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Local Stars Honored By Long Island Soccer Hall of Fame

Paul LeSueur and Chris Armas among inductees

On a recent Saturday evening at the Long Island Junior Soccer League’s annual convention, the first group of Long Island Soccer Player Hall of Fame inductees was presented. This inaugural class of inductees includes two former players with strong Garden City ties – longtime resident Paul LeSueur and Adelphi Women’s soccer coach Chris Armas. Also inducted were Cosmos goalie Shep Messing who played high school ball at The Wheatley School and Kim Wyant who played for the LI Lady Riders and coached at Dowling College.

After graduating from St. Anthony’s High School in 1990, Armas went on to star at Adelphi University, being named an All-American as a senior. Upon graduation he joined the Long Island Rough Riders for two all-star seasons. He then went on to star for 12 seasons in the MLS for both the LA Galaxy and the Chicago Fire, while also attaining 66 caps in international play for the US. He is currently in his third year as head coach of the Adelphi Women’s team.

Paul LeSueur was one of the first Americans to play for the New York Cosmos in 1972 and 1973 and was a member of the team that won the NASL championship.  LeSueur coached men’s soccer at both Adelphi and C.W. Post and he worked with the New York Power of the Women’s United Soccer Association as their director of community relations and director of New York Power Camps.

Paul played collegiately at Springfield College and starred as an All-American defender for the team that earned a NCAA Division II national championship and he was named tournament MVP in 1969. LeSueur  was the roommate of Tony DiCicco, the former U.S. women’s national coach while at Springfield, who once said of Paul when he was asked who were the major influences in his career, “Paul was the first person I ever knew with a genuine passion for the game. He was from England and had his hometown newspapers delivered to him.”

And that passion continues today as LeSueur is currently the sports director of the Waldorf School. More importantly Paul is the head coach of the Waldorf boys soccer team who most recently won the 2012 IPPSAL Boys Soccer Championship – the third championship in the past five years.

LeSueur commented, “I am very humbled and blessed to be honored by the Long Island Soccer Player Hall of Fame and the LIJSL, as their history and reputation make it one of the premier soccer leagues in the United States.”

Paul has for many years been instrumental in the development of youth soccer in Garden City serving in various capacities for the Centennial Soccer Club, including time as club president, a member of the board of directors and a coach and trainer. Most days during the season you can find him on a pitch at St. Paul’s watching, coaching or training Garden City boys and girls in the finer points of soccer.   

LeSueur has directed youth summer camps throughout the years, one of which is known to many now grown former players as Camp Happy.  For the past several years LeSueur has been working with the Centennials to offer an advanced player training program (C.A.P.T.) that includes a tournament schedule against high level competition throughout the Northeast. The C.A.P.T. program has helped many of the village’s more advanced players to experience the rigors of playing soccer at a higher level.

As a family man Paul talks proudly of his wife Liz and four children, Sarah, Paul Jr., Pete and Bethany. When asked about his development of his own kids as such great athletes he humbly mentioned how Liz is the parent that instilled the competitive nature in their children being that she was a top competitive swimmer. Bethany said of Paul “My father was a man who could coach you in any sport and he was always able to help us get to the next level.”