Keough the Olympian

[IN MEMORIAM] Harry Keough, who died on Tuesday at age 84, is best known for his part in the USA's 1-0 win over England at the 1950 World Cup. But Keough also represented the USA at two Olympic Games.

The soccer tournament at the 1952 Olympics in Finland was a single-elimination tournament, and the USA, with Keough on the backline, opened against world power Italy and fell, 8-0.

“We were knocked out of the Olympics before we even marched in the opening ceremonies,” Keough told me back in 1992 for an article about the USA’s soccer history at the Games. “But the trip was tremendous.”

The U.S. team stayed in Europe for five weeks, playing exhibition games, before returning with the rest of the U.S. athletes following the closing ceremonies

“I went to track & field events and saw some classic races," Keough said. "I went to as many soccer games as I could and learned many of the things I would use later as a coach.”

As head coach of St. Louis University from 1967 to 1982, Keough led the Billikens to five national titles.

He had also represented the USA at the 1956 Olympics in Australia, where it fell to eventual silver medalist Yugoslavia, 9-1, in the opener of what was again a single-elimination tournament.

Before the Melbourne Games, the USA played games in Japan, the Republic of China (then Formosa), Singapore and the Philippines.

Keough returned from the long trip just in time for the birth of his son Ty, who also went on the play for the U.S. national team.

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