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Willie McLean (American soccer)

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Willie McLean (American soccer)

Wee Willie McLean
Personal information
Full name William McLean
Date of birth (1904-01-27)January 27, 1904
Place of birth Clydebank, Scotland
Height 5 ft 4 in (1.63 m)
Playing position Winger
Senior career*
Years Team Apps (Gls)
Pullman F.C.
Chicago Canadians
-1932 Bricklayers and Masons
1932-1934 Stix, Baer and Fuller F.C.
1934-1935 St. Louis Central Breweries F.C.
1935-1936 St. Louis Shamrocks
National team
1934 United States 2 (0)
* Senior club appearances and goals counted for the domestic league only. † Appearances (Goals).

William “Wee Willie” McLean (born January 27, 1904, date of death unknown) was a Scottish-born American soccer player. A dominant player through the 1930s and a member of the U.S. national team at the 1934 FIFA World Cup, McLean disappeared without a trace in 1938.


Born in Scotland, McLean immigrated to the United States when he was nineteen. He settled in Chicago where he joined Pullman F.C. which had dominated the Chicago Leagues and Peel Cup. At some point, he moved to the Canadians and finally to Bricklayers and Masons F.C.. In 1928, the Bricklayers lost the National Challenge Cup to the New York Nationals. McLean and the Bricklayers lost a second Challenge Cup in 1931 when Fall River Marksmen took them two games to one in the championship series.[1]

St. Louis

In 1932, McLean moved to St. Louis where he signed with Stix, Baer and Fuller F.C. of the St. Louis Soccer League. The team went to the 1932 Challenge Cup final, but lost to the New Bedford Whalers. In 1933 and 1934, McLean would finally achieve success in the Challenge Cup when Stix, Baer and Fuller won two consecutive Challenge Cup titles, to go with two St. Louis Soccer League titles. Following their 1934 Challenge Cup victory, the team came under the sponsorship of Central Breweries. St. Louis Central Breweries F.C. continued the success they had experienced under the old name by winning a third Challenge Cup and league title in 1935, giving McLean three “doubles” in three years. The team went through another name change in 1935, this time to St. Louis Shamrocks. In 1936, McLean collapsed during a league game. In 1937, after spending nine months in a sanitarium, he moved back to Chicago.

National team

In 1930, McLean attended two of the three trial games used to select the roster for the 1930 FIFA World Cup team. He was not selected. In 1934, McLean made the U.S. national team for the 1934 FIFA World Cup. McLean gained his first cap when the U.S. defeated Mexico, 4-2, in a World Cup qualifier. The U.S. then lost to Italy in the first round of the World Cup.[2] While recovering from his 1936 collapse, McLean was called up to the national team for a three game series with Mexico in 1937, but did not play.

Mysterious disappearance

After returning to Chicago in 1937, McLean seemed to have kept a low profile. In the summer of 1938, he disappeared, never to be seen again. His family continued to receive infrequent Mother’s day cards from various towns along the Mississippi River for several years after his disappearance. Finally, in November 1944 Aetna Life Insurance placed an advertisement in the Midwest Soccer News asking for information regarding his whereabouts.[3] Despite these efforts, he was never seen again.


  1. ^ "USA - List of US Open Cup Finals". Rec.Sport.Soccer Statistics Foundation. 2008-04-11. Retrieved 2008-05-30. 
  2. ^ "USA - Details of International Matches 1885-1969". Rec.Sport.Soccer Statistics Foundation. 2003-06-29. Retrieved 2008-05-30. 
  3. ^ "Jimmy Roe". Retrieved 2008-05-30. 

External links

  • What happened to Willy?
  • Time Magazine recap of Stix, Baer and Fuller’s Open Cup victory over the New York Americans
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