Friday, 02 March 2012 00:00
A team that five-years ago was made up of a dozen friends has now exploded into one of the most envied soccer programs on Long Island. 2011 New York State Manning Cup Champion Mineola Portuguese Soccer Club (MPSC) will break an organization record this spring by fielding 10 teams and over 200 players at one time. Their existing 2 men’s amateur and 3 youth teams will be joined by four additional youth teams in the Just Say Soccer League and a new adult women’s amateur team in the LISFL.
MPSC’s trademark Premier team will be looking to win the club’s first ever League Cup in the spring, with a seventh League Championship still in sight.
“With the core of the team back and several key additions, we are looking for a strong close to the season,” Said Premier Team VP and Captain Georgi Spanos. Meanwhile, the Reserves are “red-hot” said VP Daniel Carlos; who await powerhouse NYGA in the State Cup Sweet Sixteen, are in the League Cup Semifinals and tied for first place overall in the LISFL.
The relatively new youth division is also prospering. “We are getting applications to join every day, the club is accommodating everyone we can,” said club President Marco Dafonte. Now with seven teams in the 6-10 year-old age group the “sky is the limit,” he said, playing off the pun that all youth teams are named after weather patterns. The existing three youth teams have yet to lose a single game in the 2011-12 season and have already brought home four prominent tournament cups.
And finally, in the spring, the LISFL and President Gus Xikis have brought a nationally affiliated women’s soccer league back to Long Island and the MPSC will be there too. With Woman’s Professional Soccer halting its 2012 season, professional and NCAA Division 1 Student-Athletes have already begun signing on to the first ever MPSC-Women’s team.
The Portuguese American Club-affiliated team has also been busy on the organizational side, securing several key sponsorship deals with long-term supporters Rite-Way Carting & Demo, Bairrada Restaurant, Empire Surgical, and renowned Orthopedist Dr. Dave Pereira – in addition to a 2-year extension on Powerbar’s Team Elite program. MPSC is also preparing to host their annual soccer gala in May, which traditionally sells out with current and former stars of the game highlighting the evening.
“One parent asked me why does our organization work so hard in support of the community-” said VP Gabriel Marques. “I respond that we want ensure that our children will have a team and community that they can take ownership in and be a proud part of in the future.”