Photo courtesy of Clemson University
By Randy Vogt, Director of Public Relations, Eastern New York Youth Soccer Association
March 4, 2014-Even though it’s a couple of weeks before St. Patrick’s Day, Irish-Americans are winding up in the strangest places. On January 26, Cathy O’Brien, the Operations Administrator of the Eastern New York Youth Soccer Association (ENYYSA), was honored by the Italian-American Soccer League of New York as their Woman of the Year for her enthusiastic support of Olympic Development Program (ODP) trips to Italy.
In this winter’s Major League Soccer Draft in Philadelphia, Thomas McNamara was selected with the first pick in the second round by the MLS team with Mexican roots, Chivas USA. Chivas is coached by Wilmer Cabrera, the former Colombian National Team player and Long Island Rough Rider who started coaching in Eastern New York after he retired from playing. Wilmer coached the Huntington Boys Club teams of the Long Island Junior Soccer League (LIJSL) and B/W Gottschee of the Cosmopolitan Junior Soccer League (CJSL) before he moved on to become the head coach of the United States Boys-Under-17 National Team, then assistant coach of the Colorado Rapids and now head coach of Chivas.
Tom describes his first practice in Spring Training as a professional player with Chivas as his best moment ever on a soccer field.
The 23-year-old midfielder from West Nyack played as a graduate student at Clemson after competing in just over three seasons at Brown. His exquisite dribbling skill earned him All-Ivy League in 2012 and All-Atlantic Coast Conference in 2013 plus he served as the team captain at Clemson, leading the Tigers to the NCAA tournament.
Tom was the first Clemson soccer player selected to the Capital One Academic First Team since 1987 when Jamey Rootes, currently the President of the NFL’s Houston Texans, was picked.
In Eastern New York, Tom played in our Olympic Development Program (ODP) for three years and won four State Open Cups with FC Westchester of the Westchester Youth Soccer League (WYSL).
He also served as team captain for Don Bosco Prep and was All-New Jersey, All-North Jersey, All-County and All-League in 2008.
Tom joins another Eastern New York ODP player on Chivas USA as Andrew Jean-Baptiste was traded to the Goats this winter after playing for the Portland Timbers during the past two seasons.
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.