By Michael Lewis

FrontRowSoccer.com Editor

Tributes from former teammates, friends and fans poured in for former Cosmos, U.S. men’s national team forward and indoor soccer standout Hernan “Chico” Borja, who passed away Thursday.

He was 61.

Here is a smattering of praise for the soccer great who made hundreds of friends throughout the world with his skill and personality:

Former U.S. international Tab Ramos, currently coach of the Houston Dynamo:

Such sad news….For those of us growing up with the NASL and the NY Cosmos he was one to look up to…. One of the first latino players to pave the way to the @usmnt … Great player, great person…. A legend gone…. RIP

Former USMNT goalkeeper Tony Meola:

This is terrible news. Chico was my roommate for my first NT camp in 1988. I was in awe having watched him with the Cosmos. He was so willing to teach and listen. Thanked him years later. RIP Chico

Former USMNT teammate Bruce Murray:

Incredibly sad to hear the news of USMNT player Chico Borja’s passing. I played a few games with him and what a player he was! Always positive and never saw him without a smile on his face. RIP

Keith Tozer, U.S. futsal national team coach and former player:

Sorry I am in a state of shock and sadness! While coaching the Los Angeles Lazers in the MISL Jim Buss and I brought him from the Wichita wings to LA. Absolutely wonderful man, great husband, great father, great player and it’s hard to believe and comprehend.

Former Long Island University men’s coach Arnie Ramirez:

My condolences to Chico Borja’s family. The last time I saw him was two years ago when he came to visit me in Hollywood, Florida. However, we spoke regularly talking about Real Madrid, Cristiano Ronaldo an Keylor Navas. I am going to miss you Chico.

Former Long Island University great Walter Bustamante:

RIP dear friend 🙏🙏. … One of the pioneers of American football. Peruvians remember him for that match Peru vs Cosmos, 1981. Rest in peace my friend.

Wichita Wings:

We’re gutted today after the passing of #wingslegend Chico Borja. The Wichita Wings send our thoughts & prayers to both family and fans. #wichitawings #chicoborja https://pic.twitter.com/9KHL8SfMiO

Houston TV and radio broadcaster Glenn Davis:

So sad to hear this as Chico was a bar setter for American players performing with the star-laden  @NYCosmos. New Jersey kids and beyond were inspired. Chico is also a part of Houston soccer history as 1st ever coach of indoor Hotshots.

TV personality Fernando Fiore:

Chico Borja (RIP)

Wichita Wings fan Ryan Rooney:

He was the first professional athlete I knew was famous and wanted to emulate. The Wings were the longest continuous running professional soccer team in the United States for so long and we rarely missed a game.

Here is a related story:

GOODBYE, CHICO: Former Cosmos, USMNT player Borja dies at 61