Hall of Fame U.S. MNT Defender Willy Schaller Passes Away at Age 81

CHICAGO (Jan.7, 2012) – Willy Schaller, a former defender with the U.S. Men’s National Team, passed away on Saturday, Jan. 3, in his current home state of Colorado. He was 81.

Schaller earned one cap for the U.S. MNT at the age of 19 in 1952 when he was a member of the Olympic team that competed in Finland. He also was with the U.S. team that won the bronze medal at the 1959 Pan American Games in Chicago. Schaller was inducted to the National Soccer Hall of Fame in 1995.

While born in Germany, Schaller and his family moved to the United States when he was very young. He joined the U.S. Army in 1953, serving for two years.

Professionally, Schaller played in the German-American Soccer League for most of his career, recording stints in both Schwaben when he was still in high school, and later on with Blau-Weiss Gottschee after his time in the armed forces. He appeared in many GASL selections against touring foreign teams.

Following his professional career, Schaller spent many years as a youth and high school soccer coach.