With the way that Conor O'Brien is playing for Blokhus FC in the Danish Second Division West, he obviously does not believe in the expression, "There's something rotten in Denmark!"
The offensive midfielder from Mount Sinai, Long Island has scored seven goals and dished out three assists in the past 12 games to lead Blokhus into first place. Having played 15 games in the fall and five of 15 games so far this spring, Blokhus leads second place teams Aarhus Fremad and Thisted by seven points and is well-positioned to gain promotion to the First Division.
Conor, age 22, does not speak Danish but most Danes speak fluent English although not Blokhus coach Soren Kusk.
Conor won a State Cup as a Boys-Under-10 player with the Long Island Junior Soccer League's Terryville Fire in 1999. He was the only Fire player remaining the next time they won the State Cup--as an Under-18 side in 2007. Further glory awaited as Conor scored two goals to help win the Regional championship and assisted on Matt Piccoli's goal in the Fire's 1-0 victory over Arsenal from Southern California to capture the USYSA National Championship.
Conor also was named MVP of the 2004 Tampa Bay Sun Bowl. He helped lead St. Anthony's High School to the State championship in 2005 and played for the Eastern New York Olympic Development Program.
At Bucknell University, he was the recipient of the Bison Club Award, presented to the senior athletes who best exemplify the winning spirit of the university's athletics program. Conor was a semi-finalist for the Hermann Trophy, earned NSCAA Second Team All-American honors--becoming the first Bucknell soccer All-American in 33 years--and was named the Philly Soccer News Men's College Player of the Year in 2009.
Soccer is a family affair as Conor's 20-year-old brother, Brendan, played for Roger Williams College and is now a student at St. Joseph's College in Patchogue. Their sister, Sarah, is a senior at Mount Sinai High School. All three spent their formative years playing for the Terryville Soccer Club.
Their father, Steve O'Brien, is an attorney and partner of O'Brien & O'Brien, LLP in Nesconset and Southampton.
"Soccer is the sport I like," Steve commented. "It's a great game!"
The feeling is mutual throughout the O'Brien family.
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/