By Randy Vogt, Director of Public Relations, Eastern New York Youth Soccer Association
June 16, 2014-Perhaps Kosmos Greek-American 1994 of the Cosmopolitan Junior Soccer League (CJSL) had some help from above in winning Eastern New York Youth Soccer Association’s (ENYYSA) Boys-Under-19 State Open Cup championship. After regulation against Manhattan Ajax of the Westchester Youth Soccer League (WYSL) was scoreless, the final played at the Peter Collins Soccer Park in Plainview on June 7 became really good in overtime and the epic final will be remembered for a long time to come.
Kosmos looked to have the game won when Lawrence Nikaj scored a goal in each overtime period. But Manhattan had other ideas and scored two goals in the last two minutes of the second overtime to tie the score, 2-2. The first Ajax goal got by Kosmos keeper Alex Taliotis, who injured himself on the play, and he was replaced by substitute keeper Martin Cedillo, who became the unlikely hero as he saved three of four penalty kicks to give Kosmos a 3-1 shootout win.
“The game could have gone either way. We had a lack of concentration allowing those two goals at the end of the second overtime,” said Kosmos coach Andreas Touros. “I’m really happy for Martin going in goal and saving those three penalty kicks, especially as his mother just died two weeks ago.”
Kosmos’ lime green uniforms will certainly stand out playing in the Regionals from June 26 to July 1 in Kingston, Rhode Island and they received a $2,000 check from Eastern New York to defer the costs of their participation.
Kosmos also received the Howard Rubenstein Sportsmanship Award as selected by the match officials. Now retired, Mr. Rubenstein was seemingly involved in every facet of New York soccer for decades and is a member of the Halls of Fame of Eastern New York, the US Amateur Soccer Association and the Long Island Junior Soccer League.
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.