Head Coach Matt Beard Welcomes Amanda to Liverpool
By Randy Vogt, Director of Public Relations, Eastern New York Youth Soccer Association
February 11, 2013-While women who grew up playing in the Olympic Development Program (ODP) across the United States are preparing for the inaugural season of the National Women’s Soccer League, another ODP player, Amanda DaCosta, has crossed the Atlantic to play for the Liverpool Ladies in the Women’s Super League in England. The season kicks off in March and the women’s side will not be playing their home games at historic Anfield but at Halton Stadium, with a capacity of more than 13,000 and an artificial surface. The stadium is located between Liverpool and Manchester in the northwest of England. Their first game in 2013 is a March 23 encounter at home against archrival Everton and the Merseyside Derby will be broadcast by ESPN.
"I am thrilled to be playing for a club with such a unique culture and history. Being surrounded by the standard of excellence here at Liverpool is an amazing opportunity for any footballer, and I am eager to start the season with my new teammates," Amanda commented when her signing was announced on January 30. She added, "Being raised by European parents, I was always infatuated with not only the game itself, but the culture surrounding it as well. Liverpool Football Club is one of the oldest clubs in history, and the chance to be in a country where the game is loved so much is a really amazing opportunity that I would have been crazy to pass up."
"Amanda is a great signing for us. She has represented the USA National Team at Under-17, Under-20 and Under-23 levels, played professionally in the USA for Magic Jack and Boston Breakers," Liverpool Ladies head coach Matt Beard commented, "Amanda is an energetic attacking central midfielder. She has great feet and will be a great asset to Liverpool Ladies."
In the Eastern New York Youth Soccer Association (ENYYSA), she played ODP from 2000 to 2005, using it as a springboard to playing Region 1 ODP during that same time and representing the United States internationally. In club soccer, Amanda started playing for the Somers Strikers, then later competed for the Monroe United Magic, both affilated with the East Hudson Youth Soccer League. Now 23 years old, she decided as a young girl that she wanted to play professionally after watching Mia Hamm on the US Women’s National Team.
"I started off playing for a local club team when I was very young. The practice field was just down the road from my house in Somers and we were called the Somers Strikers. My Dad was my coach from a young age, and when it was time to move on, I sought out other, more competitive, options," Amanda said. "I ended up switching clubs when I was maybe 14 and made the drive to Monroe where I played with the Monroe Magic. It wasn’t nearly as convenient for my parents and I, about an hour drive to training, but it was well worth it."
Amanda played varsity soccer for five years at Somers High School, earning All-Section and All-League honors four times, while receiving league MVP accolades twice during her junior and senior years. The honor roll student also received the Con Edison Award, North County News Player of the Year and Journal News Player of the Year accolades, all as a senior as well as being named to the Parade All-American team. She led the Tuskers to the league championship four times.
It was then on to enrolling at Florida State University financed through an athletic scholarship. She continued on the honor roll and was a four-year starter in Tallahassee, receiving four All-Atlantic Coast Conference honors, the most in Seminoles’ history. Her favorite memory on the soccer field was scoring the game-winning goal as a freshman against Notre Dame to lead FSU to the national championship game.
Amanda spent her summers playing with Soccer Plus Connecticut of the Women’s Premier Soccer League in 2008, the Hudson Valley Quickstrike Lady Blues of the W-League in 2009, Magic Jack in 2011 and the Boston Breakers of WPSL Elite last year.
When not playing in Liverpool this year, Amanda can be found blogging about her experiences at www.EqualizerSoccer.com and www.TribalFootball.com plus on Twitter @ADacosta13.
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. 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.