Pier 40...What's Next?

At a meeting on Pier 40 two months ago, Board Member Isaac Daniel Astrachan of Downtown United Soccer Club presented some of the league's ideas for the pier,  including a modest commercial use,  adding a cafe, and increasing the amount of playing-field space. Photo by Lincoln Anderson

At a meeting on Pier 40 two months ago, Board Member Isaac Daniel Astrachan of Downtown United Soccer Club presented some of the league's ideas for the pier,  including a modest commercial use,  adding a cafe, and increasing the amount of playing-field space. Photo by Lincoln Anderson

Survey says? Community Board 2 to release online poll on future of Pier 40

BY LINCOLN ANDERSON | So far, a series of meetings by a Community Board 2 working group focusing on Pier 40 have not exactly been going gangbusters in terms of drawing crowds of local residents.

To solicit more ideas and concerns about the planned redevelopment of the sprawling W. Houston St. pier, C.B. 2 now will be sending out an e-survey. Tobi Bergman, chairperson of the board’s ad hoc Future of Pier 40 Working Group, said the survey will be going out next week.

Few details were available at press time about the survey’s actual contents or exactly which e-mail lists will be used to distribute it — though, obviously the C.B. 2 list will be used.

In a recent interview, Bergman told The Villager, “We decided to do a survey to give a broader segment of the community a chance to weigh in, because the turnout at these meetings hasn’t been huge — because there hasn’t been anything on the table. Usually people start coming out [to meetings] when there’s a plan on the table.”

Although the Hudson River Park Trust, the waterfront park’s governing authority, has had one or more representatives at the meetings, which have been going for a few months now, so far no concrete plans have been broached by the Trust. What is known is that the Trust wants to redevelop Pier 40 to generate more revenue for both the massive W. Houston St. pier’s maintenance and the wider park, in general.

The Trust has tried, without success, to find ideas for the pier for more than a decade now. Two previous requests for proposals, or R.F.P.’s, from developers for plans to redevelop Pier 40 both went bust after the community opposed the proposals. Those failed ideas ranged from the world’s largest oceanarium during the first R.F.P. to a Cirque du Soleil-centered “Vegas on the Hudson” plan by The Related Companies during the subsequent R.F.P.

This past May, a deal was closed under which the Trust is selling 200,000 square feet of unused development rights from Pier 40 to the developers of the St. John’s Partners project at 550 Washington St. That project will see the old St. John’s Terminal redeveloped into a new residential-and-hotel complex with a significant amount of affordable housing included.

But Pier 40 still has remaining air rights, and if the pier’s current three-story pier shed is demolished, even more development rights will be available to build new structures on the pier.

“The difficult thing,” Bergman said, “will be to try to figure out how to protect the park from another overblown development project” without totally impeding the Trust from trying to redevelop Pier 40 at all.

The main goal of the Trust right now, he said, is to modify the park’s governing legislation, the Hudson River Park Act of 1998, to allow commercial office space to be built at Pier 40. Currently, under the legislation, space equal to 50 percent of the pier’s footprint must be reserved for recreational park use, while the rest of the pier can be used commercially to generate revenue for the park.

“What the Trust has made clear over the years is that they want as much flexibility as they get,” he noted.

The Pioneers team proudly took the field at Pier 40 at a Greenwich Village Little League Opening Day parade a few years ago. The pier’s enormous courtyard sports field is a sacred cow for local families. Villager file photo

But if what the Trust proposes is out of scale, no doubt there will be community backlash.

“If it’s huge, there will be resistance,” Bergman assured. “Scale is a huge issue.”

The former C.B. 2 chairperson and longtime local youth sports and parks activist noted that the pier has a floor-area ratio, or F.A.R., of 2 — meaning that if all the pier’s original development rights were still intact, the entire 15.4-acre pier could be covered solidly with two stories of floor space. Subtracting the 200,000 square feet that were sold to the St. John’s Partners project for $100 million still leaves the pier with a lot of usable development rights.

“You end up with half the floor area of the Empire State Building,” Bergman offered for comparison. “That’s what you could put there. What would be left would be 1.15 million square feet — the Empire State Building is 2.25 million square feet.

“And if you put offices there, you will have to have a certain amount of ancillary stuff — restaurants, cafes, coffee shops,” he noted.

The “density of the office space” will be a key issue, he predicted.

“If 10,000 people are working there, that would be a disaster,” Bergman warned. “Five thousand sounds like it’s still a lot.”

On the other hand, what the pier currently has — recreational park uses (its sports fields) and parking — are uses that have less impact and are less dense in terms of numbers of people on the pier.

Ultimately, Bergman pointed to the language of the park act as the guideline for any redevelopment of the pier. The legislation, he noted, says that “to the extent practicable,” the park will generate income through park commercial uses for the park’s maintenance and operation.

(“It is intended that, to the extent practicable…the costs of the operation and maintenance of the park be paid by revenues generated within the Hudson River Park and that those revenues be used only for park purposes. Additional funding by the state and the city may be allocated as necessary to meet the costs of operating and maintaining the park.”)

Looking at it another way, Bergman said, it isn’t — or shouldn’t be — a question of how much money the Trust wants to milk out of Pier 40, “but what can the park and the community take?”

“We don’t want to fight it again. That’s why we’re doing this,” he said of the working group’s goal of having recommendations for Pier 40 in place by the end of this year.

What is not wanted is another failed R.F.P., which would be “strike three” for Pier 40 after two previous processes tanked, he stressed.

