NJ Youth Soccer Honors Outstanding Players, Coaches and Volunteers
New Jersey Youth Soccer celebrated the sport of soccer at their annual awards dinner held at the Pines Manor in Edison.
NJ Youth Soccer hosted close to 500 attendees at its 27th annual awards dinner where it honored New Jersey players, teams, coaches, referees and volunteers for outstanding performances and contributions in 2014.
“NJ Youth Soccer provides a platform for more than 150,000 children to play soccer in urban, suburban and rural locations throughout our state,” says Roy Squillario, president, NJ Youth Soccer. “The majority of our leadership ─ coaches, trainers, administrators ─ is comprised of volunteers who dedicate many hours of their time to make this huge organization a success.” Squillario says there are thousands of coaches and volunteers contributing throughout the year.
NJ Youth Soccer’s goal is to support the game for every child who wants to play soccer at any level; from recreation, TOPSoccer, competitive travel soccer and the U.S. Youth Soccer Olympic Development Program (ODP). By cultivating a strong base, NJ Youth Soccer aims to increase participation in youth soccer while also identifying and developing the future of American soccer.
“We have an unbelievable history of developing some of the greatest soccer stars in American history — Tim Howard, Tony Meola, John Harkes, Tab Ramos, Christie Rampone, Carli Lloyd and Jillian Lloyden, to name a few,” says Evan Dabby, Executive Director.
“Since leaving MLS after 16 years and joining New Jersey Youth Soccer,” says Dabby, “I’ve spent considerable time on our youth soccer fields; I’ve participated in two State Cup tournaments; ODP trainings and interstate tournaments; recreation festivals and several TOPSoccer events. In a short time, I’ve seen clear evidence of tremendous potential in players of all ages and skill levels. In addition, our support network of thousands of coaches and volunteers is outstanding.”
Nelson Rodríguez, U.S. Soccer’s managing director of National Team Advisory Services and former NJ Youth Soccer Olympic Development Program (ODP) coach, served as the keynote speaker where he discussed his New Jersey roots, his role at U.S. Soccer and keys to getting the most out of the game on and off the field.
Raul Donoso, longtime NJ Youth Soccer ODP coach, trainer and former Irvington High School varsity coach, was inducted into the 2014 Hall of Fame. He was recognized for his longtime contribution and dedication to helping inner city boys and girls learn and enjoy playing soccer.
The evening acknowledged many of the state’s boys and girls U.S. Youth Soccer National Championship Series (NCS) and State Cup team champions as well as players selected for the U.S. Youth Soccer Region 1 ODP pool team. The following honorees were presented with awards for their individual contributions:
BOB McNULTY COACHES OF THE YEAR
Lisa Milanese Woodbridge Twp Youth SA
Tracey Grimaldi Woodbridge Twp Youth Soccer SA
RECREATION COACH OF THE YEAR
David Van Ginnekin Walkill Valley Rec Soccer
TOPSOCCER BUDDY OF THE YEAR
Zach Saliterman West Morris SC
Anne-Sophie Whitehead West Orange United
LIESEL KREHAN VOLUNTEER OF THE YEAR
Joe Robb Former Executive Director, NJYS
YOUTH REFEREES OF THE YEAR
Shehab Saad Princeton
Cara Dalton Vineland
ALLAN SINCLAIR MEM. SCHOLARSHIP
Samantha Green Mount Laurel United
Austin Verissimo Ironbound Soccer Club Elite
JEANINE WILLIS SCHOLARSHIP
Annaliese Keimel Highland Soccer Club
Michael Stakilinski Manalapan Soccer Club
BRETT FENSTER MEM. SCHOLARSHIP
Adam Taylor Walkill Valley Soccer Club
The U12 NJ Rush 02 Hamilton Wildcats also celebrated their Fall NCS State Cup championship victory at the event.