By Randy Vogt, Director of Public Relations, Eastern New York Youth Soccer Association
June 1, 2021-When it came time for the Eastern New York Youth Soccer Association (ENYYSA) to select a Club of the Month for June, we decided to take Manhattan as in the Manhattan Soccer Club, which has doubled in size in the last 15 years.
Whereas much of youth soccer’s enormous growth has been in the suburbs, the Manhattan Soccer Club has not only survived but thrived in its urban setting. At 80 teams and 1,340 travel team players, pre-Covid, plus another 250 players in their training programs, the Manhattan Soccer Club is the largest soccer club in New York City.
“We provide an opportunity for players through our need-based scholarship program that allows players to learn the game and be part of the team, encouraging a diverse enrollment,” explained Sam Arnoff, the club’s Director of Operations. “Additionally, we provide transportation for our players that furthers participation, offering chaperoned buses to practices on Randall’s Island from the east and west sides of Manhattan.”
The Manhattan Soccer Club has an academic program in conjunction with their scholarship program by partnering with Prestige Prep, a tutoring and prep college prep company, and the Yours-In-Soccer Foundation. It's named the "Success Prep" Program, which tracks and guides players from underserved groups in important academic protocol from middle school through to the college application process. This program is funded by both the Yours-In-Soccer Foundation and the Manhattan Soccer Club.
To kick off the outdoor soccer season, Manhattan organizes a highly competitive March Kick-Off Classic college showcase tournament exclusively on Randall's Island in early March that typically has over 100 top-level teams competing over a three-day period.
In addition to Randall’s Island, Manhattan teams practice in Central Park, Riverside Park, Chelsea Waterside Park, Hudson River Park (Pier 40) plus at Van Cortlandt Park in the Bronx. Winter indoor training is concentrated at city college facilities in Uptown Manhattan.
Leeds United midfielder Jack Harrison played for the club, helping lead Manhattan Paris Saint-Germain to the Boys -Under-17 national championship in 2014. Other Manhattan Soccer Club alumni now in the pros include Ifunanyachi Achara and Jacob Shaffelburg of Toronto FC, Mutaya Mwape of the Richmond Kickers and Sebastian Goicochea of Mexico’s Atlas.
With approximately 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 nine 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. For more information, please log on to https://www.enysoccer.com/