“That would make chances even less likely it’ll happen,” he said. “We want a successful park / commercial project that can generate funds for the park. But,” he added, “the purpose of the park is not to raise money. The park’s commercial part has to be compatible.”

Personally, Bergman said he would have preferred some residential development as a way to raise funds for the park. Around five years ago, a group he helped spearhead, Pier 40 Champions — a coalition of the local youth sports leagues — proposed the idea of building two luxury residential towers near the bike path at the foot of Pier 40 as a revenue generator. But it never got off the ground due to lack of political support. Like office use, it would have needed a legislative amendment, since the park act doesn’t allow residential use. The leagues wouldn’t have built the towers, but they just suggested the idea.

“I thought the answer was a limited amount of residential,” Bergman reflected, “but the politicians didn’t want that, so we conceded that.”

Meanwhile, the Trust is not helping clarify things, in that it isn’t giving any real specifics on what it wants to see at Pier 40.

The Villager asked a Trust spokesperson if she could provide some more details about what the authority is envisioning, but she replied, “On Pier 40, the Trust respects the community board’s process and is not commenting at this point.”

At least one thing that is very clear, though: Bergman doesn’t want any of the potential office employees on Pier 40 thinking they’ll get insider dibs on the pier’s coveted courtyard or rooftop artificial-turf sports fields.

“They should have no special access to the fields,” he stressed. “No, not the same access to the fields as everyone else, because they already will be dominating the pier. Those fields are there for the community — not to make the pier more attractive to a commercial office use. I think that they would really have to be at the end of the line.”

Another big concern for the local leagues, like Greenwich Village Little League and Downtown United Soccer Club, and local schools that use the pier is that the playing fields never shut down.

However, the fear is that a massive Pier 40 project could close the pier for several years, meaning the leagues will have to scramble to find alternative field space.

“They should not close down the fields for construction,” Bergman stressed.



DUSC coaches selected to attend the Young Leaders Global Summit in Manchester City

DUSC staff members Mauricio Maya (Academy, Camps, City Soccer) and Diana Salinas (Camps, City Soccer) were 2 of 60 inspirational young leaders chosen from around the globe for a life changing experience at Manchester City.

City Football Group’s global community was centre stage as City Football Academy opened its doors for the annual Cityzens Giving Young Leaders Summit.

Mauricio Maya (2nd from left) enjoying an activity in Manchester

Mauricio Maya (2nd from left) enjoying an activity in Manchester

Official Cityzens Giving Young Leader Summit Partner, Etihad Airways, generously helped to connect these young leaders by flying them from 14 projects to Manchester.

This year they welcome returning leaders from Manchester, New York, Melbourne, Cape Town, Kuala Lumpur, Barranquilla, Kolkata, São Paulo and Ghana as well as from the latest additions to the City Football family in Beijing, Bandung, Mexico City, Abu Dhabi and Hanoi.

The third Young Leaders Summit enabled participants from a growing network of Cityzens Giving projects to access leading edge training in community football and share learning about how they are using the game's unifying power to impact their communities.

For the first time, these returning young leaders took charge and co-delivered the summit with City in the Community coaches, using the knowledge and experience gained over the years to enhance the new young leaders confidence, leadership and community football coaching skills.

The 2017 Cityzens Giving Young Leaders Summit – in partnership with Etihad Airways - enjoyed a successful finale as participants delivered two football festivals.

Having grown in confidence throughout the week, the young leaders put into practice everything they had learned and demonstrated their community coaching and leadership skills.

Diana Salinas (far left) celebrating the achievements of youth players participating in the youth festival. 

Diana Salinas (far left) celebrating the achievements of youth players participating in the youth festival. 

First up was a festival for 240 local children before Manchester City fans and staff reaped the benefits of their skills in the afternoon.

The Young Leaders Summit concluded last evening when the leaders’ development and success was acknowledged at a graduation ceremony.

Congratulations to Mauricio and Diana!  We are so proud of your accomplishments and look forward to you bringing back the knowledge and skills that you acquired!

For  more information on the Young Leaders Global Summit go here




Max Neve (B2000 Blue) invited to train in Spain this summer

Max Neve will travel to Madrid, Spain to train with Real Madrid Foundation coaches through invite only generation adidas international Select.

Thursday, June 8th, 2017
ATLANTA, GA - This year DUSC is proud to announce that Max Neve has been selected for one of the 32 spots for the generation adidas international Real Madrid Foundation Select Program.

Each year the top adidas youth soccer clubs nationwide have the exclusive opportunity to nominate players and coaches to participate in the generation adidas international Select program. 96 talented players have been invited to train this August at Real Madrid Foundation, A.F.C. Ajax, and Olympique Lyonnais - three of the world’s most powerful soccer clubs.

Neve is 17 years old and plays for DUSC . He prides himself on his Dutch background and ability to “thrive off of mixing the physical and technical aspects of [his] game into play at all times”. From the program, he looks forward to playing with such high caliber players and coaches. For a more detailed player profile, see his SoccerScout profile .

Real Madrid CF’s multitude of trophies include 33 La Liga titles, 19 Copa del Rey titles, and 12 Champion’s League titles. In addition to being trained by Real Madrid Foundation coaches, Neve will play in international friendly matches against Academy teams and receive individual evaluation from Real Madrid Foundation coaches - an opportunity presented to very few American players.

About us: As part of the expanded generation adidas grassroots
platform, generation adidas international emphasizes adidas’ role
as the premier provider of elite developmental opportunities to U.S.
clubs. With generation adidas international’s incomparable access to the world’s top academies and tournaments, adidas clubs have the opportunity to train and play at the sport’s most renowned institutions. With generation adidas international, the world of adidas soccer opens its doors. Where will you play?



