Eastern New York Youth Soccer Association announced Thursday that its State Cup finals on May 30-31 will be played at Stringham Park in LaGrange, N.Y.

The State Open Cup and Challenge Cup finals, over 30 games, will be played on the last weekend of May .

“The LaGrange Soccer Club is excited to be hosting the State Cup finals this May! We’ve had the privilege of hosting the finals before and consider it an honor that Eastern New York has chosen Stringham Park as the location for their event,” LaGrange Soccer Club president Lisa Murphy said. “Our fields are centrally located within Eastern New York and allows them to host the entire event in one location in the beautiful Hudson Valley. We are looking forward to a great weekend of competitive soccer.”

Stringham Park prevailed in the competitive bidding process and has hosted the State Cup finals for the past decade. Hosting the State Cup finals gives a nice little kick to the Dutchess County economy when considering the people from outside the local area coming and buying gas, eating at restaurants plus staying at hotels in nearby Fishkill.

The park’s history dates back to 1932 although the actual park was constructed more than six decades later. Karl Ehmer opened his first butcher shop on 46th Street and Second Avenue in Manhattan in 1932. Although Ehmer still has its own stores, his sausages, hams, other meats and specialty foods are also sold today in supermarkets in the Northeast as well as Florida.

He was the owner of a large beef cattle farm near a house he owned in LaGrange. In 1994, he sold the property to a developer and the deal was approved by the town after a portion of the land was donated to them for recreational use. So Stringham Park, with the word “ham” in it, was created just south of Stringham Road and east of Ehmer Drive. The name Stringham comes from a family with long-standing ties to the community.

Up until that point, the LaGrange Soccer Club played its East Hudson Youth Soccer League games on two fields on Noxon Road that it shared with Little League. In 1998, Stringham Park opened with one field but as soccer grew, so did the use of the park.

Today, approximately 900 players, both boys and girls, are registered with the LaGrange Soccer Club. The club also has an active TOPSoccer Program of 30 kids with special needs.

Stringham Park also includes two basketball courts, lacrosse fields, a baseball field, a walking trail and playground.

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 Guardian.com. Lewis, who has been honored by the Press Club of Long Island and National Soccer Coaches Association of America, is the former editor of BigAppleSoccer.com. 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 Amazon.com.