Ruben Mendoza Memorial

Dear Friend,

Ruben Mendoza’s family, friends and former players have come together to create a memorial to honor his legacy. We ask you to support our campaign to erect a statue; as a lasting reminder for his relentless dedication and commitment of promoting the sport of soccer to the entire Metro Area.

Ruben’s collective impact on the sport of soccer, the lives of his players, and the St. Louis Metro Area are without parallel. As a player, coach, mentor, and tireless advocate for the sport, his efforts sparked a local sporting dynasty spanning fifty years.

From humble beginnings playing soccer on the streets of Mexico, to competing on an international platform, Ruben was a prolific player. In the 1950’s he became well respected around the globe, representing the United States in three Olympic Games and two World Cup competitions. Valued for his all-around skills, Ruben became renowned for his ‘Mendoza Kick,’ known today as the bicycle.

When injury ended his days on the field, Ruben returned home to bring his passion for soccer home to his friends and family. Despite being told the sport would never go over in the tiny steel town of Granite City, Ruben persevered. He started with a group of kids from the Lincoln Place Neighborhood and steadily built a program that was known nationwide. Ruben banded with the Granite City YMCA to form the town’s first official league in 1962. By 1990 the high school had won ten state championships, and the tournament was affectionately dubbed ‘The Granite City Invitational.’ The impact spread throughout the Metro Area and transcended several generations of players. 

You are one of the countless men and women impacted by Ruben’s contributions. Whether he was your coach, the guy who trained your coach or someone who sold you soccer shoes and great stories, he shared his time and talent with you. Please help us in our efforts to immortalize a legacy in his hometown for future generations to understand his impact. Thanks to the generous partnership of the Granite City Area Charitable Foundation, your donations are tax deductible. Thank you for your time and consideration.


For questions please contact Domingo Valencia at [email protected]

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