DUSC Academy teams punch ticket to knockout stage of NY State Cup!


DUSC is very clear on the focus of long term player development through the system as part of the 'DUSC Way'. We don't sacrifice player development for trophies, which requires patience and a healthy attitude for the long term.  We believe if players have the 3 A's (Attitude, Attendance, Ability) success will be a by product of this down the road and we have seen this come to fruition as players and teams get older.  

The club has continued to make improvements and push the bar to compete at the highest level, with all of the top boys teams now competing in the 1st Division of the Elite Development League (EDP) spanning top competition in the northeast region of NY, NJ, CT.  

In addition, DUSC enters all academy teams U13 and above into the NY State Cup competition to measure against the highest competition in the state. The tournament begins in the fall season with 3 group stage games, with the top two teams from each bracket moving onto to the knockout stage during the spring season.  

This past weekend, DUSC saw the following teams make it through to the next rounds of competition. Congratulations to all teams and best of luck in the next round!  

Gold Division

Boys U13 (2004 Blue) - Quarterfinals - May 6 vs. SUSA Elite
Boys U14 (2003 Blue) - Semifinals - TBD vs. Winner of MSC/White Plains
Boys U16 (2001 Blue) - Round of 16 - May 7 vs. Lake Grove
Boys U17 (2000 Blue) - Round of 16 - May 13 vs. SUSA Commack
Boys U18 (1999 Blue) - Round of 16 - May 7 vs. MSC
Boys U19 (1998 Blue) - Round of 16 - May 2 vs. Pleasant Valley 

Silver Division

Boys U15 (2002 Orange) - Quarterfinals - May 14 vs. East Ramapo
Boys U16 (2001 Orange) - Quarterfinals - May 15 vs. Wappingers
Boys U17 (2000 Orange) - Quarterfinals - May 15 vs. Mamaroneck
Boys U18 (1999 Orange) - Quarterfinals - May 4 vs. NY Fusion



Girls will train at two of Europeans top women's clubs!


Girls will train at two of Europeans top women's clubs!

This summer our DUSC G2000 Blue and G2002 Blue teams will have an opportunity of a lifetime as they travel to Europe to train with the youth academy coaches of Dutch giant, AFC Ajax Amsterdam and FFC Frankfurt, and play competitive matches against European teams.  

In beautiful Amsterdam, the program includes an inside look and valuable training with academy coaches from the world-renowned Ajax Academy, De Toekomst (The Future), a virtual European soccer factory that has developed a multitude of international stars past and present. This is a very special opportunity: De Toekomst is considered the prototype of the modern youth academy and the Ajax men's team at is now a semifinalist in the Europa League Cup.

In addition, they'll travel to Frankfurt, Germany; home to FFC Frankfurt, one of the most successful women's clubs both nationally and internationally. They'll train at the academy, sightsee in downtown Frankfurt and submerse themselves in Frankfurt's unique and vibrant culture.



Join Us for a FREE Girls Clinic at Pier 40 in NYC


Join Us for a FREE Girls Clinic at Pier 40 in NYC


Lead by Jen Leaverton (Assistant Women's Coach at St. John's University, Division I), Gary Lawson (Head Women's Soccer Coach at St. Joseph's College, Division III) and Arman Osooli (Technical Director — Girls Academy) at Downtown United Soccer Club, the clinic will include training from some of the top local colleges in the NY area, along with Q & A on what it takes to play at the next level.    

Date: Saturday, May 13th

Ages (Birth year):

  • 2010-2005 9:00am–10:30am
  • 2004-2000 10:30am–12:00pm

Cost:  Free

Featured Staff: 

  • Jen LeavertonAssistant Women's Coach, St. Johns University
  • Gary LawsonHead Women's Coach, St. Joseph's College
  • Arman OsooliGirls Technical Director, DUSC

* All players must register through the online portal HERE in order to participate.  Space is limited. 


Parent Night 2017


Parent Night 2017

Wednesday,  May 10th at 6:30 pm
P.S. 3 Charrette School
490 Hudson St, New York, NY 10014

We will be hosting DUSC “Parent Night” at 6:30 pm on Wednesday, May 10th at P.S. 3 for all Academy parents. All Academy practices will be cancelled that night. Food and drinks will be served.

We encourage all parents to attend as we will discuss information for the upcoming 2017-2018 year and beyond. This meeting is for parents only, please do not bring players.

We look forward to seeing everyone.


DUSC performs extremely well at the City Showcase


DUSC performs extremely well at the City Showcase

Four DUSC teams were crowned champions in the top bracket of the City Showcase Tournament at Randall's Island this weekend.  With over 75 teams competing, the B1998 Blue, B1999 Blue, B2000 Blue and B2001 Blue came away as Champions this weekend.  

The B2001 Orange narrowly missed out on a visit to the final with a 2 wins, 1 draw, 0 losses in division, but missed out by one goal on a tie breaker via goal differential.

66 College coaches were represented at the Showcase tournament, recruiting the next generation of talent from DUSC and other clubs.  

Congratulations to all teams competing. 

Teams will resume league play next weekend and look to continue their impressive form.  

