News and Announcements
GERMAN MENA SELECTED TO EASTERN NEW YORK SOCCER ASSOCIATION HALL OF FAME
The Eastern District Soccer Association is proud to have one of its Board of Directors selected to the 2017 class of the Eastern New York Soccer Association Hall of Fame.
German Mena was born and raised in Honduras. As most Hondurans his love for the game of soccer started young and he played the great sport of soccer almost before he could walk. He played right through High School and wanted to continue after school but German knew the he did not possess the skills to play in the semi-professional leagues. The semi-professional leagues did notice German’s knowledge of the game and natural ability to lead and instruct and offered him a position as coach. German became one of the youngest coaches ever to lead a Honduras semi-professional team. His fairness and ability to coach players much older than him and win were noticed by all.
Times were tough in Honduras and German’s father convinced German to move to America in March of 1994. The pressure of moving to a new country and making a living were monumental but he still took time to play soccer. Soccer to German is not simply a sport, but a way of life. He would go down to Tibbetts Brook Park and Pelton Field in Yonkers to participate in “pick-up” games and formed some strong friendships through soccer. In just a year his new friends form a team called “Friends United” and joined the Liga Mexicana de Yonkers. Besides playing his leadership skills once again surfaced and he was elected assistant coach.
In the first 2 years of “Friends United” wins were scares and they finished last out of 16 teams. In 1998 a few players from his native country Honduras asked him to help form a team of Hondurans. German gladly accepted and became coach of “Honduras Yonkers”.
In 1999 “Honduras Yonkers” won the league championship and repeated this feat for another 5 years becoming the only team to win 6 consecutive championships. Their reputation grew and were invited to participate in city-wide, countywide and statewide tournaments. Their games drew large crowds and they always finished in the top percent of the tournaments.
In 2006 Liga Mexicana de Yonkers encountered some problems and the teams were looking for a new outlet. The managers approached the City of Yonkers and asked for assistance in establishing a new “certified” league. The City of Yonkers offered to help but the league would have to be governed by the team and players themselves. The teams agreed and that night the 20 teams form a Board of Directors and German was voted unanimously to be president and lead their new endeavor. That night “Liga de Yonkers” was formed. The City of Yonkers Parks Commissioner said “Liga de Yonkers would have never had survived if it wasn’t for German Mena.”
Germans playing days were over but now coaching Honduras Yonkers and running the league became almost a full time job. Liga de Yonkers also joined the Eastern District Soccer League to give credibility to the league. German didn’t stop at just running Liga de Yonkers. He saw the need of soccer in the Yonkers Community and became an advocate for soccer at all levels. He started an over 40 league which played during the week, he started the first women’s league in Yonkers, and pushed back the game times of Liga de Yonkers to give playing time to youth soccer. If anyone had a soccer question or needed help German was the guy to go to. Not only did he work tirelessly promoting local soccer he was also instrumental in bringing non-affiliate players and teams into Eastern District Soccer League and Eastern New York State Soccer. He became a true ambassador for the sport of soccer.
In 2008 German was honored to be invited by EDSL President Peter Pinori to become a Board Member of EDSL and continues to serve proudly.
Honduras Yonkers continued to be one of the top teams in the area and participated and won numerous State Cup competitions. In 2016 they made the finals of the state cup but regretfully lost in close, well-played game.
In 2017, regretfully due to health reasons, German gave up coaching Honduras Yonkers and relinquished the presidency of Liga de Yonkers. He still serves and participates on the EDSL Board, and still spends time on Sundays at Pelton Field assisting whenever and wherever possible.
When informed he was nominated to the State Hall of Fame, he was honored but also embarrassed. Honored to be recognized by his peers but embarrassed for being honored by the great game of soccer when the great game of soccer has done so much for him.
