Few men in New Jersey soccer history had as much of an impact in the sport in such a short time as Isauro Mendez.
At the time of his death in 1997 Isauro had created a legacy as a tireless worker determined to spread the popularity of the world’s greatest game throughout the Garden State.
Born in Acevedo del Rio, Orense in Spain, Isauro emigrated to the U.S. in 1967 at the age of 12.
Since his early years Isauro was involved in sports, but was especially committed to soccer. He always believed that soccer kept him focused and away from drugs and trouble during his adolescent years.
Soccer not only kept Isauro busy, but taught him discipline and teamwork, and most of all provided him with lasting friendships.
Hi conviction that soccer was a positive influence in his own life motivated Isauro to dedicate a large part of his time to the sport, not only as a player, but also as a trainer and director of various soccer organizations.
His passion and enthusiasm for soccer allowed him to spend countless hours coordinating games, security fields and referees, organizing tournaments, coordinating award ceremonies, completing piles of paperwork and resolving numerous problems.
It all made Isauro Mendez a true leader in the New Jersey soccer community.
He took person pride in his work and always put forth over 100 percent effort. Isauro was a caring friend, a wonderful brother, a loving husband and an all-around extraordinary man. He is surely missed today by the NJSA and soccer people around the state.
As a team captain and central defender for Sport Club Portugues in Newark, Isauro developed an outstanding reputation as a player. He became a player and trainer for Club Espana, was Games Chairman for the LUSO International Soccer Association and director of the N.J. Soccer Association’s Under-23 program.
At the time of his death, Isauro had built the NJSA’s U-23 program into one of the elite summer programs in the nation. He was also vice president of social activities for Centro Orensano of Newark, and manager of the Centro Orensano Junior soccer team.