By Randy Vogt, Director of Public Relations, Eastern New York Youth Soccer Association
June 12, 2017-“Better late than never” would be an appropriate adage for FC Somers Benfica of the Eastern Development Program (EDP) as they scored in the second overtime in both the semifinal and final game to win the Boys-Under-14 State Open Cup. In the semifinal, they won, 1-0, over Cedar Stars Staten Island on May 20.
In the championship match on Saturday, June 3 at Stringham Park in LaGrange, they also won, 1-0, in double overtime over the Massapequa Warriors to bring the Howard Rubenstein Cup back to Westchester. Owen Parsons scored on a tap-in from a cross by Bennett Leitner while keeper Owen Rabii had the shutout in net.
“We are a high-quality team that is great defensively,” explained FC Somers coach Milan Davidovic.
Rubenstein, the cup’s namesake, was seemingly involved in every facet of New York soccer for decades before his retirement and is a member of the Halls of Fame of Eastern New York, the US Amateur Soccer Association and the Long Island Junior Soccer League.
FC Somers will represent the Eastern New York Youth Soccer Association (ENYYSA) at the Regionals from June 30 to July 4 in Spotsylvania, Virginia.
Massapequa did not leave the Hudson Valley empty-handed, however, as they received the Rocco Amoroso Sportsmanship Award as determined by the game officials. Amoroso, a US Soccer Life Member who died last year, started the Sportsmanship Program of the LIJSL in 1980 and it spread to Eastern New York, nationally and then to China and Ireland, and in the process, made soccer games kinder and gentler.
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.