Thousands of Soccer Fans to Flock to the 33rd Annual LIJSL Convention
Approximately 10,000 soccer fans are expected to come to the 33rd Annual Long Island Junior Soccer League (LIJSL) Convention at the Huntington Hilton on Route 110 in Melville from Friday, March 6 to Sunday, March 8. The LIJSL Convention is not only the largest gathering in the Eastern New York Youth Soccer Association (ENYYSA) but it’s one of the largest soccer conventions in the world as it has something for everyone.
The fun begins at 7 pm on Friday night, March 6 with the Annual Awards Dinner as the Volunteer of the Year from each LIJSL club will be honored. Gene O’Connell of the Brentwood Soccer Club, the Sachem Youth Soccer League’s Frank Schmidt, the Hicksville Americans’ Joe Visconti and Jim Volpe from Oceanside United will be inducted into the LIJSL Hall of Fame at the dinner. The Boys-Under-12 and Girls-Under-12 Sportsmanship Coaches of the Year as nominated in an essay by their players will be honored as well.
At 7:30 pm on Saturday, March 7 in Salon D, six Long Island soccer icons will be inducted into the Long Island Soccer Player Hall of Fame. The super six are first U.S. Women’s National Team captain Emily Pickering Harner, former indoor pro players Alan Bodenstein and Michael Collins, current Southern Connecticut State University men’s head coach Tom Lang, 1990 USA World Cup captain Michael Windischmann and Ed Cody, a 30-year veteran player of the HBC Special Children’s team.
Although there is a fee for attending both dinners, admission to the rest of the LIJSL Convention is absolutely free. Throughout the day on Saturday, March 7 and on Sunday morning, March 8, there will be LIJSL Sportsmanship Award presentations, meetings for club presidents, coaches and volunteers plus coaches and referee clinics as thousands of people purchase items from vendors who have come from around the world. Highlights include:
• Free LIJSL “D” Coaching Course, NSCAA Level 1-2, on Saturday from 9 am to 1 pm in the Mattituck Room
• A Physical Therapist’s Insight Into Injury Prevention and Rehab on Saturday from 1 to 2 pm in the Eisenhower Room
• Manage Your Stress For Successful College Recruitment on Saturday from 1 to 2 pm in the Mattituck Room
• Attend a bilingual College Forum for high school freshmen, sophomores and juniors on Saturday from 2:30 to 4:30 pm in the Savoy. The expert panel will talk about what every parent and player needs to know, including NCAA requirements, financial aid packages plus picking the college that’s right for you!
• Meet current and former New York Cosmos players all weekend at their booth plus ask questions of Cosmos coach Giovanni Savarese on Saturday from 3 to 4 pm in the Savoy
• NSCAA Goalkeeper 1 Diploma Course on Sunday from 9 am to 1 pm in the Wildwood Room
• American Red Cross CPR/AED Training on Sunday from 10 am to noon in the Mattituck Room
• Soccer Cleat, Balls and Uniform Collection for children in Kenya, all weekend in the Hargrave Room
• Soccer Games for Under-8 to Under-12 LIJSL teams all weekend in the New York Cosmos Blow-Up Field, outside on the tennis court
“We are very enthusiastic to welcome soccer fans from around the world to the LIJSL Convention once again,” said Convention Chairperson Holly Maresco. “There are new LIJSL families and players so this will be their first convention and that’s quite exciting too.”
For more information about the 33rd Annual LIJSL Convention, please contact the league at 631-648-9020.
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) 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 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 Special Children. 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.