Garden City Warriors Win the BU12 State Championship
New York Youth Soccer News: Two coaches won the state championship for the same club in the same age group as players four decades ago.
Sometimes life comes full circle. Even in youth soccer. Here is a unique youth soccer news story on two special players who grew up to become youth soccer coaches and lead their youth teams to victory — at the same tournament that they had won decades before.
For Garden City Warriors coaches Chris Thompson and Joe Esposito, it was déjà vu all over again. The Warriors team they coach in the Long Island Junior Soccer League (LIJSL) shut out the Manhattan Kickers of the Cosmopolitan Junior Soccer League (CJSL), 5-0, to win the Boys-Under-12 State Open Cup.
Thompson won the State Open Cup as a Boys-Under-12 player with the Garden City Colts in 1978 and Esposito won it also as a Boys-Under-12 player with the Garden City Cougars in 1982.
“Our sons are Travis Thompson and Tommy Esposito and we hope they will be able to continue the tradition,” stated Coach Thompson.
In the 2018 final on June 2 at Stringham Park in LaGrange, Travis Thompson and Peter DeBusschere (grandson of NBA legend Dave DeBusschere) both scored two goals and Andrew Fuoco added one while Danny Psaki had the shutout in goal.
Garden City will represent the Eastern New York Youth Soccer Association (ENYYSA) at the Regionals from June 29 to July 3 in Spotsylvania, Virginia as part of the National Championship Series.
Manhattan received the Rocco Amoroso Sportsmanship Award, as determined by the game officials. Amoroso, a US Soccer Life Member who died in 2016, started the LIJSL Sportsmanship Program 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.
Eastern New York Youth Soccer Association: 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) reaches 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.