ENYYSA President Richard Christiano, National TOPSoccer Buddy of the Year Jessica Lee,
US Youth Soccer East Region General Manager Dr. Greg Smith
By Randy Vogt, Director of Public Relations, Eastern New York Youth Soccer Association
December 12, 2019-The Eastern New York Youth Soccer Association (ENYYSA) honored 16-year-old Jessica Lee of West Hempstead as our TOPSoccer Buddy of the Year on December 7 at the ENYYSA Holiday Party at Marina del Rey in the Bronx.
Jessica also won the Regional TOPSoccer Buddy of the Year Award plus the National TOPSoccer Buddy of the Year Award and will be honored at the US Youth Soccer Awards Gala on January 18, 2020 in Baltimore in conjunction with the United Soccer Coaches Convention as well as the Long Island Junior Soccer League (LIJSL) Convention on March 13, 2020. Eastern New York is also sending Jessica to the US Youth Soccer TOPSoccer Symposium in Kansas City in March. She is Eastern New York's first national winner since Nkosi Burgess scored the 2012 National Goal of the Year.
TOPSoccer (The Outreach Program for Soccer) is a community-based training program for all athletes with intellectual, emotional and/or physical challenges. The program strives to provide soccer opportunities for players to develop at their own pace in a safe, fun plus a supportive and inclusive environment.
Jessica was nominated by her mother Lauren Lee, now the Director of the West Hempstead Chiefs TOPSoccer Program in the LIJSL, who wrote that their family put together a one-day soccer clinic for challenged players in 2010 to see what kind of interest there would be in West Hempstead. Jessica was just seven years old for that clinic. She proudly wore a shirt that read “Nothing Can Stop Us.” Her enthusiasm for the program was the driving force for the Lee family starting a TOPSoccer Program in West Hempstead.
“I believe that all kids should have the same opportunities in life. TOPSoccer helps make that happen,” Jessica said. “Seeing the players every week and their faces full of excitement ready to play soccer never fails to put a smile on my face.”
Playing soccer since she was three, Lee now competes with the LIJSL’s Garden City Park Shooting Stars and on the varsity team at Kellenberg Memorial High School.
“It means everything to me,” Lee said about receiving the awards. “Soccer has always been a big part of my life and I’m glad to share it with the TOPSoccer community.”
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 11 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 onto http://www.enysoccer.com/, which receives nearly 300,000 hits annually from the growing soccer community.