John Carenza

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John Carenza
Personal information
Date of birth (1950-01-03) January 3, 1950 (age 68)
Place of birth St. Louis, Missouri, United States
Height 6 ft 4 in (1.93 m)
Playing position Center Back / Forward
Youth career
1954–1964 Southwest Kiwanis Club
1968–1972 SIUE
Senior career*
Years Team Apps (Gls)
1973–1976 St. Louis Stars 52 (5)
* Senior club appearances and goals counted for the domestic league only

John Carenza (born January 3, 1950 in St. Louis, Missouri) is a former U.S. soccer player who was a member of the U.S. Olympic soccer team. He also spent five seasons in the North American Soccer League.


Carenza graduated from St. Mary’s High School in St. Louis, Missouri in 1968. He is a member of the school’s Hall of Fame.[1] After high school, he attended Southern Illinois University Edwardsville (SIUE) where he played as a forward on the SIUE Cougars men’s soccer team from 1968 to 1971. SIUE had established its soccer program in 1967, but Carenza carried the team to national prominence.[2] He still holds the career record for goals with 71[3] and is second on the career assists list with 29. Carenza earned second team All-American recognition in 1971.[4] He was also a two time runner-up for the Hermann Trophy. Carenza is a member of Who's Who Among Colleges & Universities and was a charter member of the Sigma Pi Fraternity chapter at SIUE.[5]

1972 Olympic Team[edit]

His collegiate success led to his selection to the U.S. Olympic soccer team as it began the qualification process for the 1972 Summer Olympics. He quickly made an impact on the team when he scored the U.S. goal in a 1-1 tie with El Salvador on July 18, 1971. He scored again in a 3-1 dismantling of Barbados in August. On January 23, 1972, he scored another significant goal when the U.S. tied Mexico in Mexico. He scored twice more, the last goal coming in the last qualification game, a 2-1 victory over Jamaica which clinched the first U.S. appearance at the Olympics in 1956. The actual games themselves were an anti-climax as the U.S. went 0-2-1. Despite Carenza’s success with the Olympic team, he was never selected for the full national team.


In 1973, the St. Louis Stars of the North American Soccer League (NASL) selected Carenza in the first round of the College Draft. While he had made his reputation as a high scoring forward, the Stars also used him in defense. He spent four seasons with the Stars, playing in 52 games and scoring 5 goals.[6]


His father, Joe Carenza, Sr., is a member of the National Soccer Hall of Fame.


  1. ^ St. Mary's High School - System - Error 404 Archived 2007-09-27 at the Wayback Machine.
  2. ^ SIUE Men's Soccer Single-Season Leaders
  3. ^ SIUE Men's Soccer Career Goals/Assists Leaders
  4. ^ 1971 NSCAA All American list
  5. ^ "No. 1 Olympic Scorer" (PDF). The Emerald of Sigma Pi. Vol. 60 no. 1. Spring 1973. p. 3.
  6. ^ Carenza's NASL stats