About City Showcase Tournament
The City Showcase Tournament and Symposium provides strong competition, exposure to college soccer recruitment, and information on college access (from both an educational and athletic standpoint) for youth soccer teams and players from the New York metropolitan area and beyond. The event places particular emphasis on providing inner city and minority youth, who are underrepresented in higher education and college soccer, a platform to reach college. At the same time, the event welcomes teams and players from beyond the city and across the region each year. Last year, featured 96 U15-U19 teams from four states and Canada. Over 70 college coaches registered to attend. The City Showcase Tournament is a partnership between South Bronx United and Downtown United Soccer Club



B2004's headed to England this summer!


B2004's headed to England this summer!

Players will train at two of the Premier League's top clubs! 

Chelsea moves one step closer to a Premier league title as they topped Manchester City 2-1 yesterday in an exciting match that saw two contrasting styles battle it out in a tactical showcase.  With the second half lead, Antonio Conte's Chelsea did what they did best, not allowing Pep Guardiola's attacking City to break through their organized defensive blocks.    

This summer our DUSC B2004s will have an opportunity of a lifetime as they travel to England to train with the youth academy coaches of Manchester City FC and Chelsea FC, and play competitive matches against top level English teams.  

The players will have a guided tour of Chelsea's Stamford Bridge Stadium and its club museum, attend the Annual Community Shield Match at Wembley Stadium and explore London. Then they will travel north, to tour Manchester City's Etihad Stadium and its club museum, visit the National Football Museum and explore Manchester and nearby Liverpool.

This trip will give our players the experience of a lifetime as they gain insights into youth development at two of the best clubs on the world, while absorbing the culture of their sport in the country that is its birth place.

In addition to B2004's trip, the B2002's are headed to Spain and the G2000's are headed to Holland.  More to come on those trips soon...



DUSC Academy players working out during the winter season...


DUSC Academy players working out during the winter season...

DUSC has made upgrades to the academy program to continue and improve player flexibility, joint ROM, reduce muscle tension, body balance, breathing function, along with other benefits for enhancing sports performance.  

"After discussions with our directors, we felt that we needed to bring in more expertise and resources in the areas around performance and injury prevention" says Tom Frambach, General Manager at DUSC.  Kei Kinoshita was hired this past August to oversee the growth in the areas mentioned above.  Tom is quick to note that although DUSC is helping facilitate the introduction of these programs, the players must continue to take responsibility and build upon the foundation that DUSC offers.   

Yoga was a program that DUSC began to implement two years ago to our high school athletes specifically during the winter season.   In addition to yoga, Kei also suggested the Alexander Technique as a supplement as well.   This winter our U15 – U19 players had the opportunity to practice sports yoga with Caroline Williams for 8 weeks, and Emily Faulkner introduced us to Alexander Technique as well. 

You are now seeing more and more pro athletes turn to yoga to aid their performance. Yoga has been practiced over the centuries to help improve mental focus, gain strength, stamina and flexibility which any athlete can benefit from.

Beyond Downward Dog: The Rise of Yoga in the NBA and Other Pro Sports (Sports Illustrated)

Yoga can help you stay forever young like Ryan Giggs (The Telegraph)

Alexander Technique
The Alexander Technique is now being increasingly adopted by recreational and competitive sports people. They have all used it to improve some aspect of the way that they function - breathing, freedom or efficiency of movement, balance, dealing with stress, aches and pains or injuries. Simple misalignments in posture can cause uncomfortable stress on your body. The focus is on preventing habitual muscular actions that cause inefficient movement patterns that can lead to injury and limit performance. It helps you become more aware of how you think and move.

Yoga vs Pilates vs The Alexander Technique by PosturePeople

"Trying harder does not always make a difference" says Kei.   "Competitive athletes always pay attention to eliminating inefficient movement that can lead to injury or reduced performance caused by poor technique. The well-established general rule is that insufficient range of motion (ROM), or stiffness, will increase muscle-strain risks."

Recent researches suggest that, to improve sports performance, active stiffness should be reduced and active ROM should be improved. This will be more specific than static stretches which reduce passive tension since sports involve both movement and muscular contractions.

“The most common bio-mechanical difference between the elite and novice soccer player is that elite soccer players use a refined and consistent movement pattern where novices use a variable and inconsistent one.” (Sports Injuries in Children and Adolescents” by Apostolos H. Karantanas)

Kei added, "adding steady these practices to a routine can help getting stronger and even aid in recovery. We expect our players to do so at home for their consistent high quality performance."





DUSC B2002's headed to Spain this summer!


DUSC B2002's headed to Spain this summer!

The UEFA Champions League Round of 16 match between FC Barcelona and Paris St. Germain at the Camp Nou yesterday captured the spirit of sport.  Many counted the five time Champions league title holders FC Barcelona out, as they struggled in the first leg in Paris and were down 0-4 going into yesterdays match.  

With a full house of nearly 100,000 spirited fans waiving the Catalonia flag and cheering their team on, Barca scored 3 goals in the last three minutes to go ahead on aggregate and win the match 6-1, moving them forward to the final 8 of the Champions League. 

DUSC B2002's will have an opportunity of a lifetime this summer as they travel with Technical Director Jose Luis Rebay for 11 days splitting their time between Barcelona and Madrid to visit and train at 2 of the remaining 8 clubs in the UEFA Champions League Final.  

Fellow Spanish club Real Madrid will host DUSC B2002's first as they tour the Bernabeu and train at Real Madrid's facilities with their professional coaching staff. While in Madrid, they will stay in the famed ciudad del futbol, home of former World Cup Champion and MLS MVP David Villa's Spanish National Team.  Coaches from the Spanish Federation will train the boys and give them an opportunity to learn the Spanish Way.  