The EDSL Dinner Dance Party held at Ukrainian Youth Center in Yonkers on October 27, 2017 attracted an attendance of more than 200 people. Champions Awards were handed in to all Champions from all the divisions, Open EDSL, Port Chester, Liga de Yonkers, Mount Kisco, Over 30 and Over 40; topped with the Winners of the State Cup and Champions Cup.
Good music, wine and beer accompany the delicious appetizers and food served.
CONGRATUATIONS TO ALL..!
By Randy Vogt, Director of Public Relations, Eastern New York Youth Soccer Association
May 6, 2016-The soccer community is mourning the loss of the legendary Rocco Amoroso, who was a US Soccer Life Member and inducted into the Hall of Fame of both the Long Island Junior Soccer League (LIJSL) and Eastern New York for his many decades of volunteering. Rocco also received the Lifetime Achievement Award from the Nassau County Sports Commission in 1998, which is interesting as he lived and worked just over the county border in neighboring Suffolk County.
The LIJSL’s Sportsmanship Program was the brainchild of Rocco in 1980 and is the first program of its kind––not just in the world of youth soccer, but in youth sports. Rocco, a Melville woodworker, had become concerned when he saw a lack of civility on the playing fields. As the LIJSL grew, there was a movement within the league to remain focused on its mission to develop mature teenagers and responsible citizens through the lessons of teamwork and Fair Play. The goal was to Build Character Through Soccer, a sentiment that comes from the Sportsmanship Program and continues to be the league’s slogan and mission statement to this day. With this in mind, Rocco wrote the guidelines, secured initial sponsorship of the program with the Sports Billy organization and tirelessly promoted the program. He stressed the important role that sportsmanship plays in the development of players. The LIJSL Sportsmanship Award is given each season to a team in every division.
In 1982 and 1983, the LIJSL sent the guidelines of their Sportsmanship Program to every youth soccer association in the United States so it spread well beyond the Eastern New York Youth Soccer Association (ENYYSA). Many of these groups adopted the same guidelines and Rocco promoted sportsmanship at their invitation in Connecticut, Maryland, Kentucky and Washington State. AYSO adopted the guidelines after Rocco gave a presentation to AYSO in Buffalo three decades ago.
In 1983, Congressman Thomas Downey entered the name of the Long Island Junior Soccer League into the Congressional Record, mentioning the program’s slogan of Building Character Through Soccer. In addition, the principles of the program have also been incorporated by leagues in Ireland and China.
The US Youth Soccer Association handed out the Rocco Amoroso Sportsmanship Trophy during the Girls-Under-19 national finals to the individual who was the best example of Fair Play during the finals. The Amoroso Sportsmanship Trophy was handed out in 1983 in Boston, 1984 in Dallas and 1985 in Seattle. The Rocco Amoroso Sportsmanship Cup is given annually to men’s and women’s teams in Eastern New York. And New York Men’s-Over-40 teams compete annually for the Rocco Amoroso Cup.
Rocco’s emphasis on sportsmanship changed the fabric of youth soccer in New York, throughout the United States and indeed in other parts of the globe, for the good of the game and the development of the character of its players. An enthusiastic public speaker, Rocco gave speeches on sportsmanship throughout Eastern New York at the meetings of the diverse youth and senior leagues, including annually at the Eastern New York State Adult Soccer Association AGM. Rocco paid for signs which line the touchlines of local soccer fields that say: Fair Play, Please.
Exactly a month before his passing, I had penned this appreciation of Rocco’s life which appeared in Soccer America:
Services will be this Saturday, May 7 and Sunday, May 8 from 2-4 pm and 7-9 pm both days at the M.A. Connell Funeral Home, 934 New York Avenue, Huntington Station, NY 11746. A Mass of Christian burial will be on Monday, May 9 at 9:30 am at St. Elizabeth’s Church, 175 Wolf Hill Road in Melville.
May our dear friend who gave so much to soccer rest in peace.
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.
