The Massapequa Soccer Club has been named the Eastern New York Youth Soccer Association’s club of the month for January.
The club’s founding in 1970 pre-dates the creation of ENYYSA in 1972.
Two Massapequans residents, Pat McComiskey and Hank Oustecky, organized a meeting in 1970 at which several prominent individuals were present:
* Gordon Bradley, then player/coach of the New York Cosmos
* Bob Elder, JV boys coach at Massapequa High School
* Joe Maca, former U.S. men’s national team player
* Alan Maher, assistant principal
* Wayne Sunderland, C.W. Post athletic director
* “Bo” Wernersbach, men’s coach at Farmingdale State
In March 1971, the Massapequa Soccer Club held its first registration for boys 6 through 18. A total of 259 boys and 18 adults responded. Enthusiasm for soccer grew and the local girls wanted to play as well. Their participation was led by Liza Gozley and Nellie Haire.
Soccer took off. By 1974, 1,000 children were playing as Massapequa became synonymous with the sport. This was at a time when most other youth soccer clubs did not yet exist. In 1974, Massapequa started its first intramural tournament which is still in existence, on Father’s Day weekend.
In 1978, Massapequa and Nassau County held a huge youth indoor soccer tourney at the Nassau Coliseum. Two years later, Massapequa hosted its first Memorial Day weekend travel team tournament that is now called the Lincoln Page Memorial Day Tournament. The competition is named after the former club president and tourney director. Today, Massapequa hosts kickoff tournaments in the spring and college showcase tourneys after Thanksgiving.
Special Children playing soccer in an organized league started in the Long Island Junior Soccer League in 1978 when Massapequa and the Huntington Boys Club started programs in an era when Special Children playing sports was not as accepted. Both programs have continued under the banner of TOPSoccer. Massapequa has 35 children participating.
The Massapequa Falcons won the Athena Cup, the Girls Under-19 national championship in 1986, and the Massapequa Arsenal took home the McGuire Cup, the Boys U-19 national title in 2015. The Falcons coach was Peter Masotto, who was Eastern New York’s president from 1984 to 2006.
The club has a long list of club alumni who have gone on to play pro soccer.
The men’s list includes current Red Bulls defenders Sean and Dylan Nealis, Alan Bodenstein, Ray Hughes, Jim Kilmeade, Alain Maca, current Toronto FC president Bill Manning, Larry Sunderland and Dan Vitiello.
For girls alumnae, the list includes sisters Christina, Gina and Vickie DiMartino, sisters Mary-Theresa, Jean and Margie Varas, Kim DeCesare, Danielle Egan, Laura Martin, Emily Pickering, Chemar Smith, Christie Welsh and Jodi Yerys.
Matt Vowinkel and Hope Breslin were recently drafted into Major League Soccer and the National Women’s Soccer League, respectively.
Some 1,000 children under the leadership of club president Yuri Fishman are now wear the maroon and yellow of the Massapequa SC.
“I am very proud that our club is able to offer programs for everyone within our community. We offer programs for all kids from Under-5 to Under-19, recreational, travel, elite as well as TOPSoccer,” Massapequa SC’s director of coaching Paul Bigilin said. “For our players who go off to college, we offer an Under-23 Summer Program as well as Winter Training when they are home. The Massapequa Soccer Club fosters a club and community environment where all players develop and experience soccer together regardless of ability.”