New York Star Youth Soccer Players Overcome Extreme Adversity for National Tournament at Disney

Two New York City area athletes endured significant obstacles to compete in coveted youth soccer event at ESPN Wide World of Sports Complex

Two New York City area youth soccer players have overcome tremendous adversity on their way to competing at Walt Disney World Resort in one of the top youth soccer tournaments in the nation. The Disney Soccer Showcase highlights more than 660 of the best youth soccer clubs in the nation for a high-level competition beginning with the boys tournament Dec. 27-30, immediately followed by the girls tournament from Dec. 31-Jan. 3.

Ousmane Barry, who now plays for the U17 Manhattan Cruziero (Manhattan, New York), is from Guinea, in an area surrounded by unremitting violence between the government and its citizens. At eight years old, Ousmane’s family planned to immigrate to the United States, and he and his mother were the first to make the trip. After settling in with family in Queens, New York, Ousmane’s mother returned to Guinea to retrieve his father and sister but, before the rest of the family could return, Ousmane’s parents were both killed in a car accident. Separated from his sister and feeling alone, Ousmane quit soccer. He only began playing again as a way to bring back all the happiness associated with playing with his father. Still working to bring his sister back to the United States more than eight years later, Ousmane uses soccer as a way to connect to his family here in the states – his coaches, teammates and their parents.

The U17 Manhattan Cruziero begin their tournament at ESPN Wide World of Sports on Saturday, Dec. 27 at 8:30 a.m. (Field 18) and continue on Sunday, Dec. 28 at 10:30 a.m. (Field 29).

Dominique Cruz missed more than three years of her high school athletic career after the 13-year-old Dominique required brain surgery. After a long fight to get back on the field, Dominique has begun practicing again for the U17 Brentwood SC Pride 97 (Brentwood, NY). She will return to the field for the first time since her surgery on Wednesday, Dec. 31 at 4:30 p.m. at Northeast Regional Park (Field 4) and play her first game at  ESPN Wide World of Sports Complex will be at 5:30 p.m. on Thursday, Jan. 1 (Field 30). Now a senior in high school and unable to continue playing soccer into college, Dominque will finish her soccer career on the field at ESPN Wide World of Sports Complex at the Disney Soccer Showcase.

Media interested in covering the event should notify Cody Norman (cody.x.norman.-nd@disney.com) with Disney Sports by Saturday, Dec. 27.

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