Tony Todaro may have developed his love for soccer in his native Italy, but since coming to the U.S. in the early 1960’s he has certainly done his part to promote the world’s most popular game.
Born in Torre del Greco, Italy in 1948, Tony moved to the United States in 1964, settling in Brooklyn.
Drafted into the U.S. Army in 1967 he served with the 5th Special Forces in Vietnam and was honorably discharged as a sergeant in 1969. Later than a year Tony embarked on a new career as a member of the New York Police Department.
Tony married his wife Ermelinda in 1969 and their first son John Anthony was born in 1971. In 1977 their second son, Christopher was born. Tony retired as a NYPD detective in 1989 and two years later opened Todaro’s Pizza in his new hometown of Hazlet, NJ.
In 2000 he expanded his business and opened a second pizza shop with son Christopher in Clemson, S.C. where Chris had attended college.
Tony’s soccer career is quite extensive too. Soon after arriving in Brooklyn, he joined the Ridgewood Italians as a goalkeeper, playing from 1965 through ’67 when the team also became known as Intergiuliana. He played goalkeeper for Monte San Giacomo from 1969-70.
In 1971 Tony became a New York State referee and officiated in the professiona; American Soccer League and American Indoor League as well as non-professional leagues in New York and New Jersey. Tony was also becoming a top international official, working many of the international matches in the tri-state area.
He became Referee Administrator for the New Jersey Soccer Referee Association in 1980, serving until 1984. He also coached youth teams in his hometown of Hazlet for several years.
Tony served as president of the N.J. State Referee Association from 1984-86 and in 1995 won the Gunars Tobiens Award presented by the N.J. Soccer Referee Association.
He was made a lifetime member of the N.J. State Referee Association in 1996.