Manhattan Paris Saint-Germain win Regionals, will play for National Championship along with rivals Smithtown Arsenal
The Boys-Under-17 Region 1 final for supremacy in youth soccer in the Northeast United States came down to another championship game between two Eastern New York Youth Soccer Association (ENYYSA) teams as Manhattan Paris Saint-Germain of the Westchester Youth Soccer League (WYSL) played Smithtown Arsenal of the Long Island Junior Soccer League (LIJSL), the defending national champions, in Rhode Island on July 1.
It was the 16th time the friendly rivals have played one another and it wound up being Sweet Sixteen for Manhattan as they won, 2-1, on goals by central defenders Moctar Niang and Sean Fitzgerald. Manhattan took the Region 1 title back to New York City and qualified to play for the national championship from July 22 to 28 at the Maryland SoccerPlex in Germantown, Maryland. Smithtown had qualified for the Nationals as well by winning their division in the US Youth Soccer National League last winter. The friendly rivals are rather equal in talent since in their 16 games, both Manhattan and Smithtown have won seven times and tied two games.
Manhattan coach Wilson Egidio commented that his team’s success in winning the past two out of three Regional titles and appearing in the past five State Open Cup finals is due to three factors.
“One is the talent of the group as you can only go so far without talent. Two is the hard work, dedication from all involved including the coaching staff, players and parents. And three is the continuity with coach and philosophy of playing style. I’ve had some of these kids since age 10 and there’s trust in work done!” said Coach Egidio.
Manhattan Paris Saint-Germain receives its name from the Manhattan Soccer Club’s partnership with the French Ligue 1 club that is also known for its outstanding youth development program.