the organization. He is also a member of the NJCAA Region XVI Hall of Fame. Here is Pete’s listing:
When Harry Keough left Florissant Valley to take over the men’s soccer program at St. Louis University in 1967, he recommended Pete Sorber for the job. In short time, the Florissant Valley Norsemen became a national power under the tutelage of Coach Sorber. A very laidback, caring individual Sorber did a fantastic job identifying talent and guiding young men on and off the playing field.
In thirty years at Florissant Valley, Coach Sorber’s teams compiled a 415-85-22 record. The creation of a dynasty was an understatement when came to the most dominant program in NJCAA men’s soccer history, the Norsemen won 10 NJCAA National Championships, won eighteen Region 16 titles, finished runners-up twice in the national tournament and Sorber was named NJCAA National Coach of the Year five times. Over the stretch run of Sorber’s coaching career, the Norseman had 72 NJCAA All-Americans, many of whom went on to four year college programs and played professionally in the NASL, MISL or NPSL.
An earlier report on Coach Sorber comes from 2014 when the pitch at Flo Valley was named in his honor. He’s pictured with long-time assistant Matt McVey in my photo of the two at their regular spot above the pitch still enjoying the games.
Check out this video on of the greatest coaches ever! I was lucky enough to play for Pete Sorber for 2 years.
10 National Championships!
To many players to count who went on to play professionally.
Numerous USMNT players played at Flo. @MLS4theLou https://t.co/4Ae4cZsvu5
— Steve Pecher (@4Pech) November 7, 2019
As regular readers are likely aware, while I love the game and the region’s impact locally and on larger stages, I quite frankly shy away from ‘fan boy’ activities. Pete and Mike Sorber fall in a different category for me however. Read my About page if you want the long version. The short version – I moved to St. Louis from Honolulu in August 1974 and enrolled at Flo Valley in their engineering program. As a HS camera geek I ended up shooting Flo Valley and North County high school soccer in 1974 and 1975 for the school’s paper and the Suburban Journals who hired me as a freelancer. That was the spark that is now this website. Feel free to ask me more the next time you see me, I love telling the story.
PS – as a Chicago resident for 15 years before returning to St. Louis in 2011, I was also a regular at the Chicago Fire games from their inception in 1998 until 2002. Cheering for Mike Sorber (and Bob Bradley) then as well as during the 1994 World Cup meant I always got to brag on the St. Louis lad to my soccer buddies there.