Lance Lampert, 11, who said he watches Red Bulls games on television, looks forward to improving his footwork. He has been playing soccer for about eight years, primarily on defense. “It involves a lot of skill,” he said of the sport. “You have to really concentrate on the game.”
Parents are thrilled, too. Although the fees were raised a little because of the deal with the Red Bulls, Graham said there were no complaints because parents want a quality program for their children.
“I think the league is fantastic,” said Sara Sheinin, whose son, Matthew, has played for five years.
She said that the children learn teamwork and good sportsmanship. Additionally, Sheinin noted that the volunteer coaches give a tremendous amount of time to the league work hard to help the children hone their soccer skills.
The Soccer Club has success to build from, league officials say, pointing to several teams that recently won championships, or at least came close.
The 18-year-old girls team, known as the Hammers, were Division 1 champions and captured the Long Island Cup. Graham said the girls were up against some of the toughest competition in the region.
The Rockets, a 12-year-old girls team, also won the Long Island Cup for its age group. Two teams were Babylon Cup winners including the 13-year-old Boys, the Bandits, and the 11-year-old girls, the United.
Capturing the Massapequa Cup was the 15-year-old girls team, the Strikers. For the first time, Valley Stream had a team go to the state finals, the 18-year-old boys. Though they lost 1-0 to Rockville Centre, Graham said the players should be proud of their accomplishment. He explained that the team had great chemistry because most of the boys have been playing together for the better part of a decade.
“Soccer in Valley Stream is starting to become competitive,” said Luis Correa, the second vice president and travel coordinator. “We are able to go to these tournaments and bring home some trophies and medals.”