March 28, 2015
By Charles Cuttone
Manfredi, longtime soccer supporter dies at 77
Corrado “Joe” Manfredi, a long time supporter of soccer in the New York area at the professional, amateur and youth levels, died on Friday in Florida, where he maintained a winter residence. He was 77.
|Joe Manfredi with Pele at Downing Stadium during Pele's first season with the Cosmos.
Born in Mola di Bari Italy, he immigrated to the United States and learned the car industry, working as an auto mechanic and service manager before launching his first dealership. His Safe Toyota located in Brooklyn was one of the first sponsors of the Cosmos in the 1970s, a relationship he maintained throughout the club’s existence.
Manfredi, who appeared in the documentary about the club, “Once in a Life time,” often travelled with the team. Many of the club’s executives drove cars provided by his dealership. In the club’s waning days in the North American Soccer League, Manfredi was part of a group that tried to buy the fabled club, but the deal fell through and the team eventually folded.
A long time supporter of the Brooklyn Italians, he was involved with the club when it won the U.S. Open Cup Championship in 1979 and 1991, and competed for the CONCACAF Cup Winners Cup and CONCACAF Champions Cup. Manfredi served as President of the club from 1974-1981 and again from 1985-87.
Later, Manfredi was a part owner of the Staten Island Vipers who played in the A-League in 1998 and 1999.
Starting with the one auto dealership in Brooklyn, Manfredi expanded his car interests to Staten Island, where the Manfredi Auto Group currently owns 11 dealerships.
According to the Staten Island Advance, a wake will be held at Torregrassa Funeral Home, 1305 79th Street in Brooklyn on Monday and Tuesday (2pm-5pm and 7pm to 9pm). The funeral will be at St. Dominic RC Church, 2001 Bay Ridge Parkway in Brooklyn followed by burial at Resurrection Cemetery, 361 Sharrot Ave., Pleasant Plains.