By Randy Vogt, Director of Public Relations, Eastern New York Youth Soccer Association
February 4, 2013-In the Major League Soccer Draft last month, four players from the Eastern New York Youth Soccer Association (ENYYSA) were drafted. The Philadelphia Union drafted Don Anding, Jake Keegan and Leonardo Fernandes while the Eastern Conference champ Houston Dynamo drafted Jimmy Nealis. Those four are in Pre-Season Training with their teams as the MLS season kicks off on Saturday, March 2.
Over in the National Women’s Soccer League Draft, the Western New York Flash drafted Vicki DiMartino while Sky Blue FC selected Becky Kaplan. The inaugural NWSL season kicks off in April.
Meanwhile, other players from ENYYSA not drafted are also trying out to make MLS and NWSL teams in 2013.
"The Eastern New York Youth Soccer Association is delighted that pro soccer rosters continue to have many of our graduates," commented ENYYSA President Richard Christiano. "We hope that these players will return to New York to visit us often and take the life lessons they learned in youth soccer such as teamwork, discipline, sportsmanship, helping others and never giving up wherever they might go."
Of the six drafted and others walking on, chances are that some are going to make it in pro soccer and have lengthy professional careers while others will not. Either way, they all now have a college education to rely on as well.
Perhaps a few will become like one-time New York Giant baseball player Archie "Moonlight" Graham, immortalized in the 1989 movie classic, "Field of Dreams." He eventually became the much beloved pediatrician of Chisholm, Minnesota, 90 miles from the Canadian border. Graham finally did get his chance at bat in the movie and drove in a run by slapping a sacrifice fly to right field. But earlier in the film, when Ray Kinsella (played by Kevin Costner) commented that the pro baseball career of Graham (Burt Lancaster) lasted only five minutes and would be considered a tragedy by some, Doc Graham replied, "Son, if I’d only got to be a doctor for five minutes, now that would have been a tragedy."
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.