After soaking up the experience in Madrid, the team will take a few hour train ride to Barcelona to finish up the remainder of the five day tour.  Players and coaches will tour Camp Nou and work with local youth clubs to train, compete and enjoy the soccer experience.  

Along the way, the group will soak up the culture off the field as well, sightseeing, eating some amazing food and learning the Spanish way of living.  

The international experience is part of a comprehensive plan for DUSC to give players in the academy an opportunity to experience soccer from the top youth clubs in the world along with a cultural experience they will never forget.  

In addition to B2002's trip, the B2004's are headed to England and the G2000's are headed to Holland.  More to come on those trips soon...




Pier 40 Update


Pier 40 Update


Development Across From Pier 40 Gets OK From City Council

CIVIC CENTER — The St. John's Terminal development across from Pier 40 inched closer to final approval Monday, when it was voted through two City Council committees.

Under the plan, the developers would construct roughly 2 million square feet of retail and residential buildings in St. John's Terminal after paying $100 million for Pier 40 air rights. The money would pay for critical repairs needed at Pier 40. 

The zoning subcommittee voted it through first, followed by the land use committee. The full Council is expected to vote on the project later this month.

► READ MORE: Here's How the St. John's Terminal-Pier 40 Deal Got Done

The approvals came with some hard-fought changes to the plan, negotiated largely by Councilman Corey Johnson, who represents the district where the development will be built.

The development's cellar-level indoor recreation space was increased from 10,000 square feet to 15,000, and will be open to public during all of its operating hours.

The number of parking spaces included in the development was slashed from 772 to 425, and retail spaces were limited to 10,000 square feet, except for one 25,000-square-foot space. The limitation does not apply to grocery stores, food halls or spaces with fitness or recreation use.

► READ MORE: St. John's Terminal Developers Outline Changes to Proposal

In a win for the Hudson River Park, the St. John's Terminal developers will pay the full $100 million for Pier 40's air rights at the closing of the deal, rather than over three years, and even agreed to put the full sum in escrow prior to the full City Council vote later this month.

Johnson said he also secured an additional $14 million from the city "to ensure the long-term sustainability of Pier 40."

The developers also promised to provide some funding for a new crosswalk to Pier 40, though the exact amount has not been specified.

The Hudson River Park Trust and the developers were happy with the vote. 

HRPT President and CEO Madelyn Wils said the new agreement to bring money to repair Pier 40 sooner will ensure "urgently needed repairs to the pier's piles will be made, and the pier will stay open."

And the developers, in their own statement, thanked the committees "for their support, and Councilmember Johnson and his staff for working so hard with us to reach an agreement that works for the community and the project."


The Fun Zone


The Fun Zone

The Fun Zone

Stuart Fern on Physical Education 

In addition to his role as DUSC Coach, Stuart Fern, of B2001 Orange, is a physical education teacher and coach of Avenues, a private school in Chelsea for students ranging from pre-kindergarten through high school. Stuart is a passionate advocate for innovation in physical education and, at Avenues, he has a developed a curriculum strongly rooted in wellness and movement. 

Stuart graduated from Sheffield Hallam University with a Masters in Sports Science and Teaching Degree, after having also represented the school on its soccer team. He moved to London to work at the American School London, coaching the Girls Varsity Soccer Team, Rugby and Track and Field. While there he was introduced to the European Council of International Schools (ECIS) and their Physical Education Conference. He proceeded to present at this conference on many wellness and movement topics, and served on the organizing committee for three years before coming to the US.

The reason I moved to Avenues was because I had a passion to innovate and implement a Physical Education and wellness program that reflected the modern times in which we live. The school encourages innovation and supports teachers in being bold and taking risks. To that end, we have rebranded our subject, and we now call our subject “Wellness and Movement” or “WAM”. This is a holistic approach to health and well-being that also seeks to overlap themes in the class room. Positive psychology is a key newcomer to our curriculum, in which students are taught how to reflect on their current situations and how to identify if they are flourishing. We give them tools to improve happiness and well-being, through topics such as using character strengths, finding flow, gratitude, empathy, optimism, growth mind sets and flourishing. Mindfulness is a key theme through out and students are taught how to be mindful and meditate to help them make positive decisions and reduce stress. We believe mental fitness is as important to train as physical fitness. Exercise science and healthy eating are key aspects that are covered with topics framed in a positive way. Instead of calorie counting, we give the students simple, achievable ideas and skills to make healthy decisions in environments to which they will be exposed. Socio-emotional aspects of the students lives are discussed holistically so they see how their decisions are interconnected.

I always get asked why call it “Movement”. I tell people that, as I have taught and coached middle school track for ten years, I see that young people are not taught to move correctly and thus have poor running mechanics, poor functional movements, coordination, strength and agility.  Also by moving away from an all sports PE model we remove the stigma of being an “athlete” versus being a “nonathlete” or “sporty” versus “nonsporty”. Each child develops a foundation to be a confident mover by developing functional movements — squats, lunges, push-ups, strength through yoga poses, speed and agility — and by working on manipulation skills like throwing, catching and other sport-specific skills. The goal is that they will have the physical capabilities to make positive movement choices as they get older. Traditional sports are still taught, but by providing more choice the chances of students finding their passion for movement increases. 

Recently I have been looking at how organizations in the fitness industry, such as Crossfit and Soul Cycle and have managed to create such a positive communities; this is something schools can learn from. My work at DUSC has also given me insight on how to build a community that has strong core values and a dedication to making progress towards a goal. 

