By Randy Vogt, Director of Public Relations, Eastern New York Youth Soccer Association
June 11, 2015-A State Open Cup final with the past two national champions is as rare an event as a solar eclipse. But on May 31 in LaGrange, the planets aligned and Manhattan Paris Saint-Germain, 2014 national champions, played Smithtown Arsenal, 2013 national champs, in the Boys-Under-18 State Open Cup final.
Before the big match, Smithtown coach Tom Lips said, “Manhattan is dynamic, they’re resilient and they are always in our way. And they would say the same thing about us.”
Manhattan’s Jack Harrison scored in the fifth minute, then Daniel O’Grady scored on a penalty kick plus Amara Sessay and Sam Farman scored insurance goals as Manhattan won, 4-0. Keeper Gerard Amigon had the shutout in goal.
This game was the fifth time these wonderful teams have met in the State Open Cup final. Manhattan, from the Westchester Youth Soccer District, beat the Long Island Junior Soccer League’s Smithtown twice in the final and Smithtown defeated Manhattan three times in the title game. Both teams have won the State Open Cup three times as Manhattan defeated Ramapo Valley in the 2014 championship match.
“I think we came ready to play and really wanted to win our third State Open Cup title,” commented Manhattan coach Wilson Egidio. “In preparing for Regionals, we went easy last week but picked up speed this week with a focus on fitness, then tactical work leading to the tournament.”
They will be playing in the Regionals from June 26 to 30 in Barboursville, West Virginia and received a $2,000 check from the Eastern New York Youth Soccer Association (ENYYSA) to defray their costs during the National Championship Series.
Manhattan also received the Howard Rubinstein Sportsmanship Award for the Fair Play they displayed and will add that award to their overflowing trophy case.
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.