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ENYYSA Honors Dr. Eric Lamberg of Commack as their Personality of the Month

LIJSL

Dr. Eric Lamberg coached the US National Amputee Team to the knockout round of the Amputee World Cup for the first time ever last year and volunteers as a coach for the Commack Soccer Club. In addition to his international success, Eric has also led the Boys-Under-10 Commack Raiders to two Long Island Junior Soccer League (LIJSL) Sportsmanship Awards in two years so he is being honored by the Eastern New York Youth Soccer Association (ENYYSA) as our Personality of the Month for May.

Eric has been involved with soccer his entire life, growing up playing for the LIJSL’s Hauppauge Soccer Club plus Hauppauge High School and he still plays both outdoors and indoors for the Commack men’s team. He’s a professor at Stony Brook University in Physical Therapy after receiving his Research Doctoral Degree from Columbia University in motor learning and motor control, the science of understanding how people control their movement and learn to move when they are children as well as after injury. He has authored many research publications, including articles on amputees and motor learning.

Shortly after he joined the Board of Directors of the American Amputee Soccer Association, one of the players, Ignacio "Nacho" Medrano, stepped up to become interim player/coach, and with Eric’s LIJSL coaching experience, he was made the interim assistant coach. Prior to the Amputee World Cup last fall, the US National Amputee Team held a training camp in Myrtle Beach, South Carolina and it quickly became obvious that it was too much to expect a player to also coach.

“Thus, I ended up taking on most of the coaching responsibilities for the weekend. Then the team and the Board of Directors recommended a change and I was installed as the interim head coach,” Eric stated. “I brought the team to the Amputee World Cup last fall in Mexico. While there, we also played a few international friendlies and won against both Germany and Mexico. After returning from a successful World Cup, I was installed as the head coach and lost the interim title.”

Amputee soccer is different from the soccer you watch on TV as it’s played using crutches. There are six field players (each having one amputated leg) and one goalkeeper (with an amputated arm). Nobody plays with prosthetics. With no offsides rule, kick-ins instead of throw-ins, a smaller field (maximum of 70 x 60 meters) and smaller goal (5 meters wide x 2.2 meters high), the game is very fast with many shots on goal.

“When the keeper makes a diving save with one arm, it is very exciting for all watching!” Eric exclaimed.

Back home in the LIJSL, the 41-year-old Commack resident coaches the Raiders (his son Jack plays on the team) as well as a Boys-Under-8 Commack intramural squad (son Max plays on that team). “I have learned a lot from the boys on my teams during the five years I have been coaching.”

His little girl, Lily, is only two but she’s already in love with soccer.

“Just having the opportunity to play for all these years and be on the field with a team has made me very thankful,” Eric concluded. “Without a doubt, one of my proudest and most humbling moments has been at the recent World Cup where I was able to stand and represent the USA as the national anthem played. I believe that my best moments on a soccer field are still to come both as the US National Amputee Team coach and as a Dad who enjoys watching his kids play soccer.”

Since the US National Amputee Team does not have much funding, the players pay out of their own pockets for all their travel and lodging so Eric asked that potential sponsors contact him at eric.lamberg@ampsoccer.org. You can also reach him at that e-mail address for more info about the teams he coaches.

 

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