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U.S. SOCCER ACADEMY: FC Westchester
by Mike Woitalla, July 11th, 2007 7AM
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FC Westchester, which was founded by Al Pastore in 1984, is among the first 31 clubs accepted to the U.S. Soccer Player Development Academy for its inaugural season this fall. The New York club fields nine boys teams and one girls team (175 players). Its coaches include Boris Bandov, who spent three seasons of his 12-year NASL career with the New York Cosmos and earned 33 caps for the USA in 1976-83. Current MLS players who played for FC Westchester are Stefani Miglioranzi (Columbus) and Edson Buddle (Los Angeles).

Sean Kenny, an assistant coach at St. John's when it won the 1996 NCAA Division I title, is FC Westchester's Director of Coaching. Miglioranzi, a member of that championship-winning St. John's team, joined Westchester at age 12 and played with club's teams throughout his youth career. The Brazilian-born Miglioranzi played more than 100 games for English clubs Swindon and Portsmouth before joining MLS in 2006.

In 2000, the FC Westchester won the U-16 USYSA National Championship. It has sent multiple teams to the Super Y-League North America Finals in the past two years and has won numerous New East State Cups. In June, FC Westchester '91 Boys, coached by Edgar Quiroga, lifted the U-16 State Cup for its third State Cup title in four years.

The club, whose youngest team is U-11, shares a six-field complex with State University of New York (SUNY) at Purchase, 20 miles north of New York City. Construction of an artificial turf stadium is scheduled for completion in November. It has hosted the adidas Columbus Day Weekend Soccer for 18 years.

Westchester's boys U-13 to U-17 teams play in the Super Y-League, in which all but its U-16 and U-18 U.S. Soccer Academy teams will continue to compete. Its youngest teams play in the Westchester Youth Soccer League (WYSL).

"FC Westchester is extremely pleased to see U.S. Soccer step in and deal directly with the overplay situation," says Lonny Unger, FC Westchester's President and Director of Operations. "Some say it is the clubs that are causing the overplay situation, but more so it is the organizations that keep offering more and more premier league situations that clubs believe they need to participate in so they can keep up with the Joneses and keep their players.

"Now, the Federation has come in and said enough and has come up with a rational way to deal with this situation that I now believe will be fixed for the better."

FC Westchester uses a journal advertising program and other fund-raisers to provide scholarships for players on each of its teams.

Web site: http://www.fcwestchester.com/



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