Top are champion Hauppauge Hurricanes. On bottom left, Hauppauge in blue and Uniondale goalkeeper in orange. Next is HBC in white and Uniondale in yellow. Next photo is Hauppauge in blue and Stony Brook in white. On bottom right, Uniondale is in yellow and Hauppauge is in blue.
By Randy Vogt, Director of Public Relations, Eastern New York Youth Soccer Association
November 28, 2017-Three teams from Suffolk County and one from Nassau County came to the Peter Collins Soccer Park in Plainview last Saturday, November 25, looking to earn a trip to Dallas. IberCup USA, to be played from March 28 to April 1, 2018 in Texas, had extended an invitation to the top Boys-Under-14 team from the Long Island Junior Soccer League (LIJSL). Through this partnership agreement, the LIJSL IberCup Champion receives an automatic invitation, and paid acceptance into the prestigious event, with the team’s hotel, meals and ground transportation costs paid for by IberCup USA. The value of the package is estimated to be more than $10,000.
IberCup USA representative Jim Vogt said, “We selected the LIJSL because of the overall competitiveness of the league, especially at the Pre-Academy level.”
So the top four teams from the recently-completed Fall Season in the LIJSL Boys-Under-14 Premier Division qualified for the IberCup Final Four last Saturday.
In one semifinal game, #1 seed Hauppauge Hurricanes shut out #4 Stony Brook Santos on three second half goals––two by Mark Aliscio and one by Luke Augeri. Despite the 3-0 loss, Stony Brook coach Bill Casey went home happy, stating, “This event is great! It’s competitive with a trip to Dallas on the line with teams playing in good games after the season is over.”
In the other semifinal, #3 seed Uniondale Aguila upended #2 Huntington Boys Club AOs, 2-1. Alex Alas and Brian Garcia scored the goals for Uniondale while Kieran Hasselbeck scored for HBC on a penalty kick.
“This is a tremendous event,” commented HBC coach John Veneziano. “It’s an opportunity to play at the end of November with a chance to advance to a great tournament.”
In the title game, Hauppauge topped Uniondale, 2-1, to win the inaugural IberCup Final Four title. Hauppauge is also the defending state champs, having won the State Open Cup in the Eastern New York Youth Soccer Association (ENYYSA) last June.
Hauppauge’s Brandon Palma scored in the third minute when he got to the ball near the goal first but Uniondale’s William Sanchez knotted the score at 1-1 midway through the first half when he scored off a 22-yard free kick that went into the upper corner. Hauppauge had the better of play after the start of the second half, when Aliscio scored the winning goal on a 10-yard rebound.
Steve Padaetz, LIJSL’s Director of Member Services and its Competitions Chair, said after the championship game, “Hauppauge, every time they were challenged, raised the bar throughout the season.”
The two coaches were very complimentary of the IberCup Final Four, saying similar things. Hauppauge coach Gennaro Iamunno said, “This is a great event and a great opportunity for the teams,” while Uniondale coach Abraham Villalobos stated, “It’s perfect for the boys to have the opportunity to qualify for a trip to Dallas.”
With over 100,000 youth soccer players––both boys and 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 Children With Special Needs. 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.