Region 1 in soccer stretches from Maine to Virginia and West Virginia. Some of the players on the Boys-Under-17 Region 1 Olympic Development Program team will be playing professional soccer in just a few years. That team's starting goalkeeper, Jason Scolaro of Lake Ronkonkoma, turned heads recently by being named the top goalkeeper and receiving the Golden Glove Award of the 19th Annual Scopigno Memorial Tournament in Rieti, Italy, a long direct kick north of Rome. The competition involved Boys-Under-17 teams of Italy's renowned professional league, Serie A, and was played from April 20 to 23.
The tournament is one of the most prestigious international events for youth soccer clubs. Many top teams take part in this tourney every year including CSKA (Russia), Ajax (Netherlands), Barcelona and Atletico Madrid (Spain), Steaua Bucarest (Romania), A.S. Monaco (Monaco) plus Serie A teams. It's covered by the Italian sports media such as Corriere dello Sport, Gazzetta dello Sport, Guerrin Sportivo, Tuttosport plus televised on RAI Sport channel. Every year, proceeds from final matches are donated to charity.
Jason played the entire game of Region 1's first game, a 4-0 shutout of Italian squad L'Aquila. He played half the match in the 4-2 loss to S.S. Lazio to finish in second place in Group B but the Americans advanced to the semifinals of the 12-team tournament as they had the best goal differential of the three teams that finished group play in second place.
Region 1 got their revenge on group winners S.S. Lazio by defeating them 3-2 in the semifinal with Jason playing the entire game. He also played the entire final match, a 3-1 loss to Lazio's archrivals, A.S. Roma, to finish in second place.
Jason commented, "I really enjoyed the level of play of the Italian teams and their style."
He was selected to the tournament's Top 11 based on the outstanding saves he made in goal and the caliber of competition he faced.
Now having returned to the United States, Jason certainly has a very bright future as he's the starting goalkeeper for the Middle Country ISA Cruzers, the Long Island Junior Soccer League team currently in the middle of the standings of the Northeast Regional Premier League. Jason will graduate from Centereach High School in 2012. He has also played for the Olympic Development Program of the Eastern New York Youth Soccer Association plus the Long Island Junior Soccer League.
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/