It’s a known fact among only select soccer circles, but Philadelphia has a rich – and deep – soccer history on the world stage. During the month that is the FIFA World Cup, philadelphiaunion.com in conjunction with Philly Soccer Page will highlight one player from either the Greater Philadelphia region or that has ties to the Union that has been a part of the world’s greatest sporting event.
We’ve already kicked off with a pair of local connections in Robert Millar, Bert Patenaude, Jimmy Gallagher and James Gentle and others that were instrumental in the United States' appearances in past FIFA World Cups.
Peter Pietras had a short professional soccer career.
But it sure was memorable.
Pietras was a member of the Philadelphia German Americans of the American Soccer League. He began his career in 1933, won the league championship in 1935, the National Challenge Cup title in 1936 and retired two years later in 1938.
Oh, and Pietras was part of the 1934 U.S. World Cup team. He earned two caps with the U.S. team, which defeated Mexico, 4-2, in a qualifier before falling to Italy in the first round of the World Cup.
According to the Philly Soccer Page, the squad of 19 players included six players from Pennsylvania teams. Five came from the Philadelphia German Americans, including Pietras, William Fiedler, Albert Harker, Herman Rapp and the captain of the team, Francis “Hun” Ryan, who had also played on the 1928 Olympic team.
Only Pietras and Ryan would go on to appear in the 1934 World Cup.
Contact Union writer Andy Jasner at firstname.lastname@example.org