Great players: Josip Ognjanac

Josip Ognjanac was born on January 24, 1942 in Zemun, Serbia, Yugoslavia. Josip started his soccer career with the Red Star Belgrade youth team. He made one appearance for the first team in an exhibition game in March 1961.

The forward played for Radnički Niš and Jedinstvo Zemun before fleeing the communist country in 1968. He then played in Malmö, Sweden. After a short time in New York City he came to Toronto in 1969. He joined the Serbian White Eagles and helped that club to a mid-table finish in the 1969 National Soccer League season.

On January 2, 1970 Josip signed for Rochester Lancers. The Lancers had just joined the North American Soccer League. The 6-2 and 190-pound forward had three assists in nine league games in the NASL before being released mid-way through the season.

Josip rejoined the Serbian White Eagles and the club had its best season so far by ending the 1970 National Soccer League season in third place.

In March 1971 he signed for Montreal Olympique fo the North American Soccer League. After four league games he was released by the Olympics and returned to the Serbian White Eagles. The White Eagles finished in ninth-place in the 14-team league in the 1971 National Soccer League season.

In the winter of 1971-72 he played for New York Greeks in the German-American League in New York. The club played in the American Soccer League during the 1972 season. Josip scored 11 goals for New York Greeks in the 1972 ASL season.

He then moved to Plano, Texas, where he was youth soccer coach for the Sparta Soccer Club in the 1970’s.

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