Tino Lettieri

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Tino Lettieri
Personal information
Full name Martino Lettieri
Date of birth (1957-09-27) 27 September 1957 (age 61)
Place of birth Bari, Italy
Height 5 ft 8 in (1.73 m)
Playing position Goalkeeper
Senior career*
Years Team Apps (Gls)
1977–1981 Minnesota Kicks 88 (0)
1980–1981 Minnesota Kicks (indoor) 14 (0)
1982–1983 Vancouver Whitecaps 55 (0)
1984 Vancouver Whitecaps (indoor) 13 (0)
1984 Minnesota Strikers 18 (0)
1984–1987 Minnesota Strikers (indoor) 121 (0)
Hamilton Steelers
National team
1980–1986 Canada 24 (0)
* Senior club appearances and goals counted for the domestic league only

Martino "Tino" Lettieri (born 27 September 1957) is a former NASL and MISL professional soccer goalkeeper, who represented Canada twice at the Summer Olympics: 1976 and 1984 and the 1986 FIFA World Cup.

Playing career[edit]

Raised in Canada, Lettieri began his pro career with the Minnesota Kicks in 1977 and played there until 1981. He went on to play the Vancouver Whitecaps in '82 and '83 and the Minnesota Strikers in '84. He was named NASL North American Player of the Year in 1983[1] and had the league's best Goals Against Average in both '82 and '83.[2][3]

Lettieri was a regular in the original MISL. He continued to play for the Strikers as the team joined the indoor league, playing the 1984-85 season through to 1987-88. Lettieri was voted Goalkeeper of the Year for the 1986-87 season.

Lettieri finished his outdoor career in 1987 with the Hamilton Steelers in Canadian Soccer League. He was elected to the Canadian Soccer Hall of Fame in 2001.

Lettieri is often remembered for his keeping a stuffed parrot in the back of his net during games.[4][5] The bird was named "Ozzie". In 1985 the league banned Ozzie from the nets.

Personal life[edit]

Tino married the daughter of Minnesota North Stars hockey player and general manager Lou Nanne.[citation needed] Lettieri now runs a successful food products business, Tino's Cafe Pizzeria, in Shorewood, Minnesota.[6] His son, Vinni, played hockey for the University of Minnesota and signed with the New York Rangers in 2017.[7][8]

National career[edit]

Lettieri earned 24 caps for Canada and was their first-choice goalie from 1980 until the 1986 FIFA World Cup, where he played two of Canada's three matches.


  1. ^ "NASL Honors Whitecap Goalie". The Palm Beach Post. 22 September 1983. p. D12.
  2. ^ "The Year in American Soccer - 1982". Homepages.sover.net. Retrieved 7 October 2013.
  3. ^ "The Year in American Soccer - 1983". Homepages.sover.net. Retrieved 7 October 2013.
  4. ^ Terry Bigham (17 April 1986). "Sidekicks Stay Alive, Overcome Strikers, 4-1". The Dallas Morning News.
  5. ^ Franz Lidz (3 September 1984). "If Tino Lettieri is the NASL's best goalie, he owes it all". Sports Illustrated. Retrieved 7 October 2013.
  6. ^ "About Me". Tino's Cafe Pizzeria. Retrieved 16 April 2014.
  7. ^ "Vinni Lettieri". Gophersports.com. Retrieved 8 April 2017.
  8. ^ "Lettieri Inks Deal with Rangers". Gophersports.com. Retrieved 8 April 2017.

External links[edit]