Building a love for movement starts with fun and what I call being in the “Fun Zone”. It is my job to make sure the kids are all “smiling and sweating”  whilst becoming better movers — and better people. Ensuring every child is challenged appropriately, is encouraged to take risks, encouraged to self-improve whilst building grit and resilience is what helps to send the kids on the journey to a healthy and happy life. 


A Great Start to Our Fall Season


A Great Start to Our Fall Season

Our 2016 Fall season is off to a great start, with more athletes of all ages playing, learning and having fun, than ever before. Program Director Adam Norse took some time from his busy schedule to share some thoughts about the club.

Can you give us an overview of programs currently offered by DUSC?

We currently have programs for all ages (birth years 2011 to 1998), experience and ability levels. These include fall and winter recreation leagues, instructional classes, camps, and — in partnership with NYCFC — schools program. For our advanced players, we have an academy program.

What is the DUSC approach to soccer education?

Primarily, DUSC hires coaches who we feel will be inspiring role models to our players and who promote positive character traits — working hard, being coachable, learning from mistakes, sportsmanship, and resilience. Soccer gives us a privileged opportunity to influence the lives of our players. By creating a positive learning environment, we look to challenge our players at every opportunity. Our approach is for players to have maximum touches of the ball so they become confident with it at their feet. After a solid base has been established, we can then move onto more advanced aspects. Whilst sessions are challenging, they are also fun and engaging. We know that players learn through repetition and that repetition leads to mastery. The key thing for us is that players fall in love with the game, regardless of their skill level. Once a player sees that through hard work and focus they can improve and we, as coaches, can then help them grow and develop as players. 

What do you feel is the most important factor when coaching soccer?

As mentioned above, players need to have fun and be challenged. Having fun without getting players out of their comfort zone doesn't really help them. That said, for me, the most important factor when coaching soccer is patience. Players all have different learning styles and speeds. It is vital that we give our players time to learn and attempt to implement their newly learned skills with confidence.

What is the difference between the Recreation League, Classes & Academy? 

Our Recreation League provides an opportunity for players to play games against other players/ teams. The league emphasizes skill development, team play and sportsmanship through small-sided games in a positive and supportive environment. The Recreation League is coached by volunteer parents with an emphasis on fun and learning. DUSC Classes are taught by professional coaches and our classes  provide a gateway for the dedicated recreational player to our more competitive programs like the Academy. Classes are 10 weeks in duration and curriculum-based. Skills are taught in a focused environment. Advanced classes are also offered for the more skilled players for supplemental training.  Managed by a staff, the Academy is a 10 month program is geared towards the complete development of high level players looking to progress to the collegiate level and beyond. We have helped develop players into college, professional clubs and the US youth national teams. 

What is unique and special about DUSC?

Above everything, DUSC is a community soccer club. Regardless of a player's experience, skill level, or background, there is a home for them within DUSC up to age 18. We have programs for players new to the game, for advanced players and for those that want to simply play with their friends. Scholarships are available for all players who require financial support; we make soccer accessible for everyone. Our coaching staff come from all over the world and reflect the diversity of New York City. In addition, we also aim to give players an opportunity to give back to the community through refereeing, community service and coaching.  We care about each players progress through the club both on and off the field.  

Can you tell us more about your schools program in the Lower East Side?

DUSC uses soccer to educate students in the Lower East Side about healthy eating and lifestyle habits. In partnership with New York City Football Club, DUSC identified six young leaders (aged 16-20) to set up and run a soccer program for elementary schools (PS 110, PS134 and PS20). Through this program we are able to tackle obesity and health issues whilst also equipping, training and growing young leaders. Two of our young leaders recently went to the Global Youth Summit in Manchester (UK) to meet with other young leaders from across the world. You can find more about that at

What are the biggest challenges of running soccer programs in the city?

Our number one issue is space, both outdoor and indoor. All our programs are pretty much at capacity right now and in order to impact more players through soccer we need to find more fields and school gyms to use. Also, we also want to continue offering soccer to everyone, regardless of their financial standing, so we are always looking for sponsors, both individual and corporate. If anyone can help in either of these areas they should definitely let us know!


Anya Augustine Wins Inaugural “I am DUSC” Essay Contest


Anya Augustine Wins Inaugural “I am DUSC” Essay Contest

DUSC is delighted to announce that Anya Augustine, a player on Coach Leah Loguidice’s G2005 Blue team, is the first winner of our inaugural “I am DUSC” essay competition. In addition to Anya, other division winners were Ryan Marrus (1998-2002) and Lucas Schaeffer (2006-2008). Following are Anya's inspiring words.

Having good character is key to being a soccer player. Having good character is key because playing soccer requires being committed to soccer, hard-working, you have to have good sportsmanship, you have to be supportive, and, most importantly you have to have fun and love the game. Those are all things that are a part of having a good character as a soccer player. 

Having good character means to have good sportsmanship. The game may be going in your favor or it might not be. It's important to stay positive, and try your best. Having good character also means being a supportive team member. Your teammates will be with you for a while so it's important that you support them, and yourself. It will help you and your team members improve as soccer players. 

Aside from being supportive and having good sportsmanship, having good character means to be a hard worker. Soccer requires a lot of commitment and a lot of hard work. It's important to push yourself and your teammates to work harder than you did last practice. 

Having good character also means to be respectful. If you are respectful to your team it will help you bond with them and become a stronger team. You have to be kind to your teammates and coaches and respect their wishes. And, although it's very important to respect your team members and coaches, it's also extremely important to respect yourself. It's extremely difficult to improve as a soccer player if you're constantly putting yourself down. You have to acknowledge that you're making progress and respect yourself. 

