George Mason University photo of Taylor Washington in green
By Randy Vogt, Director of Public Relations, Eastern New York Youth Soccer Association
January 21, 2016-Somers resident Taylor Washington, who grew up playing for club team FC Somers Lasers and for three years in the Olympic Development Program (ODP) of the Eastern New York Youth Soccer Association (ENYYSA), was drafted in the second round of the MLS SuperDraft last week by the Philadelphia Union.
“Taylor possesses great athletic ability and a lethal left foot. He was our left-sided forward and was counted on to score goals, although at a young age we moved players around to get them used to playing different roles and positions,” commented FC Somers Lasers coach Erhardt Kapp, a former professional player. “His ability to beat players 1v1 on the dribble with speed is what separated him from others.”
The Lasers won the State Open Cup twice, as Under-12s in 2006 and as Under-13s in 2007, the same year that they won the Northeast Regional Premier (NERP) League championship.
Jason Weisberg coached Washington in ODP and stated, “It was a very talented team and Taylor was always focused and ready with a great training mentality. He was clean with the ball, stood out early tactically and brought enthusiasm to every training. It was a privilege to coach him.”
Washington, who received more than 80 college scholarship offers before he graduated from Rye Country Day School, got a taste of the big time when he played last summer for DC United’s Under-23 squad
“The kid has been absolutely fantastic for us, absolutely fantastic,” DC United U-23 coach Richie Burke said.”He’s been colossal. He’s played so well I find it hard to get him off the field.”
Previously, Washington played for a Premier Development League (PDL) team, Massachusetts’ Worcester Hydra FC, in 2012, the only season of their existence.
He played his freshman year for Boston University. After passing all his classes but struggling academically and then receiving a dyslexia diagnosis, he took a break, sitting out the 2012 season, to receive tutoring.
He transferred to George Mason University as the Virginia school offers greater assistance to students with learning disabilities. And it worked out as he now carries better than a 3.5 GPA and started every match that he was available for the past three years.
“As Taylor progressed, he became a left back because of his ability to go forward and help out in the attacking third. He learned how to become a good defender, which the Union will need since they gave up lots of goals last year,” added Coach Kapp. “I am happy that he was drafted by Philadelphia since they have many open roster spots and hopefully, he will get his chance to showcase his ability at the next level. I am grateful that I was able to play a small role to help shape him into the player he is today.”
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.
The 2007 FC Somers Lasers. Taylor Washington is in the top row, third from right and partially obstructed.
Photo courtesy of coach Erhardt Kapp.