By Randy Vogt, Director of Public Relations, Eastern New York Youth Soccer Association
September 17, 2020-There is absolutely no limit to the potential of players in the Eastern New York Youth Soccer Association (ENYYSA), including the hundreds who make up our TOPSoccer Special Children’s Program.
Huntington Boys Club (HBC) TOPSoccer player Craig Ludin has won so many medals in the Special Olympics that he was inducted into the National Jewish Sports Hall of Fame in 2007 and his plaque is there in the hall in Commack alongside other notables such as Sandy Koufax, Hank Greenberg, Mark Spitz and Howard Cosell.
Craig’s teammate, John Cronin, founded John’s Crazy Socks in 2016 with his father Mark and with John as Chief Happiness Officer, the company has sold over one million pairs of socks, has had over $10 million in revenue since its launch and the Cronins won the EY Entrepreneur of the Year Award for New York State last year.
There are TOPSoccer clubs spread throughout Eastern New York but the majority are in the Long Island Junior Soccer League (LIJSL) with its 28 TOPSoccer clubs listed below.
TOPSoccer, the Outreach Program for Soccer, is a community-based program to give children and young adults with physical and/or intellectual disabilities the chance to step on the field. But there are other groups besides TOPSoccer serving kids and adults outside the mainstream.
Blind Soccer has 125 registered players nationally with approximately 40 under the age of 20. A team in Brooklyn was recently founded by Giorgi Papov. Blind Soccer’s plan is to host 4-6 regional and national tournaments every year.
Deaf Soccer started playing international soccer in 1965 and the U.S. Women’s Deaf National Team has perhaps as successful a record as the U.S. Women’s National Team. The former were recent World Cup champs in 2012 (Ankara, Turkey) and 2016 (Salerno, Italy). 100 deaf players are regstered nationally with 40 of those being youth players.
Amputee Soccer is led by Commack resident Dr. Eric Lamberg, who coaches the U.S. Men’s National Amputee Team as well as his own kids in the LIJSL. As many of the players are Wounded Warriors or accident survivors, there are very few amputee youth players.
200 kids are registered nationally with CP Soccer, for kids with Cerebral Palsy. They have an New York City team that serves kids within the five boroughs, and CP Soccer also has their founding team in Clifton, New Jersey with kids on it traveling from as far as Long Island and Connecticut to play.
In Power Soccer, players use power wheelchairs to kick an oversized soccer ball down the court. 440 players are registered nationally on 67 teams and 154 of these athletes are youth players. CNY United in New York is currently ranked third in the nation and they are always looking for new players to learn the sport.
Do you know of a child or adult who fit into one of these categories and is interested in playing soccer? Please contact ENYYSA Public Relations Director Randy Vogt at email@example.com and he would put you in touch with a local coach, administrator or the national organization to get started.
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.