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Aug, 2022

NJ Youth Soccer Hosts First-Ever Skills Challenge

Thomas Judge, NJ Youth Soccer

The first-ever New Jersey Youth Soccer Skills Challenge recently took place in Monroe Township, with a fantastic showing from players all over the state who showcased their skills in three different challenges that tested passing, dribbling and shooting. Nearly 100 players participated throughout the day, and winners were crowned in four different divisions:

2008-09 Girls: Vanessa Recor (Hazlet United)

2010-11 Girls: Mandi Guo (Match Fit Academy)

2008-09 Boys: Justin Arias (Stafford Soccer Club)

2010-11 Boys: Liam Duffield (Mount Laurel United Soccer Association)

“I would like to thank NJYS for giving us this fun and very special opportunity,” said Mandi Guo, winner of the 2010/2011 Girls Group. “The competition was great with lots of good players around.

Liam Duffield, who was the winner from the 2010/2011 Boys Group, also voiced his excitement about the event.

“I had a great time!” said Duffield. “The challenges were fun and a good test for me to show my skills. I would recommend this to other soccer players, and I hope NJYS does this again.”

The players competed in three challenges designed by NJ Youth Soccer to test their skills (click here to watch the video). The first skill was dribbling, where players moved the ball through cones and then a gate in an effort to achieve the lowest time and score. The second challenge was passing, where players attempted to pass six balls into a net, switching from left to right after each pass and avoiding the cones placed along the way. The third skill challenge was shooting. Like the passing session, players alternated between left and right feet while attempting to make the most of six shots on goal with open targets in each corner. 

“NJ Youth Soccer was excited launch our first-ever Skills Challenge,” said Vinny Farina, NJYS Project Manager of Operations. “The planning process was extensive, and we were thrilled to see the concept resonate with the players. Seeing the event exceed the attendees’ expectations provides valuable insights on how to continue to evolve the program for the future.”

The NJYS Skills Challenge was made possible by an organizational growth grant from US Youth Soccer.

“USYS salutes NJYS for developing and activating their Skills Challenge,” said Skip Gilbert, USYS Chief Executive Officer. “We are constantly looking for ways to inject fun into our sport with kids of all ages and skills, and this is a great example of what can be done. We look forward to working with NJYS to bring this exciting program to all states around the country.”

NJ Youth Soccer would like to thank Monroe Soccer Club for providing a venue for the event. Additionally, the state association would like to express its gratitude to New Jersey Natural Gas, New York Red Bulls, Gotham FC and Philadelphia Union for their sponsorship support.

To contact New Jersey Youth Soccer, please email [email protected]. Also make sure to follow us on social media: @NJYouthSoccer

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Phone: 609-490-0725
Email: [email protected]

New Jersey Youth Soccer

569 Abbington Dr, Suite 5
East Windsor, New Jersey 08520

Phone: 609-490-0725
Email: [email protected]
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