John Tardy has led a group of 2002 boys from Staten Island since they started in travel soccer. Originally part of Staten Island United, the group moved to Cedar Stars Academy when the club went through its transition to the new club. The team began play in EDP leagues in 2012, and in 2019 were a member of the USYS National League Mid Atlantic Conference, managed by EDP Soccer. All throughout the team's journey, they were one of the top teams in Eastern New York, and won back to back ENYYSA State Cup Championships in 2016 and 2017. One of the keys to the success was star defender Henry Hysenagolli.
Henry's coach John Tardy had a stellar youth career of his own. He was a member of the ENYYSA ODP State teams, USYS East Region Regional Team, and was also a member of the U18 US Men's National Team. After playing collegiately at powerhouse St. Johns University, Tardy came back to Staten Island to help the next generation. Under Tardy’s tutelage, Henry has been able to blossom into a top prospect.
Tardy commented, “Henry was always a talented player, he had the physical attributes that couldn't be taught, size, speed, strength. He had a very good understanding of the game. For him to take his game to the next level he needed to challenge himself by taking the game more serious. He had to train harder, eat right, put himself in more challenging situations. I think his move to USL 2 side FA Euro helped him with that process. This summer I worked with him training twice a day 5-6 days a week in preparation for a trail with the former La Liga side, I'm happy to see he signed, but now he needs to make sure he continues to improve and challenge himself everyday both on and off the field to continue his career to the next level.”
Following his stellar youth career that included the back to back State Cup championships, and two appearances at USYS Eastern Regionals, Henry joined FA Euro’s USL League 2 side, and was also called into the U19 Albanian Youth National Team in 2019. Now, the 18 year old youth national team player is also a professional player, signing a contract in Spain for Club Deportivo Leganés. The club plays in Segunda División, which is the second division in Spain, and one level below La Liga, one of the top leagues in the world.
Henry will begin with the clubs Under 19 team, and will work to be called up to the clubs first team. As he settles into his new home in Madrid, Henry will be finishing high school virtually, and trying to break the language barrier with some teammates. To overcome these obstacles, Henry will use the game he has loved his whole life to acclimate himself with his new team and culture. In one of the world's best countries for developing soccer players, Henry looks to continue his journey as he lives out his dream of playing professional soccer.
Henry commented, “I’m very excited for this new adventure in my life, and I am very confident in my future career. This is a dream come true for every young soccer player. I played for amazing teams when I was younger and I had amazing coaches to teach me new things. Coach John Tardy was one of those coaches, and he also trained me over the summer to prepare. He put me to the challenge, and I want to say thank you John Tardy for all that you did for me!"