Jim Pollihan Obituary, Death – It came as quite a surprise to learn this week of the demise of Jim Pollihan, a former United States international who was widely regarded as one of the very greatest American players of his era. Both the North American Soccer League and the Major Indoor Soccer League could not get enough of Pollihan’s stellar play. He was 68. Pollihan was a native of St. Louis who achieved great success while attending Quincy University.
He was named to the All-America team in both 1974 and 1975 and led the Owls to four straight NAIA championships, the last three of which they won. Pollihan received All-America honors in both 1974 and 1975. After that, Pollihan went on to have a successful career in the NBA. During the 1976 North American Soccer League Draft, the Rochester Lancers selected Pollihan with the third overall pick.
Over the course of his five years playing in the NASL, he made a total of 131 appearances and scored six goals. After that, he switched his attention to playing indoors and was a consistent member of the rosters of the New York Arrows (1978–1979), the Houston Summit (1979–1980), and the Baltimore Blast (1980-84). On December 22, 1978, Pollihan is credited with scoring the very first goal in the history of the Michigan Interscholastic Soccer League.
In addition, he was a member of the MISL All-Star Game in 1981 and was the league champion in both 1979 and 1984. After playing for the United States National Team for four years and gaining 15 caps during that time, Pollihan went into coaching and was awarded as the NPSL Coach of the Year in 1992. During that period, Pollihan also earned 15 caps for the United States National Team. The loss of Pollihan, who was a frequent contributor to the 1970s Soccer USA page, will be keenly lamented by the community.