From left to right: Eastern New York State Adult Soccer Association First Vice President Albino Guimaraes, Eastern New York Youth Soccer Association First Vice President Ken Gulmi, 2015 Hall of Fame inductee Fred Valenti and Eastern New York Youth Soccer Association President Richard Christiano.
By Randy Vogt, Director of Public Relations, Eastern New York Youth Soccer Association
December 9, 2015-The Eastern New York Youth Soccer Association (ENYYSA) and Eastern New York State Adult Soccer Association are pleased to announce that Fred Valenti has been inducted into the Eastern New York Soccer Hall of Fame. The induction ceremony took place at our 2015 Holiday Party on December 6 at Marina del Rey in the Bronx.
After immigrating to New York from Sicily in the late sixties as a teenager, Fred served in the army during Vietnam and returned home to marry his high school sweetheart, Karen. With the birth of his sons, Fred began a soccer career that led him to become an extraordinary presence as a coach, administrator, committee member and referee.
When his oldest son, Vincent, was five, Fred began his coaching career in 1981 as an intramural coach in the Mahopac Sports Association (MSA) Soccer Club. Seeing a need for trained referees, he also became a certified ref shortly thereafter. Then he became a travel team coach for his son Michael with the Mahopac Hurricanes of the East Hudson Youth Soccer League (EHYSL) and then, after his sons graduated from high school, continued on coaching the Mahopac Knights for a total of 20 years. His teams continued to improve and they reached four Final Four rounds of the State Open Cup as Under-16s and Under-19s and produced numerous Olympic Development Program players. Fred eventually served as an ODP goalkeeper coach for Eastern New York ODP North Boys for three years as well.
Fred volunteered as a member of the Executive Board of Mahopac Soccer Club for over 15 years, primarily as a Head Referee and Assistant Travel Director. He organized travel team tryouts, helped train new coaches and served on numerous committees. In particular, he mentored and trained literally dozens of youth referees, donating untold hours to the success of the club. The Mahopac resident was inducted into the EHYSL Hall of Fame in 2003 and has also served for many years since then on the EHYSL Hall of Fame Committee and has been a member of EHYSL’s Supervisory Committee for the past 10 years. When the EHYSL initiated a “Scout” program to attend assigned matches and mentor both the coaches and referees involved, he was one of six individuals chosen to kick-start the program out of 2,000 coaches and 250 referees! He has also been a member of the Eastern New York Supervisory Committee for the past six years.
Fred is also well-known for his work as a referee. Since 1982, Fred has risen from new referee to USSF State Emeritus, Grade 15. He has officiated thousands of youth and adult matches and, as a member of National Intercollegiate Soccer Officials Association (NISOA), has also become one of the leading high school and college officials in New York. Indeed, he achieved the remarkable distinction of becoming a National NISOA referee (usually limited to young up-and-coming refs) past his 50th birthday––one of only three NISOA National Referees in the New York City metro area at that time.
Congrats to Fred Valenti, Eastern New York Hall of Famer.
With over 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 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.