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USYS Apr 15, 2020

Eastern New York Soccer Hall of Famer Steve LaRosa, 78, dies from COVID-19

The Eastern New York Youth Soccer Association (ENYYSA) is saddened to report that Eastern New York Hall of Famer Steve LaRosa died at the age of 78 from the coronavirus earlier this week. Nominated by Howard Rubenstein, he was inducted into our Hall of Fame in 2014.

Upon learning the news of LaRosa’s passing, Rubenstein stated, “Steve was a pioneer, a tireless worker, a good mentor to me and he was always there whenever I needed him. Besides the State, he also did a lot for the Region and for the development of girls soccer.”

LaRosa was a prominent figure in youth soccer who helped grow the sport when it was not nearly as popular as it is today. The Southern New York Youth Soccer Association, the predecessor to ENYYSA, was founded in 1972 by George Donnelly and Enzo Magnozzi. Tony Perez became the first President.

In 1976, LaRosa became the second President of Southern New York, serving until 1978 when he was succeeded by Ivor Foster. There was great expansion at the start of the youth soccer boom during Steve’s one term in office as clubs all over the Empire State, from Long Island to the Canadian border, were admitted. With the state youth soccer association going “from Montauk to Massena,” the term Southern New York was no longer appropriate so the name was changed to Eastern New York Youth Soccer Association in 1982.

By then, LaRosa was very active as a coach for the Long Island women’s team that competed in the Empire State Games and in the old Massapequa Athletic Club of the Long Island Junior Soccer League (LIJSL).

The Great River resident was also one of only seven head coaches that the Adelphi University women have known during the four decades of the program’s existence.

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