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Joe Machnik: No.1 Soccer Camps Driving Force

If you have ever wondered about the roots of No. 1 Soccer Camps, you need to start with Dr. Joe Machnik. Few people in American soccer history have had such a diverse and distinguished career. Even fewer have impacted the American soccer scene in such an indelible way. From his humble beginnings in Brooklyn, to becoming a World Cup and Professional coach, Dr. Joe has helped transform the American soccer landscape in a profound and meaningful way.

Joe Machnik’s No.1 Soccer Camps, the first national camp of its kind when it debuted in 1977, was initially designed for the instruction and training of goalkeepers. Here Machnik developed a methodology and pedagogical style for the training of goalkeepers which is universally recognized and used today. His technical and tactical training sessions for goalkeepers are considered to be standard. He has authored two books and three videotapes that continue to perpetuate the Machnik Method.

No.1 Soccer Camps graduates include the likes of MLS stars, Jon Busch, Kevin Hartman, Nick Rimando, Matt Reis and Joe Cannon, as well as Hercules Gomez, a member of the US National Team. Hercules Gomez, is the first player to have won both the MLS Cup and Mexico’s Primera División championships. In addition, staff coaches Dave Dir and Greg Andrulis became Head Coaches of the Dallas Burn and Columbus Crew of Major League Soccer. No.1 Soccer Camps boast a camper/staff alumni list reading like a Who’s Who in American Soccer.

Joe Machnik began his soccer playing career at New York’s Brooklyn Technical High School and continued at the Brooklyn Campus of Long Island University where he was an All-American Goalkeeper in 1962, playing for Gary Rosenthal’s Blackbirds. Machnik later served as Graduate Assistant Coach at LIU (1964-1965) and was named Head Coach for the 1966 season. At age 23 Machnik’s coaching debut into the NCAA Championship Final is believed to be an achievement, which has yet to be matched. While coaching his Alma Mater LIU from 1966-1968, Machnik’s teams appeared in the 1966 NCAA Championship Game (losing to San Francisco 5-2) and 1967 Semi-finals.

In 1969, Machnik moved to the University of New Haven and began a 30-year affiliation with UNH serving as men’s soccer and ice hockey coach, Director of Athletics, and later as Women’s Soccer Coach, while also serving as Assistant Professor in the School of Business, Department of Sport Management. Machnik received a Ph.D. from the University of Utah in 1973.

Machnik played junior and senior soccer for the New York Ukrainians where he was a member of the 1965 US Open Cup Championship Team. Machnik was a regular member of US Soccer Coaching School’s Staff and annual presenter at NSCAA Conventions. In the Major Indoor Soccer League (MISL,) Machnik was appointed Referee-in-Chief, a position he served for five (5) years and officiated hundreds of indoor games until he was named Commissioner of the American Indoor Soccer Association (AISA), which later became the NPSL and forerunner of today’s MISL.

Joe Machnik served as Assistant Coach to John Kowalski for the first ever Futsal World Championship, a team made up of future outdoor World Cup Stars, such as US Soccer Technical Director Tab Ramos and Peter Vermes, currently the Head Coach of MLS Cup Champions Sporting Kansas City. This team took 3rd place and a FIFA Bronze Medal. Machnik later served as Assistant Coach to Bob Gansler during the qualifying phase of World Cup ’90 and as Goalkeeper Coach for the 1990 World Cup team in Italy. Although coaching continued to be Machnik’s prime involvement, he also continued to referee and achieved National Referee status in both US Soccer and NISOA officiating the NCAA National Championship Game of 1988 (Indiana vs. Howard). Dr. Joe currently serves as a FIFA match commissioner.

Dr. Machnik was hired by Major League Soccer (MLS) in 1996 as Vice President of Game Operations and served as Assistant to the Deputy Commissioner for On-Field Competition for MLS and Director of Officiating Services for Soccer United Marketing (SUM), its parent company. This January, Machnik was appointed Director of Officials for NPSL.

Machnik has been named to the Long Island University and University of New Haven’s Athletic Halls of Fame and to the Connecticut and New England Soccer Halls of Fame, as well as, to the National Soccer Hall of Fame in Oneonta through NISOA. He has also been named to the list of “Distinguished Alumni” by Long Island University.

In addition to his continuous involvement in the growth and operation of No.1 Soccer Camps, Machnik runs Global Soccer Partnerships, works as the Northeast Conference Coodinator for Womens soccer officials. Dr. Joe is a featured analysis on the Fox Soccer Channel.

Joe Machnik resides in South Carolina with wife Barbara, their two daughters, Colette and Janine and their families. Dr. Joe enjoys fishing, auto racing (although he is no longer an active driver), playing with his grandchildren, Olivia and Ryder, and figuring out the complexities of his sport, which has been called the world’s most simple game.

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