[OBITUARY] Soccer fans knew him from his work on the World Cup and "Star Soccer" on PBS, yet Mario Machado was also a pioneer.
Machado, who died last Saturday in West Hills, Calif., at age 78, was a longtime American Youth Soccer Organization supporter and was inducted into the AYSO Hall of Fame in 1999, was the editor of “Soccer Corner” magazine, and briefly served as commissioner of the American Soccer League.
His television work in Southern California and background as a soccer player steered him into a prominent role as a soccer broadcaster. Born in Shanghai to Chinese and Portuguese parents in 1935, he brought a passion for the game with him when he began working as a television reporter in Los Angeles in the late 1960s. He broke barriers as the first consumer reporter hired by a local station and the first English-speaking Chinese on-air reporter.
In the early years of American professional soccer he worked games for CBS, and for six years hosted the PBS program “Star Soccer,” produced by KCET-Los Angeles, which consisted of action from a single English league game trimmed to fit into a one-hour broadcast window. Along with another show carried on PBS, “Soccer Made in Germany,” the program gave American audiences regular access to one of the world’s top soccer leagues.
Machado also appeared in many TV programs and films, playing a news reporter or occasionally, appearing as himself. His movie credits include “Brian's Song,” “Oh, God!” “Airport '79,” “Scarface,” “St. Elmo's Fire,” and the “Robocop” films.
Machado had developed Parkinson’s disease in recent years and died at a convalescent facility in West Hills. Machado’s wife, the former Marie Christine D’Almada Remedios, is deceased. He is survived by four children: Brian, Michelle, Dennis and Andrea.