Billy Gonsalves

Billy Gonsalves

Football Biography
Football Biography Less

Billy Gonsalves

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Adelino William ("Billy") Gonsalves (sometimes spelt in the Portuguese form, Gonçalves) (August 10, 1908 in Portsmouth, Rhode Island – July 17, 1977 in Kearny, New Jersey) was an American soccer player, sometimes described as the "Babe Ruth of American Soccer". He spent over 25 years playing in various American professional leagues and was a member of the U.S. squad at the FIFA World Cup in 1930 and 1934. He is a member of the National Soccer Hall of Fame.

Youth

Gonsalves was one of seven children born to Augustine and Rose Gonsalves. His parents had immigrated from Portugal two years before his birth. Although born in Portsmouth, Rhode Island, Gonsalves grew up in Fall River, Massachusetts. An excellent athlete, Gonsalves boxed and played both baseball and soccer as a boy. When he was fourteen, Gonsalves began playing for Pioneer, a local amateur team. He then went on to play for Charlton Mill and Liberal. Gonsalves grew in prominence in the local leagues, gaining the nickname “Billy” from his fellow players. In 1926, he signed with Lusitania Recreation Club of East Cambridge, Massachusetts. In 1927, Lusitania won both the Boston city and District League titles.

Professional career

In 1927, Boston Soccer Club of the American Soccer League (ASL) signed Gonsalves. Nineteen years old at...
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