By Randy Vogt, Director of Public Relations, Eastern New York Youth Soccer Association
January 16, 2014-In 2012, the Boys-Under-13 Olympic Development Program (ODP) team of the Eastern New York Youth Soccer Association (ENYYSA) became the first American team to make the semifinals of the prestigious Trofeo Costa Gaia in Sicily. Facing some of the best youth teams that Italy has to offer, our Boys-Under-13 ODP squad repeated the same feat this year and received their 15 minutes of fame, in Sicily no less, when two Italian newspapers wrote articles about our team.
On their tour in early January, the New Yorkers had a 6-1-1 record, scoring 12 goals and conceding just three. They lost in the semifinals to Trapani, 1-0, on a direct kick with a minute left to play.
“It was a heartbreaking loss as we could not put away any of the four great opportunities we had as we dominated most of the game and they had one good chance to score and did at the end,” said ODP Technical Director Jose Luis Rebay.
Our team turned heads, so much so that Juventus is interested in four of our players. One of the tournament organizers works as a scout for the famous Serie A club and passed along these boys’ names: forwards Benjamin Kogan (Clifton Park) and Triston Sandy (Mount Vernon), midfielder Filip Mirkovic (Manhattan) plus central defender Tyrone Malango (Tuckahoe). The New Yorkers also celebrated the 13th birthday of Evan Farr (Saratoga Springs) on January 3 with a birthday cake decorated as an American flag.
“It was a nice trip and our boys played very well,” commented Coach Rebay. “We stayed in two hotels in small cities in Sicily right by the water so that was very nice as well.”
Italian soccer fans will be happy to know that the Boys-Under-13 team is not our only ODP squad going to Italy in 2014. Our Boys-Under-14 and Girls-Under-14 ODP teams will play in the 33rd Annual City of Agropoli Tournament in April and our Boys-Under-15 ODP team will play in the Lazio Cup in May.
With 123,843 youth soccer players––68,587 boys and 55,256 girls––and more than 25,000 volunteers, the non-profit Eastern New York Youth Soccer Association (ENYYSA) stretches from Montauk Point, Long Island to the Canadian border. Members are affiliated with 11 leagues throughout the association, which covers the entire state of New York east of Route 81. ENYYSA exists to promote and enhance the game of soccer for children and teenagers between the ages of 5 and 19 years old, and to encourage the healthy development of youth players, coaches, referees and administrators. All levels of soccer are offered––from intramural, travel team and premier players as well as Special Children. No child who wants to play soccer is turned away. ENYYSA is a proud member of the United States Soccer Federation and United States Youth Soccer Association. For more information, please log on to http://www.enysoccer.com/, which receives nearly 300,000 hits annually from the growing soccer community.