By Randy Vogt, Director of Public Relations, Eastern New York Youth Soccer Association
July 2, 2019-Congratulations to the 2003 Boys South Olympic Development Program (ODP) team of the Eastern New York Youth Soccer Association (ENYYSA) for winning the Regional championship. The squad is made up of boys from New York City and Long Island who were born in 2003.
“This team evolved through the ODP cycle,“ commented head coach Graham Radcliffe, who also serves as the assistant coach of the Hofstra men. “What I knew early on in the winter sessions at the Hofstra Bubble was we had a group that were eager to learn and grow as players. As we progressed through the spring training sessions, the team started to show a strong understanding of the ODP principles of play. It wasn't until the first game in the Regional pool play, when we came from behind to tie a tough Virginia team, that I realized we had a team that had the mentality needed to succeed.“
At Rider University in Lawrenceville, New Jersey from June 7 to 9, Eastern New York tied Virginia 1-1 and defeated Western New York and West Virginia both by 3-0 shutouts to finish first in their group.
Coach Radcliffe continued, “They displayed a relentless work rate, a determination to succeed, a strong focus on the tactical game plan and most importantly, they played unselfishly and for each other. Those themes grew during the rest of pool play and into the championship weekend. We came from behind to win the semifinal against top seed Maryland and also came from behind to tie Connecticut in the final to force a shootout.“
In the Final Four in Kirkwood, Delaware, Eastern New York topped Maryland 2-1 in the semis on June 22 and won the shootout in the final against Connecticut after tying 2-2 in regulation on June 23.
Assistant coach JT Famularo also is the assistant of the Farmingdale State men’s team and he agreed with Radcliffe’s assessment of the boys, “Characteristics that led to our team's success included their non-stop work ethic, commitment to the program and each other, and their heart and desire to win games. The boys worked extremely hard, outworking the opposition in every game, and in practices throughout the season.“
ODP is considered the highest level of play in each state association. Eastern New York has a particularly strong program evidenced by our recent national championships and that three of our ODP alumnae––USA teammates Crystal Dunn and Allie Long plus Jamaica’s Nicole McClure––all are in France for the Women's World Cup.
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 Children With Special Needs. 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 onto http://www.enysoccer.com/, which receives nearly 300,000 hits annually from the growing soccer community.