Five local soccer stars were recently inducted into the Long Island Soccer Player Hall of Fame. Among them, Levittown’s Ritchie Kotschau was inducted after a 10-year Major League Soccer career.
Kotschau played for the Plainview-based Long Island Junior Soccer League’s Levittown Soccer Club, then competed for the Hicksville Hawks, winning the Triple Crown (State Cup, Chase Cup, LIJSL division title) with the Hawks. Ritchie also played for LIJSL Select and Eastern New York ODP.
After leading George Mason University to their first-ever NCAA tournament appearance, Kotschau was selected second overall in the 1998 MLS Draft by the expansion-team, the Chicago Fire.
Ritchie and fellow LIJSL alumnus Chris Armas—teaming up for the first time—would help lead the Fire to the MLS championship and US Open Cup title in that magical ‘98 season.
Ritchie had a 10-year MLS career and also played for the Tampa Bay Mutiny, Colorado Rapids, Columbus Crew and Real Salt Lake. He competed for the United States National Team at the Under-18, Under-20 and Under-23 levels and had one cap for the US Men’s National Team.
“Steady, consistent, didn’t stray and everybody liked him,” said Coach John Fitzgerald with the Hicksville Hawks. “He’s one of the most humble players I ever knew.”
— Herald Staff