By Randy Vogt, Director of Public Relations, Eastern New York Youth Soccer Association
April 5, 2021-The New York soccer community is mourning the loss of the legendary Emil Cohill on March 30 at the age of 82. The Woodside resident dedicated his life to soccer, particularly to the players of the Cosmopolitan Junior Soccer League (CJSL).
Emil emigrated to the United States from Croatia in 1952. He attended St. Mary’s Grammar School in Tacoma, Washington, where he was a CYO All-Star before moving to New York in 1955 and studying at Power Memorial Academy. He attended Fordham University where he was the team’s MVP in 1962, before playing for Dalmatinac Soccer Club in the Cosmopolitan Soccer League (CSL) from 1963 to 1980.
He served as a referee for four decades, riding his bicycle to the Metropolitan Oval on weekends to ref games.
"Emil was a beloved member of our association and administered our annual election process," New York Soccer Referee Association (NYSRA) President Kambiz Riazi stated. "He almost never missed a meeting and was always one of our favorite members. Emil was always calm and supportive and we will miss his great personality and ever-present smile. New York soccer has lost one of its pioneering souls and we have lost a great friend."
As Emil favored the traditional black referee shirt, refs in New York City the weekend after his passing wore the black jersey in honor of him.
CJSL Director Dimitrie Draguca said, “We are all saddened by the passing of Emil, who gave so much to our league and to our sport. The amount of time, hours and commitment he gave are unmeasurable. We used to kid Emil in our meetings that we would get him a Mac book, but he just smiled and said, ‘Are you kidding me, why do I need that?’ He was happy and content with his typewriter, cause it did the job and did it right.”