Alleycats girls academy players honor Alyssa Blake (in green in front row) and Claire Hutton (in red in front row). Photo courtesy of Alleycats SC via ENYYSA.
By Randy Vogt, Director of Public Relations, Eastern New York Youth Soccer Association
April 19, 2022 — Things are looking up for the Alleycats Soccer Club with a couple of its members in the limelight as spring soccer continues to roll in Albany. The club plays in several outstanding leagues and organizations including the Capital District Youth Soccer League (CDYSL), Eastern Development Program (EDP), Eastern New York Youth Soccer Association (ENYYSA) and the US Youth Soccer National League.
On April 5, the club celebrated Claire Hutton and Alyssa Blake with a send-off from its girls academy players. Claire and Alyssa will be playing in the CONCACAF Under-17 World Cup qualifiers in the Dominican Republic from April 23 to May 8. Three teams from CONCACAF, composed of North America, Central America and the Caribbean, will qualify for the Women’s-Under-17 World Cup in India from October 11 to 30 of this year.
Claire Hutton of the Alleycats 2004 NL Red and Eastern New York’s Olympic Development Program (ODP) is the first girl from the Capital Region to make any U.S. Soccer national team since current Alleycats technical director Betsy Drambour represented the USA in the mid-80s. Claire, a midfielder, has been playing with the Alleycats for the past six years.
(Note from the National League: Hutton's Alleycats 04 side is currently in second place in its National League P.R.O. group and in position to secure a spot at the 2022 USYS National Championships.)
Alyssa Blake from Alleycats 2005 NL Red will be representing Guyana, where she has been to once, and can play for them because of her mother Alexis who was born there. Her mother created a Facebook page about Alyssa’s soccer exploits in 2019 and through that, Alyssa was invited to play for the Guyana Women’s-Under-17 team and she quickly became the starting left defender and later the team captain. Guyana is a country in South America but plays in the CONCACAF region. Alyssa has been competing for the Alleycats for the last five years and joins Kristina Maksuti (Albania) and Mariela Jacome (Ecuador) from the Alleycats who have represented national teams outside of the USA.
Claire Hutton (left) and Alyssa Blake (right). Photo courtesy of Alleycats SC via ENYYSA.
Earlier this month, Alleycats 2010G Academy Red went to New Jersey and won the PDA Spring Kick-Off, defeating World Class, PDA Blue, New York SC plus Match Fit in the final.
Finally, Alleycats Director of Coaching Chris Le, a Trustee on the ENYYSA Board of Directors, was recently featured on the United Soccer Coaches podcast discussing mental health awareness and suicide prevention. Chris is a licensed mental health counselor and certified school psychologist with degrees from Carnegie Mellon University and Albany State.
With approximately 100,000 youth soccer players––both boys and girls––and more than 25,000 volunteers, the non-profit Eastern New York Youth Soccer Association (ENYYSA) stretches from Montauk Point, Long Island to the Canadian border. Members are affiliated with nine leagues throughout the association, which covers the entire state of New York east of Route 81. ENYYSA exists to promote and enhance the game of soccer for children and teenagers between the ages of 5 and 19 years old, and to encourage the healthy development of youth players, coaches, referees and administrators. All levels of soccer are offered––from intramural, travel team and premier players as well as Children With Special Needs. No child who wants to play soccer is turned away. ENYYSA is a proud member of the United States Soccer Federation and United States Youth Soccer. For more information, please log on to http://www.enysoccer.com/