Having good character definitely means to have good sportsmanship, be a supportive team member, work hard and be very respectful. However, having good character as a soccer player most importantly means to have fun. Soccer is a sport in which you learn, make new friends and have fun. It's important to have fun because it makes soccer practice more enjoyable for you and your friends and, you will improve as a soccer at a much faster rate. every day if you show up to date soccer with a smile on your face, shows that you're excited to learn and improve and keep playing soccer. 

In conclusion having good character is very important to being a soccer player and, have a good character means a lot to me. It means to be supportive, hard-working, respectful, and to have good sportsmanship and most importantly to have fun. DUSC has taught me so much about having good character as a soccer player, and I will continue to improve my characteristics and I will continue to grow as a soccer player. 


DUSC at the 2016 Surf Cup


DUSC at the 2016 Surf Cup

This August, Coach Alex Cuba’s DUSC Blue team traveled to San Diego to compete in the Surf Cup, one of the country’s toughest and most prestigious tournaments. 

Their trip, a DUSC swan song for some, combined sun and surf with the soccer. Off-the-pitch highlights included the beach, the San Diego zoo, an Italian meal overlooking the Pacific and a Mexican meal serenaded by mariachis. The players’ favorite, however, was SoCal standard In-and-Out Burger, which they visited on their return trip to the airport.

At the Surf Cup, the team played in Men’s U19, “up” a year for most players. It was a tough bracket. After one win and one tie, they lost to Diablo FC from Contra Costa, CA— a team rated 19th in the nation — and were eliminated.

Below is Coach Cuba’s perspective, inspiring to players on any team.


A soccer player’s ability on the field is quantified by how good their control of the ball is, their ability to pass the ball accurately, their speed of play, their ability to put the ball in the back of the net or their ability to keep the ball out of the net, and so on. The one trait that is never on the stat sheet — the one characteristic that is hardly mentioned when measuring a player’s ability to play at the next level — is their heart. In my opinion, a player’s intestinal fortitude is what separates the great players from the average. 

As I looked out onto the field at the Surf Cup, this past season, this past year, I saw my DUSC U17s take the field and play their hearts out, over and over again. I would look out onto the field and be literally amazed on a game-by-game basis, by how hard they were willing to work for one another, by their effort to ensure that they were there for one another, or by their lack of fear of any opponent or moment. I looked out onto the field and saw a field of giants. I looked out onto the field with great pride at being associated with this group of extraordinary young men.

Success in sports is often measured by wins and championships. I admit that I am guilty of constantly measuring my own success as a coach and as a player by how many Ws my teams put up. This is simply my competitive nature and my natural disdain to losing in any form of competition. I have always wanted all my players to experience success the way I did during my younger playing days because the memories of those championships last for eternity. It was no different for this current group of boys. In fact, I don’t think I have ever wanted a group of my players to win and achieve success more than these boys. 

In my speech at the end of the tournament, after being eliminated by a very talented team, I did what any coach that cared would do. I tried to console my boys and tell them that they gave everything they had and that’s all we can ask from them. Due to me being a player still, I knew those words would not ease the pain of being knocked out of the tournament they worked so hard for. 

We went on and enjoyed the rest of our trip, but the fact that once again we came up just a couple minutes short of winning and advancing still lingered inside me. During one of our many talks, my brother, whose opinion I value and cherish, told me he was proud of the job I had done with this group because of the camaraderie they had, the heart and desire they played with and how they enjoyed playing for me. 

That resonated with me quite a bit. But it wasn’t until the flight home that I realized we did it. We were successful!! Two years ago this team came to me with just a simple desire to play the beautiful game of soccer believing that they were just another group of friends getting an opportunity to play together for the fun of it. Fast forward to the Surf Cup and this is now a team with a determination to reach the highest level they could possibly reach, an insatiable desire to be the best team they could be and ambitions to one day be called a champion. They not only want to be a called a champion one day but now they expect it. 

It is with great humility and gratitude that I say to you, my boys of the DUSC U17 Blue, Thank You!! Thank you for an incredible weekend! Thank you for an incredible season! Thank you for an incredible year! Thank you for inspiring me to want to be better simply by your desire to want to be the best. To Mert, David, Liam and Danny – while you are moving onto your next stages in life, know that you have left your imprint in my life and I hope I have left mine in yours. Good luck to you!



DUSC Appoints Jose Luis Rebay as Technical Director

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DUSC Appoints Jose Luis Rebay as Technical Director

DUSC is proud to announce the appointment of Jose Luis Rebay as Technical Director, Boys 2006–1998 as well as Head Coach, B2002 Blue.

“Coming from South America, I like to play a very skillful game with European flavor mixed in,” Jose said. “Keeping the ball on the ground, and letting our quality of player use their individual talents on the field will dictate how we approach the game. We want to be able to set the pace and give our players the best chance to succeed.”

A native of Buenos Aires, Argentina, Jose was a youth and senior player with Independiente de Avellaneda in Argentina from 1979 to 1986 and a member of the Argentina U17 Youth National Team. He competed in pro soccer in Bolivia (Universitario de Sucre) before playing for the San Diego Sockers in the Western Soccer League, serving as a midfielder for the WSL championship squad in 1989. The next year, he moved to New York and played for Inka of the Hellenic-American Soccer League, Ragusa of the Italian-American soccer League plus the New Jersey Nationals during the 1990’s.

