Niko is second from left in the front row of this Kosmos FC team photo.
By Randy Vogt, Director of Public Relations, Eastern New York Youth Soccer Association
July 28, 2014-You might remember the story about Niko Touros, who was seen by scout Ricardo Enriquez while playing for Alianza de Futbol Hispano last summer at Flushing Meadows Park. His stellar play led to a successful tryout with the Under-20’s of powerhouse Mexican side Leon last winter.
Unfortunately, Niko needs surgery to repair his ACL so he could not return to Mexico this summer. Brightening his day is the Cosmopolitan Junior Soccer League (CJSL) Scholarship he received as it’s worth $4,000 or $1,000 for every year of school. Any high school senior who played in the CJSL at least five years is eligible and the award is based on academic and athletic achievement. But college is up in the air as Niko has not yet completely decided which university he will be attending but he has a nice diversion while he makes his final decision.
“My older brother Peter was one of four winners from around the world for Gatorade’s Unreal Around the World Competition where he will be traveling to England, Italy, Spain, Argentina and Brazil. He'll be training with the coaching staff and possibly the players from Arsenal, Liverpool, AC Milan, Barcelona, Boca Juniors and the Brazilian Football Confederation inside each team’s stadium including a scrimmage inside the Maracana Stadium, where the 2014 World Cup final was played,” Niko explained. “He was fortunate enough to be allowed one guest and that will be me!”
So Niko postponed surgery until he returns to the United States.
“My plans for the fall include a lot of physical therapy and recuperation and trying my hardest to be ready for the spring,” Niko said. “Wherever I’ll be attending school, I'll be focusing on my studies and I hope to recover from surgery 100% and transfer to a Division 1 soccer program.”
Niko has played for Kosmos FC since he was a little boy. He was born in 1996, the same year that Kosmos FC was founded.
The Bellerose resident credits his parents, Andreas and Joanne Touros, and the competition he faced in the CJSL for making him the player he is today. While playing both midfielder and forward, Niko’s Kosmos FC teams won the CJSL championship four times and the City Cup twice.
Niko also played for the Olympic Development Program of the Eastern New York Youth Soccer Association (ENYYSA) and served as the captain for Francis Lewis High School in Queens.
He is no stranger to competition at the highest level as he has participated in Nike 2.0 The Chance Competition, placing as a top 50 player nationally and he represented New York at Nike headquarters in Oregon. Niko also played with the New York Stars (Italian-American Soccer League) team in February 2013 that participated in the prestigious Viareggio Coppa Carnavale tournament in Viareggio, Italy, where he played against youth teams from Napoli, Lecce and Hungary’s Honved Budapest.
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.