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Remembering Eastern New York Hall of Famer Steve LaRosa, a Soccer Pioneer


By Randy Vogt, Director of Public Relations, Eastern New York Youth Soccer Association

April 15, 2020-The Eastern New York Youth Soccer Association (ENYYSA) is saddened to report that Eastern New York Hall of Famer Steve LaRosa died at the age of 78 from the coronavirus earlier this week. Nominated by Howard Rubenstein, he was inducted into our Hall of Fame in 2014.

Upon learning the news of LaRosa’s passing, Rubenstein stated, “Steve was a pioneer, a tireless worker, a good mentor to me and he was always there whenever I needed him. Besides the State, he also did a lot for the Region and for the development of girls soccer.”

LaRosa was a prominent figure in youth soccer who helped grow the sport when it was not nearly as popular as it is today. The Southern New York Youth Soccer Association, the predecessor to ENYYSA, was founded in 1972 by George Donnelly and Enzo Magnozzi. Tony Perez became the first President.

In 1976, LaRosa became the second President of Southern New York, serving until 1978 when he was succeeded by Ivor Foster. There was great expansion at the start of the youth soccer boom during Steve’s one term in office as clubs all over the Empire State, from Long Island to the Canadian border, were admitted. With the state youth soccer association going “from Montauk to Massena,” the term Southern New York was no longer appropriate so the name was changed to Eastern New York Youth Soccer Association in 1982.

By then, LaRosa was very active as a coach for the Long Island women’s team that competed in the Empire State Games and in the old Massapequa Athletic Club of the Long Island Junior Soccer League (LIJSL).

The Great River resident was also one of only seven head coaches that the Adelphi University women have known during the four decades of the program’s existence.

With approximately 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 nine leagues throughout the association, which covers the entire state of New York east of Route 81. ENYYSA exists to promote 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 Children With Special Needs. 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. For more information, please log on to, which receives nearly 300,000 hits annually from the growing soccer community.