By Randy Vogt, Director of Public Relations, Eastern New York Youth Soccer Association
October 29, 2013-The Cosmopolitan Junior Soccer League (CJSL), the most historic youth soccer league in the United States, is celebrating its 80th anniversary and is having an Anniversary Dinner/Dance this Friday night, November 1 at the Astoria-World Manor in Astoria. The CJSL is joining forces at the gala event once again with its brother league, the Cosmopolitan Soccer League (CSL), which is celebrating its 90th anniversary.
Seven stalwarts from the CJSL are being inducted into the CJSL Hall of Fame that evening:
Miguel Brunengo had a standout youth soccer career playing for the GH Metros, B/W Gottschee and Westchester United. He helped the United States qualify for the Boys-Under-17 World Cup in Canada in 1987, then played for St. John’s University and for CSL teams Blue Angels, Istria Sport Club and Inka SC. Now a coach, he has led B/W Gottschee teams to six Eastern New York Youth Soccer Association (ENYYSA) State Cup titles and one Regional championship.
Carlo Bucich played in the CJSL for Inter-Giuliana 50 years ago, then was a member of the CCNY (City College of New York) teams. In 1978, he and Frank Legovich founded the Istria Sport Club, serving the club as president for several terms. He was then elected to the CJSL Board of Directors as a trustee, vice president and then president, serving two terms. Today, Istria SC’s youth teams play in the CJSL and its three senior teams play in the Long Island Soccer Football League (LISFL) so Carlo is now a vice president and arbiter of the LISFL. Already a member of the ENYYSA Hall of Fame and this week the CJSL Hall of Fame, he will also be inducted into the LISFL Hall of Fame on November 22.
Joey Fink was a top player with B/W Gottschee, then earned a soccer scholarship to play at New York University. Best known locally for playing professional soccer with the New York Cosmos in the mid-1970’s, he also played with the Tampa Bay Rowdies of the NASL and New York United, California Sunshine, Cleveland Cobras and Carolina Lightnin’ of the ASL. He received six caps for the USA and became a prolific indoor player with the MISL’s Philadelphia Fever and Baltimore Blast, scoring 233 goals in 270 appearances.
Michael Leandrou founded the Eleftheria-Pancyprian Soccer Club and in 1981, the new club took its first steps by fielding a Boys-Under-10 team. Since then, Eleftheria-Pancyprian has become one of the most successful clubs in New York City, winning CJSL championships and State Cup titles. Michael served as president and currently serves as president emeritus of the growing club.
James Svendson concluded his playing career at the age of 16 and turned to coaching the Boys-Under-10 SC Gjoa Vikings. He coached the Vikings for five years, then coached the Xavier High School boys JV team, started the Bishop Kearney High School girls program and was a JV coach at Lawrence High School. He started serving on the CJSL Board of Directors when he was still a teenager and has been trustee, secretary, treasurer, vice president and president.
Jim Vogt played for a decade for the GH Metros as a kid, then played for their senior side. He joined the GH Metros Board of Directors, then the CJSL Board of Directors. A generation ago, he served as the CJSL president and also served ENYYSA as a trustee. Despite all those volunteer positions, he is best known for saving the iconic Metropolitan Oval from extinction in 2001.
Burt Wilkes was inducted into the ENYYSA Hall of Fame last year. He coached the Silver Lake Rams to two State Cup titles a decade ago and the Moore Catholic High School boys varsity team to the New York City Class B championship. He currently volunteers for ENYYSA as vice president and has served the CJSL as games chairperson, vice president plus president from 2006 to 2013.
Congratulations to the seven newest Hall of Famers!
With 123,843 youth soccer players––68,587 boys and 55,256 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 12 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 Special Children. 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 http://www.enysoccer.com/, which receives nearly 300,000 hits annually from the growing soccer community.