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Vincenzo Valente inducted into Eastern New York Soccer Hall of Fame

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(Via ENYYSA) – Vincenzo Valente has been inducted as the newest member of the Eastern New York Soccer Hall of Fame. The induction ceremony took place at the 2015 Holiday Party organized by both the Eastern New York Youth Soccer Association (ENYYSA) and Eastern New York State Adult Soccer Association on December 6 at Marina del Rey in the Bronx.

Vincenzo grew up playing soccer in Bari, Italy. He emigrated to the United States and lived in the Bronx when he was not serving in the Armed Forces from 1959 to 1961. He joined Mount Carmelo’s CYO and played many games at Van Cortland Park.

In 1972, Vincenzo founded a soccer club, Associazione Sportiva Bisceglie, named after the part of southeastern Italy where he grew up. The club joined the Italian-American Soccer League (IASL) and in its inaugural season of 1973-74, the team received Coppa Disciplina, the IASL Sportsmanship Award.

Two years later, Vincenzo was elected Recording Secretary of the adult soccer association and started serving on multiple committees.

In 1989, he partnered with Adult Soccer Association president Sal Rapaglia and Vito Bavaro, President of the Bagnarese team from New Jersey, to form the Northeast Super Soccer League, the closest thing to a professional outdoor soccer league in the New York metro area at the time after the folding of the original North American Soccer League in 1985. Vincenzo served as the Northeast League’s president and started a joint venture with the Hellenic-American Soccer League in 1995, a year before Major League Soccer kicked off.

In 1990, Vincenzo, along with Sal Rapaglia and Alfonso Vargas, got the construction of the Cropsey Avenue Fields in Brooklyn off the ground.

Now retired and living in South Setauket, Long Island, Vincenzo enjoys watching his grandchildren play the beautiful game.

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