For more than 40 years, Michael Clarke of Brentwood has held many different roles for the Long Island Junior Soccer League and been an active member of the Long Island soccer community.
In July, Clarke has been named the Eastern New York Youth Soccer Association’s (ENYYSA) Personality of the Month.
Clarke began his soccer career as a youth coach for boys and girls in the Brentwood Soccer Club in the 1970’s. He then served as club president and under his leadership, the club tripled in size. Clarke also served as tournament director of Brentwood’s Columbus Day Tournament, played at the former Pilgrim State Soccer Complex (now Brentwood State Park).
“Mike has been an important part of the LIJSL for more than 40 years, serving in many different roles as well as being a member of both the LIJSL and Eastern New York Halls of Fame,” said Anthony Maresco, LIJSL president.
In the early 1980’s, Clarke became a member of the LIJSL Board of Directors. He was also the girls’ varsity coach at MacArthur High School in Levittown and his reputation as an ambassador of sportsmanship led the Nassau County Soccer Coaches Association to annually give the top girls player in the county the Michael Clarke MVP Award, which is still awarded today.
Clarke also received the Marg McGory Award nearly a decade ago for his unwavering dedication to the LIJSL’s TOPSoccer Program for children with special needs. He was inducted into the LIJSL Hall of Fame in 1994 and in the Eastern New York Hall of Fame in 2012.
He and his staff have maintained the Peter Collins Soccer Park in Plainview as one of the best soccer complexes in New York. The fields have hosted teams from around the world as well as the U.S. Youth National Team Program and a who’s who of American soccer has played there at one time.