By Randy Vogt, Director of Public Relations, Eastern New York Youth Soccer Association
May 22, 2013-While Bayern Munich and Borussia Dortmund play in the UEFA Champions League final this Saturday, other top teams across Europe are busy qualifying for the upcoming UEFA Champions League season. In the Danish Superliga, FC Nordsjælland finished a clear second place to Copenhagen to clinch their Champions League return.
The Superliga season finished this past Monday with FC Nordsjælland midfielder Conor O'Brien netting the 1-0 winner over Esbjerg. In the 33rd minute, Conor collected a poor clearance from opposing keeper Lukas Hradecky and promptly buried his first Wild Tigers goal from distance.
The attacking midfielder from Mount Sinai, Long Island started playing professionally in Denmark with Blokhus FC of the Second Division in 2010. In 2011, he signed with First Division Sonderjyske, playing with them for two years before signing with FC Nordsjælland at the start of 2013.
Conor won an Eastern New York Youth Soccer Association (ENYYSA) State Cup as a Boys Under-10 player with the Terryville Fire in 1999. He was the only Fire player remaining the next time the Long Island Junior Soccer League team (LIJSL) won the State Cup –– as an Under-18 side in 2007. Further glory awaited as Conor scored two goals to help win the Region 1 championship and assisted on Matt Piccoli’s goal in the Fire’s 1-0 victory over Arsenal from Southern California to capture the US Youth Soccer national championship that year.
Conor also was named MVP of the 2004 Tampa Bay Sun Bowl. He helped lead St. Anthony’s High School to the New York State high school championship in 2005 and was a fixture for the Eastern New York Olympic Development Program as well.
At Bucknell University, he was the recipient of the Bison Club Award, presented to the senior athletes who best exemplify the winning spirit of the university’s athletics program. O'Brien was a semifinalist for the Hermann Trophy, earned National Soccer Coaches Association of America (NSCAA) second team All-American honors –– becoming the first Bucknell soccer All-American in 33 years to do so –– and was named the Philly Soccer News men’s college player of the year in 2009.
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.