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The History of Soccer on Long Island


Soccer has a rich history on Long Island, with a long tradition of strong youth programs and dedicated players. Over the years, Long Island has produced some of the most talented soccer players in the country, from high school standouts to professional players.

The early history of soccer on Long Island dates back to the late 19th century, when the sport was first introduced to the United States. In the years that followed, local clubs began to form and compete against each other, laying the foundation for the development of the sport on the Island.

The Long Island Rough Riders

In the 20th century, Long Island's soccer scene continued to grow and evolve, with the creation of numerous youth leagues and the establishment of professional teams. The Long Island Rough Riders, founded in 1994, have been a fixture in the United Soccer League (USL) since their inception, and have helped to raise the profile of soccer on Long Island.


The Long Island Rough Riders are a professional soccer team based in Long Island, New York. The team was established in 1994 and has been a prominent part of the Long Island soccer community ever since. The Rough Riders have competed in various leagues over the years, including the United Soccer Leagues (USL) and the Professional Arena Soccer League (PASL).


One of the most notable accomplishments of the Rough Riders was winning the USL D-3 Pro League championship in 2002. The team was coached by former U.S. National Team player and current ESPN analyst, Janusz Michallik, and included players such as Tim Velten and Santiago Restrepo, who both went on to play in Major League Soccer.


The Rough Riders have also been active in the community, offering various soccer programs and camps for youth players. The team has partnered with local organizations such as the Long Island Junior Soccer League and Long Island Soccer Football League to promote the development of young soccer players in the area.




Long Island Players Turned Professional

Long Island has also produced several professional players who have gone on to play for national and international teams. Most notably, Tony Meola, a Long Island native, was the starting goalkeeper for the United States at the 1994 World Cup.


Long Island has actually produced several soccer players who have gone on to achieve success at both the national and international levels.


One such player is Crystal Dunn, who was born in Rockville Centre, Long Island, and grew up playing soccer with the Albertson Fury. She went on to play for the University of North Carolina and was a member of the United States women's national soccer team that won the 2019 Women's World Cup. Dunn is known for her versatility on the field, having played in multiple positions, and her speed and technical skills.


Another Long Island native who has made a name for himself in soccer is Tim Howard. Born in North Brunswick, New Jersey, Howard grew up in North Brunswick, New Jersey, and played for the New York/New Jersey MetroStars in Major League Soccer before moving to Manchester United in the English Premier League. He has also been the goalkeeper for the United States national team in multiple World Cups.


Julie Ertz, a member of the United States women's national soccer team, was born and raised in Mesa, Arizona, but played for the Albertson Fury in Long Island during her youth soccer career. Ertz has been a key player for the U.S. team, known for her defensive skills and ability to score crucial goals in important matches.


Wshether you're a player, a coach, or a fan, there is no denying the rich history and bright future of soccer on Long Island. With a dedicated community of players and fans, the future of soccer on Long Island looks bright.



Youth Soccer on Long Island


Youth soccer on Long Island has a rich and storied history that dates back several decades. The sport has been an integral part of Long Island's athletic culture, providing children with opportunities to develop their soccer skills, build lasting friendships, and compete against other teams.


In the early 1970s, youth soccer on Long Island began to gain popularity, as more and more children became interested in the sport. At the time, there were only a handful of youth soccer leagues, but the demand for the sport grew quickly. By the end of the decade, there were dozens of leagues across the island.


One of the earliest and most influential youth soccer organizations on Long Island was the Long Island Junior Soccer League (LIJSL), which was founded in 1966. The LIJSL began with just a few teams, but it quickly grew in popularity, with hundreds of teams and thousands of players by the 1970s. The league became a model for youth soccer organizations across the country, and it remains one of the most respected and successful leagues in the United States.


Another important organization in the history of youth soccer on Long Island was the Eastern New York Youth Soccer Association (ENYYSA). The ENYYSA was founded in 1973 and quickly became one of the largest youth soccer organizations in the country. The association provides support and resources for dozens of local leagues and clubs, and it has helped to foster the growth and development of youth soccer on Long Island.

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