Gary refereeing in Times Square
By Randy Vogt, Director of Public Relations, Eastern New York Youth Soccer Association
December 30, 2014-Eastern New York’s Young Referee of the Year for 2014 had his most memorable officiating moment on a makeshift field in Times Square a very short corner kick from the ball drop that will ring in 2015.
Congratulations to Gary Efraimov, the Young Referee of the Year in the Eastern New York Youth Soccer Association (ENYYSA) and Eastern New York State Adult Soccer Association.
“In the summer of 2012, I volunteered as a referee for Street Soccer USA, whose mission is to end homelessness through playing soccer. So the final day of the three-day tournament was played in Times Square on a small makeshift court,” Gary stated. “I met great people who came up to me to shake my hand for my service. It really made me feel good and I was able to referee in a worldwide landmark and help people by doing what I love.”
The 19-year-old Brooklyn resident grew up playing soccer and serving as team captain for Dynamo, a team with Ukrainian-American kids who played in the Metrokids Soccer League. After suffering a torn ACL four years ago, Gary stayed in the game by taking up refereeing and discovered he had a natural ability.
Gary’s officiating experience includes games in the Cosmopolitan Soccer League, Cosmopolitan Junior Soccer League and Long Island Junior Soccer League.
“Gary believes it is important to get to know the players,” commented New York Referee Association assignor Theresa Catalioti. “Before the game, he likes to talk to the players to gain their trust and respect. The same sportsmanship is exhibited when a foul is committed as the players trust that Gary has made the right decision when an infraction occurs.”
Gary volunteers as a boys soccer coach at Madison High School, his alma mater, when he is not concentrating on his studies at Brooklyn College or refereeing.
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.