By Randy Vogt, Director of Public Relations, Eastern New York Youth Soccer Association
June 30, 2015-Flushing native Michelle Betos became the first goalkeeper to score in the National Women’s Soccer League (NWSL) when she headed in the tying goal of the Portland Thorns’ 1-1 tie with defending champion FC Kansas City on June 19 at Providence Park in Portland. Down 1-0 in second half stoppage time, Michelle ran into the opposing penalty area and scored on a 7-yard header off a corner kick:
In youth soccer, Michelle played for the Olympic Development Program (ODP) of the Eastern New York Youth Soccer Association (ENYYSA) and Region 1 ODP Team, both for three years. Assisting on her historic goal was Allie Long, who played Eastern New York ODP for five years and Region 1 ODP for four years.
Outside of ODP, Michelle was the goalkeeper for Albertson Fury ‘87 of the Long Island Junior Soccer League (LIJSL) while Allie played for the LIJSL’s Northport/Cow Harbor Mustangs, Oceanside Express and Albertson Express. Both played for the Long Island Fury and New York Fury of the Women’s Premier Soccer League (WPSL), coached by Paul Riley, their current coach with the Portland Thorns.
It’s obviously very rare for a goalkeeper to score a goal during open play but Eastern New York apparently has cornered the market on this. After all, the first keeper to score in Major League Soccer (MLS) history, Danny Cepero, also grew up playing in Eastern New York and in the LIJSL. During his dream professional debut on October 18, 2008, Danny scored on an 80-yard free kick:
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.