From left to right: Lindi, Lirim and Luan
By Randy Vogt, Director of Public Relations, Eastern New York Youth Soccer Association
August 18, 2015-The Staten Island United Gunners, one of the best teams in the Eastern New York Youth Soccer Association (ENYYSA), captured a double as they won both the ENY Premier League championship game and ENY Champions Cup on the weekend of June 20 and 21. But they are also associated with a triple since triplets–Lindi, Lirim and Luan Gjonbolaj––play for the Cosmopolitan Junior Soccer League (CJSL) Boys-Under-15 team. Lindi plays in midfield, Lirim is a forward and Luan plays defense and they have been playing for Staten Island for the past two years.
“The triplets are great fun and they bring a whole lot of energy to the team and are very positive kids,” commented Staten Island coach George MacDonald. “I sometimes think they swap jersey numbers just to mess with the coaches as it is still difficult to differentiate them.”
Their teammates are able to tell the Manor Heights triplets apart since they are with them more often, such as school in addition to soccer, but the Staten Island coaches sometimes have issues figuring out who is who.
Coach MacDonald added, “Each have their own individual qualities but all are feisty. Lindi is very aggressive and pacy, Lirim is a great finisher and Luan is a great passer.”
Staten Island hopes to add to their growing trophy case this summer as they will be playing in tournaments in New Jersey and Delaware and expect to be playing in the prestigious Dallas Cup again next spring.
The uncle of the triplets' father is Sadri Gjonbolaj and he also grew up in the CJSL, playing for SC Gjoa. Sadri earned five caps for the U.S. National Team in the 1980s and '90s, scoring the only goal of the game in a 1991 win over Jamaica.
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.