By Randy Vogt, Director of Public Relations, Eastern New York Youth Soccer Association
August 6, 2019-The volunteers of the Big Apple Youth Soccer League (BAYSL) got together and surprised Luis Montoya as the league’s 22nd Annual Summer Tournament was dedicated to him. BAYSL Games Chairperson Carlos Vergara stated, “In honor of Luis Montoya for all the hard work he always does for the kids, we dedicated our 22nd annual tournament in his name.”
88 coed and boys teams from Under-6 to Under-16 competed in the Luis Montoya Tournament that was played on Friday afternoons and Saturday mornings until July 27 at Flushing Meadows Park in Queens. Participating leagues included BAYSL, Metrokids Youth Soccer League, Cosmopolitan Junior Soccer League and the Long Island Junior Soccer League and 600 trophies with Luis’ name on them were distributed to the players.
Montoya stated, “Oh man, how great. It was approved by the Big Apple Board of Directors without my knowledge and what a great surprise. It was very, very nice and I wanted to cry.”
Montoya founded the BAYSL in 1997 to serve the growing number of soccer families who recently arrived in New York City and is the only President the BAYSL has ever known.
The Astoria resident has had two tours of duty as Trustee of the Eastern New York Youth Soccer Association(ENYYSA)––previously, when Barry Salter was President of Eastern New York and the last five years serving the Presidency of Richard Christiano. He is currently an Eastern New York Vice President.
Montoya is all about making certain that all children in the United States have the opportunity to play the world’s most popular sport. He has served as a member of the Diversity Committee for US Soccer under four Presidents––Alan Rothenberg, Dr. Bob Contiguglia, Sunil Gulati and currently under Carlos Cordeiro.
Vergara added, “At the Big Apple Youth Soccer League, we decided that was time to honor Luis who gives us his time, patience and love for this sport for the past 22 years. I hope he can be in charge of Big Apple for many more years to come.”
This is far from the first honor for Montoya. Most notably, he was inducted into the Eastern New York Hall of Fame in 2016.
With over 100,000 youth soccer players––both boys and girls––and more than 25,000 volunteers, the non-profit Eastern New York Youth Soccer Association (ENYYSA) stretches from Montauk Point, Long Island to the Canadian border. Members are affiliated with 11 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 Children With Special Needs. 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/, which receives nearly 300,000 hits annually from the growing soccer community.