May 20th was Shep Messing Day at Wheatley! The following statement was read when introducing Shep to the boys and girls soccer teams.
Shep Messing was born in the Bronx but grew up in Long Island. Shep graduated from Wheatley in 1967 — a time of tremendous change in our country. Shep’s interest in soccer began at Wheatley, and he proved to be a natural at this sport.
After Wheatley, Shep graduated from Harvard University (where he played soccer) — but not before he played for the United States in the 1972 Olympic Games.
38 years ago today, Shep made his professional soccer debut with the New York Cosmos in an exhibition match against the Irish team, Finn Harps. After nine games with the Cosmos, Shep was traded to the Boston Minutemen, where he made his most significant mark. He went on to become one of the most successful goalkeepers in the NASL.
In 1977, Shep returned to the Cosmos, starting alongside Pelé, Carlos Alberto, Beckenbauer and Giorgio Chinaglia in a season that included a victory in the notable Soccer Bowl ’77.
Since leaving soccer, Shep has written a book and worked the broadcast boothe at the 1986, 2002 and 2006 World Cups. He is a member of the NY Sports Hall of Fame, a Member of National Jewish Hall of Fame, and a Member of Nassau County Hall of Fame.
Shep’s two children graduated from Wheatley, and we are thrilled to have Shep back with us today.