The fifth annual NYC Soccer Gala will be held at the New York Athletic Club in Manhattan Wednesday night.

The five sponsoring New York City Division I soccer schools — St. John’s, Fordham, LIU Brooklyn, Columbia and St. Francis Brooklyn — will each recognize an individual from their program for his outstanding contributions to soccer at the institution.

St. John’s University will honor Kevin Daly, a standout from the mid-1990s who was an integral part of the school’s first NCAA Division I championship team in 1996. A two-time first team All-Big East selection, Daly also won the conference’s defensive player of the year award in 1997 before claiming National Soccer Coaches Association of America first team All-America honors.

Also set to be honored at the dinner are Chris Donovan (Fordham University), Mickey Kydes (LIU Brooklyn), Charles Balsamo (Columbia University), and Maria Fava (St. Francis Brooklyn College).

In addition to the university honorees, local soccer legend Martin Jacobson, a mainstay in the New York City high school season who has won 16 Public School Athletic League championships the last 20 years at Martin Luther King Jr. High School, will be recognized for his outstanding contributions to youth soccer in the area. MLK has a nearly perfect player graduation rate and has helped place hundreds of young men into collegiate programs around the country.

Long-time Cosmopolitan Junior Soccer League secretary Emil Cohill also will be feted. Cohill became a referee in 1981 and is still an active official. Cohill also is the director of the 40th Annual Herbert Heilpern Indoor Tournament in Queens. The Woodside, N.Y. resident was inducted into the Eastern New York Hall of Fame in 1999 and was honored as a Life Member of the CJSL in 2003.

The evening will begin with a 6 p.m. cocktail hour and will be followed by a 7 p.m. dinner and program.

For more information about the Gala, contact Mary Pat Beirne at 718-990-1873 or [email protected].

Front Row Soccer editor Michael Lewis has covered 13 World Cups (eight men, five women), seven Olympics and 25 MLS Cups. He has written about New York City FC, New York Cosmos, the New York Red Bulls and both U.S. national teams for Newsday and has penned a soccer history column for the Lewis, who has been honored by the Press Club of Long Island and National Soccer Coaches Association of America, is the former editor of He has written seven books about the beautiful game and has published ALIVE AND KICKING The incredible but true story of the Rochester Lancers. It is available at