Ruben Mendoza, a product of the Atlante youth system in Mexico and a member of the United States National Team in the 1950's, died on Sunday. Mendoza played in four games for the senior National Team, scoring two goals. He scored on his debut against Haiti in a 3-0 win in Port-au-Prince on April 4th, 1954.
In an era where the National Team only scheduled a few games, he appeared in all three World Cup Qualifiers for the 1958 World Cup. His second goal came in his final appearance for the US, a 3-2 loss to Canada on July 6th, 1957 in St Louis. Mendoza was also part of the 1952 and '56 Olympic teams.
At club level, he played the bulk of his career with St Louis club Kutis. They were the 1957 US Open Cup champions, an honor that carried with it a unique prize. It was Kutis, a team with most of the big names in St Louis soccer, appearing as the United States National Team in the '58 World Cup Qualifiers.
From the ages of 8 to 16, Mendoza lived in Mexico where he was a member of Atlante's championship youth club. He returned to St. Louis in 1947, one of the strongest soccer cities in the United States.
The United States National Soccer Team Players Association would like to offer our sympathy to the family, friends, and the generations of players Mendoza coached in the Granite City, IL area.