Representatives from the NY Red Bulls Street Team and Sky Blue FC (including head coach Denise Reddy) joined NJ Youth Soccer staff and West Orange Soccer Club for the event. (Photo courtesy of NJ Youth Soccer)
WEST ORANGE, N.J. – Forty TOPSoccer athletes and buddies from five clubs joined New Jersey Youth Soccer and West Orange Soccer Club to host a TOPSoccer Jamboree and Buddy Clinic Feb. 3.
The program included a classroom session for the buddies and a soccer clinic for the athletes that was run by NJYS director of coaching Rick Meana and New Jersey ODP coach Lou Mignon. The event also included representatives from the New York Red Bulls Street Team as well as Sky Blue FC head coach Denise Reddy.
“On behalf of New Youth Soccer, we want to thank everyone who made our latest TOPSoccer event such a great success,” NJYS executive director Evan Dabby said. “TOPSoccer is particularly rewarding to anyone who becomes involved with the program, and you can clearly see the positive effect that it is having on all of these young athletes. We are very proud to have TOPSoccer as an integral part of our programming here at New Youth Soccer and thank West Orange Soccer Club for its continued support.”
Hosted at Liberty Middle School, the TOPSoccer Jamboree was conducted in partnership with West Orange Soccer. The free event featured soccer training in addition to games and entertainment for all of the athletes, buddies, coaches and families in attendance. Special attractions at the Jamboree included a showcase by members of the New York Red Bulls Street Team who also brought some of the athletes onto the court to perform tricks.
“I had an awesome time, and I can speak for the rest of the Street Team when I say that they had a great time with the kids, too,” said Juan Ramirez of the Red Bulls Street Team. “We thank you for having us at this event. The kids were great to work with and very engaged.”
Reddy spent time with players and buddies, providing valuable support for this great cause. Sky Blue FC president and general manager Tony Novo voiced his pleasure in supporting NJ Youth Soccer’s TOPSoccer program.
“Personally and professionally, I have been a strong advocate of TOPSoccer for many years, and it is great to see how much the program has grown under the direction of Evan Dabby and New Jersey Youth Soccer,” he said. “At Sky Blue FC, we will continue to proudly support TOPSoccer and lend our assistance in any way that we can to benefit the program.”
TOPSoccer is a community-based training and team placement initiative for young athletes with special needs. The program also provides a curriculum to train coaches in how to provide fun and engaging soccer for those young athletes. The program, designed by U.S. Youth Soccer, emphasizes player-specific development, training and meaningful participation rather than competition and results.
NJ Youth Soccer is planning more TOPSoccer events in the next coming months.