Oceanside United Soccer Club, those wonderful volunteers who organize the oldest youth indoor soccer tournament in the United States, have added another first. As the 44th Annual Rudy Lamonica Indoor Tournament concludes this month, Special Children from TOPSoccer will have their own separate competition in the tourney on Saturday, March 26. This event will kick off at noon and conclude around 6 pm at the Coleman Day Camp Field House in Merrick. This is the first Special Children's indoor tournament being played in New York State. TOPSoccer (The Outreach Program for Soccer) is a community-based training and team placement program for young athletes with physical or mental challenges organized by youth soccer association volunteers.
"We at Oceanside United feel honored and privileged to host another first--the first indoor TOPSoccer tourney in New York State," commented Oceanside United President Steve Padaetz.
The namesake of the Rudy Lamonica Indoor Tournament played in the tourney that now bears his name during the winters of 1968 and '69. Rudy played on one of Oceanside United's first boys teams after the club was founded in 1962, wearing the same orange-and-blue colors of another team that started that year, the New York Mets. As a teen, he scored more than half of Oceanside High School's goals during 1968 and '69 in leading the Sailors to consecutive Long Island championships. In 1970, bone cancer was discovered and doctors amputated Rudy's right leg, hoping to stop the spread of the disease. Through all the turmoil, Rudy kept his spirits high. In fact, the hospital staff put in his room a teenage boy with all his limbs intact but who couldn't walk properly. That boy was feeling very bad so Rudy lifted his spirits. Tragically, Rudy passed away at the age of 17 during the closing days of the 1970 Fall Season after volunteering as Oceanside High School's assistant coach.
For more information about the Special Children's indoor tourney, please contact either Bill McAssey (firstname.lastname@example.org or 516-672-7986) or Steve Hausman (email@example.com or 516-445-5287).
Oceanside United plays in the Long Island Junior Soccer League, which is a member of the Eastern New York Youth Soccer Association. The Special teams will be playing free of charge. The costs are being absorbed by Oceanside United, the LIJSL and ENYYSA.
With 120,000 youth soccer players and more than 25,000 volunteers, the Eastern New York Youth Soccer Association 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/