Now well into their third decade, the Three Village Soccer Club and Stony Brook Travel teams have been a haven of top soccer training; but they have also created an atmosphere of sportsmanship and respect for the game that have also become part of their trademark over the years.
Both were in strong supply on Sunday when we visited the club for opening weekend of the Spring 2012 season at the Stony Brook Soccer Park on the campus of Stony Brook University. The complex, which plays host to the LI Cup Finals in recent years, also serves as the home of the club’s 2100 youth players in the intramural and travel programs. Built on 27 acres of State University land, the Soccer Park earned the club recognition from the USSF Foundation in 1997 for facilities development.
Stony Brook has 30 teams that compete in the LIJSL travel program, and the club prides itself on being a strong feeder program for the Ward Melville HS teams that featured a state championship for the boys in 1992. They were also the breeding ground for former MetroStars defender Mark Semioli, and former professional player and current college coach Tim Kaleita.
But at the core of their success is a belief in quality training and playing experiences for al their young athletes. Three Village/Stony Brook was one of the first clubs on Long Island to make effective use of small sided games and practices as a training tool for their youngest players. Their “micro soccer” program features 3 v 3 play that encourages more touches on the ball and a greater emphasis on team play.
The club continues to keep its’ focus on creating a positive atmosphere for players and families. They are currently undertaking a comprehensive marketing and community relations effort that is focused on sportsmanship, proper athlete and spectator behavior, and creating a sense of community through soccer.