Siegfried “Siggy” Otto Stritzl, age 78, of Gainesville, Ga passed away on Thursday, November 3, 2022. He was born on April 12th, 1944, in Yugoslavia to Franz and Paulina Stritzl. Siggy is the second youngest of nine children. He had a humble upbringing growing up in a displaced persons Austrian camp in the barracks. The family fled on foot from their farm in communist Yugoslavia and traveled for 17 days to reach the camp. The Stritzl family received an opportunity to join their oldest daughter, Maria, in the United States. This journey took 10 days by boat in unfavorable conditions. Regardless of the hardships, Siggy described his experience “as the best decision his family ever made “and felt the U.S.A “is 100% the best country in the world.” Siggy loved his country so much he joined the United States Army. He served in the Vietnam war from October 27th, 1965, to August 4th, 1967. Siggy was a decorated soldier earning the National defense Service expert rifle M14 medal and the Vietnam Campaign Combat Infantryman Sharpshooter badge. After his honorable discharge from the army, he was able to pursue his passion for soccer. Siggy played a pivotal role in developing American Soccer as it is known today. In the 1960s, he played as a standout for the Blau-Weiss Gottschee semi-pro club and won the German-American Soccer league title in 1963. In 1969, he signed with the Baltimore Bays and was the NASL Rookie of the Year. Siggy met his beautiful wife Isabella during this time, and they were married June 13th, 1970. They would eventually have two beautiful daughters, Angelika and Monika, who cheered on their dad through his career. Siggy was then signed with the New York Cosmos in 1971. He was named as the First Team NASL All Star that season. In 1972, he was named Second Team All Star and helped the New York Cosmos win the 1972 NASL title. Siggy was widely credited for naming his “banana kick” where he bent the ball around defensive wall with ease. He concluded his professional soccer career in 1973 but continued to play in leagues into his 50’s. Siggy was a highly skilled tool and die maker, carpenter, and self-employed running his beer nut business. Siggy could fix and build anything. One of his favorite past times was spent at the OTB betting on horses. This is where he received his nickname “Cosmo.” He frequently gathered at the German-Hungarian Club with his friends and family. He enjoyed spending time on his deck watching the birds and keeping up with his many bird houses. However, Siggy’s all-time favorite past time was playing cards with his family every week. His favorite games were Rumi and poker. The most important part of life for Siggy was his family and his grandkids were his pride and joy. He was so proud of his family and loved all the holidays, especially Siggy’s famous yearly Easter egg hunt, and birthday celebrations were a must. He was the epitome of unconditional love. Siggy was a man of honor, faith, and had tremendous love for his family and those around him. Survivors include his wife Isabella; daughters Angelika, Monika and husband Ralph; siblings John, Maria, Sophie, Adolf, and Erika; grandchildren Amanda and husband Gerome, Sabrina, Niccolas, Sierra, Isabelle, and Bianca. Siggy was preceded in death by his parents Frank and Paulina Stritzl; siblings Aloisia, Josef, and Albine. Funeral Services will be held 6:00 pm Friday, November 11, 2022, with the visitation starting at 4:00 pm until service time, at Lawson Funeral Home Chapel. Officiating will be Pastor Brian Hall. Interment cremation. Arrangements by Lawson Funeral Home, 4532 Hwy 53 Hoschton, Ga., 30548. lawsonfuneralhome.org. 706-654-0966.