By Randy Vogt, Director of Public Relations, Eastern New York Youth Soccer Association
July 23, 2013-Skyscrapers, comic books and many other items all started in New York. Many staples of American soccer originated in New York as well. The United States Soccer Federation was founded in Manhattan a century ago at the Astor House Hotel on April 5, 1913. The hotel closed the next month but soccer in the United States started to grow.
The Southern New York State Soccer Association was founded that same year. Although kids were playing soccer back then, they did it under the auspices of the seniors.
When youth soccer started to grow exponentially, George Donnelly and Enzo Magnozzi founded the Southern New York Youth Soccer Association in 1972 and Tony Perez became the first President.
As new leagues were created, both the senior and youth association started admitting clubs from Albany and north of the state capital so "Southern New York" was no longer appropriate. In 1982, our organizations changed names to "Eastern New York."
We continue to thrive while charting new directions that resonate with local, state and national opportunities, as well as challenges. Special children’s soccer, sportsmanship programs, soccer conventions and showcases that college coaches scout all originated in the Eastern New York Youth Soccer Association (ENYYSA) and were spread by youth soccer programs across the United States.
We are very proud of both our soccer legacy and phenomenal growth as millions of kids have played soccer in Eastern New York. Although some have gone on to play professional soccer plus in the World Cup and Olympics, all have learned the value of teamwork, perseverance, sportsmanship and getting along with others through the life lessons they have learned on our soccer fields. They have also received the physical benefits of participating in a wonderful cardiovascular activity.
"They could not have done it without the tens of thousands who have volunteered for the Eastern New York Youth Soccer Association," commented the organization’s President, Richard Christiano. "Here’s to the many volunteers who line fields and put up nets, organize car pools, slice oranges, balance check books and phone referees. For all that you do for Eastern New York, I thank you!"
As we look to our future, the Eastern New York Youth Soccer Association is proud to announce that we will be participating in the Soccer As the Beautiful Game international conference being held at Hofstra University on Long Island from April 10 to 12, 2014.
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 12 leagues throughout the association, which covers the entire state of New York east of Route 81. Eastern New York 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. Eastern New York 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.