By Arthena Sherwood, Communications Associate, Eastern New York Youth Soccer Association
September 13, 2016–Fifteen years after the September 11 attacks, New Yorkers still remember like it was yesterday. Engine 307 firefighter and soccer player Alex Carranza decided to start a tournament in tribute to one of New York’s fallen firefighters. In June 2014, Lieutenant Steve Reisman passed away from brain cancer connected to working at the World Trade Center after the September 11 terror attacks.
After the success of the first tournament held two years ago, Carranza was encouraged by his colleagues to host another one. This year, Carranza welcomed Big Apple Youth Soccer League (BAYSL) President and Eastern New York Youth Soccer Association (ENYYSA) Trustee Luis Montoya to help organize the event. The tournament took place on Thursday, September 8 in Flushing Meadows Corona Park, the home of many BAYSL games.
Luis Montoya to the far left in white and Alex Carranza pictured second to the right, wearing red shorts.
Teams were formed by firehouses from different areas in New York City’s borough of Queens. Teams played two 30-minute games during the tournament where winners eventually moved on to semifinals and finals. This year’s finalists were The Patriots of Engine 320 in Flushing and Hunters Point of Engine 258 in Long Island City. The Patriots came out on top as the 2016 champions.
Softball, baseball, and football are common games amongst “New York City’s bravest,” but Carranza wanted to introduce a new sporting event to FDNY.
“I wanted to motivate the guys with a different sport, so I decided to mix things up with soccer,” Carranza explained.
His ultimate goal for this tournament is for it to grow into a large fundraiser in honor of his colleague, Lieutenant Steven Reisman. Carranza would like the fundraiser proceeds to go towards cancer research or another cause of the Reisman family’s choice.
The Patriots and Hunters Point play in the final game for the 2016 championship.
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 on to http://www.enysoccer.com/, which receives nearly 300,000 hits annually from the growing soccer community.