By Randy Vogt, Director of Public Relations, Eastern New York Youth Soccer Association
April 28, 2017-Over 100,000 kids play in the Eastern New York Youth Soccer Association (ENYYSA), stretching from the East End of Long Island to the Canadian border, east of Route 81, which connects Binghamton to Syracuse. 74% of the kids registered live in New York City or on Long Island. Even though Eastern New York emphasizes geographic play for our statewide competitions, teams on the northern boundaries in Albany, Utica and the North Country still must do the most traveling.
The team traveling the most this Spring Season are the Boys-Under-17 Plattsburgh FC Arsenal. Representing the Capital District Youth Soccer League (CDYSL), Arsenal is competing in both the Eastern New York Premier League (ENYPL) and State Open Cup although the squad could travel far fewer miles by playing instead in the neighboring Vermont Soccer League (VSL).
“We could not play in the State Cup in Vermont since we are from New York,” commented Arsenal coach Andrew Wylie. “We applied to the ENYPL and were accepted for this spring. We expect the competition to be much stronger than what we would face in the VSL.”
Plattsburgh, a small city of 19,989 (2010 Census) located 25 miles from the Canadian border and sometimes referred to as a suburb of Montreal, is perhaps best-known as the home of Plattsburgh State, where Arsenal plays its home games. Arsenal plays some of its other home games at Golden Goal Park in Fort Ann, located a cool 100 miles south of Plattsburgh.
On tap this spring for Arsenal are road trips to Mount Saint Mary College in Newburgh (249 miles one way), Somers High School in Westchester (272 miles), SUNY Purchase, also in Westchester (293 miles) and Randall’s Island (306 miles). As Eastern New York emphasizes geographic play, Arsenal is not scheduled to play any teams from Long Island. Yet they will travel approximately 3,000 miles, the length of the continental United States, going to games this spring.
Besides the travel, the other main challenge for Arsenal is the shorter outdoor season in Plattsburgh. While teams in the New York City metro area can train outdoors up to 10 months a year if they want to do so, teams in the North Country can only play outdoors the eight months from April through November most years.
“During the winter, we participate in the City of Plattsburgh Indoor League at the Crete Center. It’s an old ice hockey rink turned into a soccer/multi-sport turf facility and we use it to train when times are available. We also utilize local gyms and the newly-opened Adirondack Coast Athletic Center that has a small turf field,” explained Coach Wylie. “Our teams travel to Albany in the winter to play indoor tournaments at the Afrim’s complexes and the Sportsplex at Halfmoon in Clifton Park.“
Despite all these challenges, Arsenal has become one of Eastern New York’s best teams, winning championships in the 2017 NEFC College Showcase in Boston, the 2016 Clifton Park Spring Soccer Classic, the 2016 Lake George Turf Cup and the 2015 Guilderland United Memorial Day Weekend Tournament.
If their coach’s name sounds familiar, it’s because when he’s not volunteering as coach of Arsenal or serving as Plattsburgh FC’s club president, Wylie makes his living as the District Attorney of Clinton County. First elected in 2005, he will be running for his fourth term this November. Wylie experienced his 15 minutes of fame two years ago when he successfully prosecuted Clinton Correctional Facility employees Joyce Mitchell and Gene Palmer in the prison break of convicted murderers Richard Matt and David Sweat. Matt was killed while on the lam and Sweat was recaptured.
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.
(Photo attached of Plattsburgh Arsenal, courtesy of NEFC.
Back row, left to right: Coach Andrew Wylie, Rory Patterson, Andrew Follmer, Nick Provost, Ryan Dupree-Goddeau, Brendan Whalen, Jared Peterson, Nate Boulé
Front row, left to right: Logan Julian, Sabour Tidjani, Shayne O'Neill, Cameron Duffield, Jeremy Rossi, Henry Wylie, Mat DurkinCamera shy: Connor O'Neill, Kyle Side)