Alexandre Ely Sr.

September 30th, 2021
  1. Alexandre Ely Sr., of the Olney section of Philadelphia, born in Sao Paulo, Brazil, passed away September 28th, 2021 at the age of 83. Son of the late Edward and Elsie Ely. Loving father of Janet Maria Mesquita (Clepe), Alex Ely (Karen), Edward James Ely (Margie), Andrea Ely-Harter (Chris). Devoted grandfather of Joe Mesquita (Lauren), David Mesquita (Daniella), Alexa Ely (Jason), Amber Ely, Alyson Ely, Emilie Ely, Kaitlyn Ely, Theresa Harter, Kristen Harter and Christopher Harter. Great-grandfather of Carter Ely A. Mesquita and Jace Maxwell. Brother of Irene Ely as well as the late Janet Myrna Ely and Edward “Dinho” Ely. Alex played soccer extensively in the U.S., Canada and Brazil winning multiple league and cup titles. Most notably, he signed with the Ukrainian Nationals in 1959. The team won four League Championships and three National Challenge Cup titles. In addition to the Nationals, he played with V.E., New York Americans, Toronto Roma with whom he won a league championship, Philadelphia Spartans, Delaware Wings and professionally with Santos in Brazil. He continued to play in the International United German Hungarian Old Timers tournaments. Internationally, he played for the U.S. Olympic Team in 1961 and 1965.  He served as an assistant coach at the University of Maryland until he graduated in 1964. His extended coaching portfolio included the Ukrainian Nationals, Philadelphia Spartans, Monsignor Bonner High School, Spring Garden College, Archbishop Carroll High School, Pele Soccer Camp, United German Hungarian and Swarthmore College. He also founded the America Kolping Soccer Club in 1975 and served as the head coach for twenty years.  Alex’s most decorated accomplishments were earning a bronze medal for the U.S. National team as starter halfback (#6) in the 1959 Pan American Games and Alex was also inducted into the United States National Soccer Hall of Fame in 1997.  Academically, he taught English in Brazil early on authoring two English textbooks. Later teaching roles included Foreign Language (Spanish) at Cardinal Dougherty High School and Archbishop Prendergast/Bonner High School. He also authored novels including A Destiny at Dawn and From Hell to the Hall of Fame. Family and friends are invited to gather, remember and celebrate Alex’s life on Tuesday October 5th at McCafferty Funeral & Cremation Inc. 6711 Frankford Ave. Phila., PA 19135 (between Unruh & Knorr Sts.) You may visit and comfort Alex’s family during the viewing from 9:30AM-11:00AM. There will be a prayer service at 11:00AM in the funeral home. Burial to follow in Hillside Cemetery. In lieu of flowers please make donations in Alex’s memory to Philadelphia Ukrainian Nationals. Proceeds will be dedicated to providing youth scholarships to play soccer at the club Alex helped bring to National prominence. Checks can be mailed to Ukrainian Nationals SC c/o Michele Burns (1605 Brent Road Oreland, PA 19075)