Photo of the refs for the 2019 Lamar Hunt US Open Cup final. From left to right: Fifth official Brian Dunn, fourth official Ramy Touchan, ref Allen Chapman, assistant referees Nick Uranga and Bryan Poeschel
By Randy Vogt, Director of Public Relations, Eastern New York Youth Soccer Association
September 4, 2019-It’s been a whirlwind past few weeks for Brian Dunn as he was selected to officiate the MLS All-Star Game in Orlando as assistant referee, assigned as fifth official for the Lamar Hunt US Open Cup final in Atlanta and now has been tabbed as the September Personality of the Month in the Eastern New York Youth Soccer Association (ENYYSA).
The 44-year-old grew up playing in the Long Island Junior Soccer League (LIJSL) for the Glen Cove Soccer Club (from Under-10 to Under-14) and for the Elmont Soccer Club (Under-16). As 16-year-old teenager, he started playing against men in the Long Island Soccer Football League (LISFL) for Polonez and Forest Park. Brian played in midfield and also as a defender and goalkeeper. He also was in midfield and on defense for Hofstra University from 1992 to ’96.
He became a ref two decades ago and was quickly found to have a natural ability and through that and his hard work to reach National Referee status, he has been working MLS games as an assistant referee since 2011. He has officiated over 130 MLS games so far. The New Hyde Park resident describes his best moments on a soccer field as being part of big events that he was assigned to. That list includes the 2013 NASL Soccer Bowl, the 2016 USL Cup Final, the 2015 and 2019 MLS All-Star Games plus the 2019 Lamar Hunt US Open Cup Final.
His trophy case is full as awards that Brian has received include Nassau County High School Referee of the Year in 2005, ’06 and ’07, New York Metro Intercollegiate Soccer Officials Association (NYMISOA) New Official of the Year in 2008 and Official of the Year in 2011 plus the Eastern New York Referee of the Year in 2011, being selected from the thousands of refs in the state association. He also received the 2017 NISOA Regional Referee of the Year.
Brian watches his two kids play in youth soccer games as 14-year-old Hunter is on the New Hyde Park Firecats and 15-year-old Brianna plays for the New Hyde Park Lady Thundercats. And when his busy schedule allows, he gives back to the game by refereeing LIJSL and State Cup games, which is where he started refereeing two decades ago.
“I am very grateful to the refs from Eastern New York and the LIJSL who have developed my ability over the years and I never want to forget where I came from,“ said Brian. “It’s also very nice to ref youth soccer games where it’s only about having fun.“
And all this youth, high school, college and pro soccer is in addition to being a Math AIS (Academic Intervention Services) teacher in the Baldwin Union Free School District for over 20 years.
With approximately 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 nine 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.