UNION, NJ - About 450 players, parents, family, and friends attended the Union Soccer Club’s inaugural Travel Banquet on Friday at the Kenilworth VFW.

“It’s been a long time coming,” said Union Soccer Club President Pedro Sousa, “finally an event to recognize and thank our travel players, coaches and team members for their dedication, commitment and love of the beautiful game we call soccer.”

Sousa said the Union Soccer Travel Club has about 500 players on 23 teams.  He said players range in age from 7 to 18.  He said there are 800 players in the recreation league.  “We’ve been growing by leaps and bounds thanks to the township and all the help they give us,” said Sousa, “with the fields and scheduling.  We have great coaches.”  Sousa said all teams are trained by coaches in a not parents, academy-style “It’s a better environment for kids to grow and become better soccer players and human beings.”

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Union Mayor Michele Delisfort, Township Committee members and State Senator Joseph Cryan recognized Manny Vaz, the 2020 Travel Coach of the Year and presented him with testimonial resolutions.  Vas has been a “soccer aficionado” for more than forty years.

“To receive this tonight and see everyone here, I have no words,” said Vaz.  “I thank everyone.  To the kids…keep working hard.”