It is with deep sorrow that I announce to New Jersey’s Soccer Community the passing of Mihajlo “Mike the Barber” Palivoda on Tuesday, October 12, 2016
Mike can trace his soccer career back to the days when he first learned the beauty of the game in his native Yugoslavia. There he eventually went to play at the Third Division pro level, then later moved to France Rodez FK for three seasons. When he arrived in the U.S.A, Mike began playing and coaching for Newark Ukranian Sitch, enjoying 15 fine seasons with the team on the semi-pro and professional level. During that period he helped the team win numerous league championships, State Cup titles, and twice reached the Eastern quarterfinals of the U.S. Amateur Cup.
Mike and the Newark Ukranians played internationl matches against Polish champions (10 times) Ruch Chorzow, Legia Warszawa, England Amateur Cup finalist Skelmersdale United, and German professional side Arminia Bielefeld.
In 1980 Mike co-founded the Garden State Women’s Soccer League and established the Hillside Women’s Soccer team, which won seven league titles and the State Cup seven times, and reached the quarterfinals of the National Cup twice. He hosted two international women’s teams, a German team which he defeated 4-0, and played Dutch team GDA Dames, from Den Haag to a 1-1 draw.
He held the first soccer clinic for women in Hillside, NJ. He worked for over 25 years educating children from 6 to 15 about the world’s greatest game. Mike taught soccer to the children in Newark for 10 years at St. John the Baptist church. Mike also conducted training for recreation coaches who had no experience at playing at top levels as he did.
For 5 years he was the coach of the N.J. Women’s State Select Team. After an auto accident sidelined him for while, Mike returned to the soccer pitch to teach all the lessons he had learned on the field to a new generation of players in the Garden State.
Mike was inducted to the New Jersey State Soccer Association in 2007. He will be sorely missed by his two daughters, two grandchildren, brothers, sisters, nieces, nephews, and many in the soccer community.
Monday, Oct. 17th there will be a short service prior to the viewings at St. John the Baptist Ukranian Catholic Church, 719 Sanford Ave., Newark, NJ. 07106.
Viewings will be Monday, Oct. 17th 2-4 pm and 7-9 pm at Lytwyn and Lytwyn Funeral Home, 1600 Stuyvesant Ave. Union, NJ 07083. Telno. 908.964.4222.
See the Funeral Home website for directions and obituary.