He has coached Long Island Junior Soccer League (LIJSL) teams in Dix Hills, HBC and Massapequa during the past decade, winning three State Cup Championships, a Region I League Championship and National League Championship along the way. Most recently, Jose's U16 Dix Hills team were finalists in the USYSA National Championship this summer.  Coach Rebay currently serves as a Region 1 ODP coach, and has been a member of Eastern New York ODP and served as eastern New York's ODP's Technical Director.

In addition, Jose has coached college soccer as Head Men’s Coach of Coach of the New York City College of Technology and Head Mean’s Coach of the College of Staten Island men.

"Jose brings experience, success and a shared philosophy to the club", says Tom Frambach, General Manager at DUSC.  "Working alongside Gustavo Palomino (TD - Boys 2010-2007), Arman Osooli (TD - Girls), Kei Kinoshita (TD - Sports Performance) and Luis Ramos (TD - Goalkeeping) I feel we have a fantastic technical staff."

Please join us in welcoming Technical Director Jose Luis Rebay.

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DUSC Scores in generation adidas international Select Nominations


DUSC Scores in generation adidas international Select Nominations

Downtown United SC sweeps up a combined three generation adidas international players, sending two players to A.F.C. Ajax Select in Amsterdam and one to Realmadrid Foundation Select in Madrid for an invitation only training experience from August 14–21. 

ATLANTA, GA - For the last nine years, generation adidas international has partnered with premier adidas clubs to develop U.S. youth soccer at the international level through its Select programs. Talented players are invited to train at the Realmadrid Foundation, A.F.C. Ajax, and F.F.C. Frankfurt, three of the world’s most powerful soccer clubs. 

Each year, the top adidas clubs nationwide have the exclusive opportunity to nominate players to participate in the program. This summer, 96 talented players from some of the nation’s best clubs will take the field in Europe, training with top quality European academy coaches and playing against academy teams.

This year Downtown United SC is proud to announce that Guillermo Purchese Escudero and Ryan Contreras have been nominated for two of the 32 spots for the A.F.C Ajax Select Program, and Josh Newman has been nominated for one of 32 spots for Realmadrid Foundation Select Program. In addition, Kei Kinoshita, DUSC Technical Director of Sports Performance and Head Coach of B2005 Blue and B2004 Orange was selected to be a Head Coach of the program, with fellow NYCFC affiliate coaches Luis Mendoza of TSF and Ray Selvadurai of MSC. 

Guillermo and Ryan will have the opportunity to experience the culture of soccer at one of the most prestigious Dutch clubs — A.F.C. Ajax.  Ajax is among the most successful teams in Europe and is a true powerhouse in European football. They have won 32 Eredivisie League Championships to date, 18 Netherland Cups, 8 Netherland Super Cups, 4 UEFA Champions Leagues, 1 UEFA Cup, 2 EURO Super Cups and 2 Intercontinental Cups. As one of the world’s top clubs, they are known for their fast, open, and creative style of play. 

Through Realmadrid Foundation Select, Josh will experience one of “the world’s most successful clubs”, according to FIFA, home to football superstars like Gareth Bale. Real Madrid C.F. has won a total of 32 La Liga titles, 11 Copa Del Rey titles, 11 UEFA Champions League titles, 2 UEFA Europa League titles and 2 UEFA Super Cup titles. This once-in-a-lifetime opportunity takes place at Real Madrid City’s training facility, and provides an inside look into the daily life of a Realmadrid Foundation Academy player.

generation adidas international prides itself on opening doors to players who wish to develop themselves at the elite level. Billy Hartman, CEO, says that the experience “opens their eyes and ignites their ambition to get to the next level — players return to the U.S. going into their development academy, ECNL, or regional season with a better understanding of what it takes to become professional players.” 

About generation adidas international: generation adidas international’s extensive catalogue of programs features access to the world’s top professional academies and tournaments. With generation adidas international, premier adidas partners have access to world-class developmental opportunities with our international training programs, Select Training Programs, and coaching education courses.  With generation adidas international, the world of adidas soccer opens its doors for your club. Where will you play?


My Belgium Experience


My Belgium Experience

Players from the boys DUSC 2004, 2003 and 2002 age groups combined for a-once-in-a-lifetime international experience this summer in Europe. The trip included stops at some of the top youth clubs in Europe, including Club Brugge and RSC Anderlecht, along with training from youth coaches of the the Royal Belgium Football Association (RBFA). They competed in competitive matches and had a chance to see live games in France during the European Championships, most notably the epic quarterfinal between Wales and Belgium.

My Belgium Experience

by Aidhan Astrachan, B2002 Blue

I really enjoyed going to Belgium and playing against local teams. I think it was a great experience for me and for all the other players who went on the trip. I thought that it was a lot of fun to meet some of the younger DUSC players and play with them.

I liked the training sessions. It was interesting to see the difference between how DUSC coaches and Belgian coaches coach. My favorite part of the trip was playing in the games. The games were entertaining because it was cool to see how club teams in Belgium play; actually, our third game was against a Dutch team. One of my most memorable moments during the trip was in our second game and we were losing 2–0, and then I scored and then later assisted a goal to put our team back at 2–2.

Another memorable moment was when we went to the Euro 2016 quarterfinal Belgium v. Wales game in Lille, France. We saw a really nice goal by Radja Nainggolan, maybe one of the best goals of the tournament. The atmosphere at the game was a lot of fun and the game was one of the best. Seeing players like Gareth Bale live was very impressive. Our bus had a flat tire before we left the hotel, but luckily we still made it on time. 

Overall I loved the trip and I hope that I will be able to go on another trip like this one.