By Randy Vogt, Director of Public Relations, Eastern New York Youth Soccer Association
Congratulations to world champions Crystal Dunn of Rockville Centre and Cari Roccaro of East Islip, teammates who won the Under-20 Women’s World Cup in Japan with the USA’s 1-0 win over Germany in the final on September 8. Crystal assisted on fellow North Carolina Tar Heel Kealia Ohai’s goal, the only goal in the final, in the 44th minute. Defender Roccaro was the youngest starter for the USA.
Both developed their wonderful skills with the Eastern New York Youth Soccer Association (ENYYSA) Olympic Development Program, each playing for ODP for six years, and used ODP as a springboard to represent the USA internationally. Both Crystal and Cari also spent their formative years in the Long Island Junior Soccer League (LIJSL), the largest league in ENYYSA. Crystal played for the Rockville Centre Power, Rockville Centre Tornadoes and Albertson Fury ‘93.
“Crystal has a genuine love for the game and a true desire to be the very best,” commented Tim Bradbury, ENYYSA’s Director of Coaching Instruction who coached her on the Power and Tornadoes. “She was the first to arrive at practice and the last to leave. Now when she comes home to Rockville Centre, she often plays against some of the boys teams I train.”
“Crystal has really adapted her game to become a world-class defender,” added Paul Riley, her coach with the Albertson Fury, “The assist in the final sums her strengths: speed, great one-on-one ability and the poise to make the final ball count. She will play on the full women’s national team one day.”
Cari competed for the Albertson Fury ‘91, won the Women’s Premier Soccer League national championship with the Long Island Fury in 2009 and played for the New York Fury of WPSL Elite this past summer. She was coached on all three teams by Riley.
“Cari might have been the youngest starter for the USA but she proved her spot. Tough, tenacious, played aga
inst some topplayers and she was tremendous,” said Coach Riley. “She has really worked hard at her game and her immense work rate and competitive style makes her a world class prospect.”
“Coaching Cari over the last few years has been a privilege,” added Riley. “Nobody puts more into her game and now she has her just rewards.”
As Crystal returns to the United States to play for the University of North Carolina, Cari will begin her freshman campaign at Notre Dame. Perhaps Cari can match her friend’s accomplishment as a freshman as Crystal was named the Soccer America Freshman of the Year in 2010.