USA Soccer great Claudio Reyna and a panel of local college coaches addressstudents on college prep and soccer recruiting

NEW YORK, NY – April 21, 2014 – The first City Showcase Symposium was held at Baruch College on Friday night before a packed room of about 200 high school soccer players, parents, and coaches.  The event was organized through a partnership between South Bronx United, a nonprofit youth development organization serving that provides soccer, educational, mentoring and leadership programming in the Bronx, and Downtown United Soccer Club, a Manhattan based youth soccer club.

Claudio Reyna speaking at the 2014 City Showcase Symposium

The symposium began featured words from Claudio Reyna, sporting director of Major League Soccer’s newest franchise New York City FC, and Zak Ivkovic, the Executive Director of the City University of New York (CUNY) Athletic Conference. Ivkovic, among other important messages, reminded the student-athletes of the importance of scholarship and academics: “For kids looking to attend college and dreaming of playing professionally, it’s priceless to get the tools and education of what you need to know to prepare you for college.”

Reyna, a former player in the English Premier League and a former captain of the United States Men’s National Team, spoke about the importance of the college game and the extremely small percentage of youth players who ultimately make it professional. “The role of college is critical in the development of a player,” Reyna noted.

The speeches were followed by a panel that was comprised of representatives from college admissions as well as the various college athletic levels.  Panelists include moderator Scott Knight, founder of andGO sports; CUNY admissions director Richard Alvarez; New York University women’s soccer head coach Michele Canning; Monroe College Men’s head coach, Marcus DiBernardo; Morrisville State men’s soccer head coach Kyle Graves; and Fordham University men’s soccer head coach Jim McElderry. The panel answered a number of questions about what kinds of players they seek out in recruiting, what prospective players can do on and off the field to gain the attention of these coaches, and how youth soccer players can determine the best path for them.  During the question and answer session, two students were rewarded with NYCFC merchandise signed by Claudio Reyna.

Panelists (from L to R) Richard Alvarez, Jim McElderry, Marcus DiBernardo, Kyle Graves, Michele Canning

The evening also featured information offered by representatives from Baruch College, CUNY Admissions, CUNY Opportunity Programs, CUNY Athletics, Growth Through Sport, and andGO Sports.  The Symposium was sponsored by Growth Through Sport, a sports and performance psychology company, New York City FC, and the City University of New York Athletic Conference.

Student Youssef Bamba speaks with representatives from CUNY and other organizations.

The City Showcase Symposium was part of the larger City Showcase Tournament, a youth soccer tournament that attracted 56 teams and 1,000 boys and girls from New York City, the surrounding counties, and four states to Randall’s Island for two days of games in front of approximately 50 college soccer coaches.  The event was also organized South Bronx United through it’s partnership with Downtown United Soccer Club.

South Bronx United is a nonprofit organization whose mission is to use soccer as a tool for social change and serves nearly 600 boys and girls through its soccer, educational, mentoring, and leadership development programs.  Downtown United Soccer Club’s mission is to educate, train, and inspire young soccer players in a positive, respectful and supportive environment, where children can develop a lifelong love for “joga bonito”.




T.J. Peterson
South Bronx United
(718) 404-9281