Week 7 in the Over 30 Division resulted in no changes in the standings. The top half of the table remains the same as Czechoslovakia, Germania, Washingtonville , and Ossining all claimed victories. The reigning Division and State Champions, Czechoslovakia, remain undefeated as they outlasted Fishkill with a 5-3 victory. Germania (6-1) and Washingtonville (6-1) continued their winning ways and remain only separated by goal differential as Germania defeated Mahopac 6-2 and Washingtonville held on for the 2-1 victory over the division “hard luck” team East Fishkill. East Fishkill (2-3-1) are tied with Czechoslovakia with only 10 goals against and each one of their three losses have only been by 1 goal.
Ossining took care of business with a convincing 5-1 victory over Putnam and remain in fourth place, 6 points behind Washingtonville and Germania. Somers grabbed their first win of the year with a 5-1 victory over winless LaGrange.
The Eastern District Soccer League held its Annual Championship Dinner on Saturday, October 24th at the Yonkers Ukrainian Club in Yonkers NY. Once again the dinner drew a packed house with each of the EDSL Divisions sending their champions to receive their awards and the recognition they so justly deserve. The Eastern New York State Soccer Association, East Hudson Referee Association and Eastern New York State Executive Board were also in attendance to commend the Eastern District Soccer League and its champions for another outstanding season.
The Annual dinner dance is not just presented to honor its champions but also to promote comradery between the EDSL Divisions. It is a time to put the heated battle of the game aside and enjoy the company of its outstanding competitors and forge friendships that will last a lifetime.
This years dinner also recognized two outstanding individuals who have taken their love of soccer to the next level and worked feverishly to promote fair play and sportsmanship. The first award, presented by ENY SRA Enrico Romano and EDSL President Peter Pinori, went to James Bowne “Soccer Official Extraordinaire” for his “passion for the game and work ethic to provide a fair and just environment has left a tremendous positive impact on players and coaches alike.”
The second award was given to Mario Corrado the manager of the O30 Somers Soccer club and presented by John Palumbo and Peter Pinori. The award was given “in recognition of your 20 years of service and dedication to the Eastern District Soccer League “Over 30” league.”
Of course the main reason for our dinner is to recognize our Champions. Awards and recognition was given to:
O40 A division the Germania club of La Grange was the winner
O40 B division Hudson Legends won and was promoted to the A division for this year
Winners cups where presented by the O40 Chairwoman Lori Brangelmann
O30 Division winner was Czechoslovakia and O30 Chairman John Palumbo presented their trophy which was followed by Peter Pinori who presented the Czechoslovakia team with the ENY State O30 Marth Cup. This is the 2nd ENY State cup won by Czechoslovakia who last year won the ENY Open Flamhaft cup when they where playing in the Open Division.
Mount Kisco division winners where presented Chairman Galo Trujillo who gave Kisco International and Mundo Latino their cups for winning the regular season and the playoff. Galo also presented 3 individual trophies for best goalie, highest scorer and most disciplined player.
Port Chester Chairman Cesar Aliaga than presented the winners of his division playoff finalist Mictlan and over all Champion Westchester CF who also won $1500 prize winnings. Peter Pinori than proceeded to present Westchester CF president Mr. Javier Chaparro the Steve Howansky Open Division cup, individual EDSL player medals and a check for $1,200 for Westchester CF on becoming a finalist on the EDSL Champions cup.
August Cambria chairman of the Liga De Yonkers division came next and presented Honduras their trophy for becoming a finalist and Sport Peru for being the Champion.
Peter Pinori than presented the Open Primo team from Pine Island Orange County NY the ENY Open Flamhaft Cup.
The last trophies of the evening was given to South Stars who did win $1,000 prize, and a trophy for winning the Open division Play Off, South Stars also won $2,500 prize monies, trophy and individual EDSL players medals for winning the premiere tournament the $5,000 EDSL CHAMPIONS CUP
The Champions Dinner was a huge success and teams are looking forward to another successful and exciting season and defending their crown.