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To Pursue the American Dream

“Over 40” club soccer club of Great Americans

WEST BLOOMFIELD, MICHIGAN, USA, April 17, 2018 / -- Soccer, or football to the rest of the world, is one of the most popular sports across the globe. While it may not be as popular in the United States, there is still a desire for football clubs in the country. There was a group that was not getting much attention from other football clubs, until now. The Jewish Community Center in West Bloomfield, Michigan is home to a unique group of players that share the passion and athleticism of every other football club. The Internationalist team is changing the idea of who should be playing this sport.
What makes this group so unique? They are athletic, physically fit, and love playing football. But they are also all over the age of 40. The group at the JCC is the first “Over 40” club, which consists of men that come from various countries including Russia, Brazil, Israel, and the United States. Most of the team are foreign, but this is not a requirement to be a member of this talented group of soccer players. When this group first started out that really didn’t have a home, it was a very small group but as word spread about this organization more members started signing up to be a part of this group. This is when the group found their new home at the Jewish Community Center.
Playing soccer was important to this group. Not only do they love the sport, but because of the benefits staying active has to their health. It’s competitive and physical, however this is not the only reason that this team is important to its players. It is also about the camaraderie amongst all the players. Working together on a team of such diverse backgrounds only helps to bring them together better to achieve success when playing their beloved sport.
When the group first started out, they were known as “For Those Over 40” which was suggested by the team founder and president Mark Kostukovsky. Originally from Lvov, Ukraine, Kostukovsky currently lives in Farmington Hills. It has since changed to the Internationalist. They have played in their fair share of memorable events. One of these big moments includes a game that they had recently in Cancun against the Mexican Over 40 club. This is a hardworking group of soccer players that love the sport and love playing spirited matches alongside their teammates. Kostukovsky founded this organization alongside Leonid Basin and Arcady Ginsburg.
The Internationalists are not a group of players that do this professionally. These are people who are professionals in a wide variety of other industries when they are not playing together. For instance, Mark Kostukovsky is a civil engineer and provide inspections for commercial properties in Michigan State. Other members of the teams are lawyers, travel agents, and restaurant owners. This diversity in their professions does carry over into their lives as players for the Internationalists. Arkady Ginzburg, who is the club’s treasurer, is also the owner of Ginzburg travel agency. He has been a part of this team since the beginning and resides in West Bloomfield. Because of his professional, he helps to organize trips through finding the best deals and making arrangements for traveling.
Each of the members of this talented organization has their own fascinating story. The oldest member of the team is 80 year old Milhail Haykin, known Mathematics Professor who just recently joined the Internationalists but his soccer skills is not getting mark down by his age, he is active on the field and setting the great example to other players. Kestutis Miliunas, 59, could not wait to be a part of this organization when he found out about it. Leonid Basin, one of the co-founders of the Internationalist, is originally from Belarus. When he is not on the field, he is a senior project engineer at GM Advanced Powertrain. Within this group, Basin is known for having a remarkable memory. He learned this from his time playing chess, which he started when he was 7. Basin is notable because he is an International Chess Master with the World Chess Federation. He earned a strong reputation in chess for his ability to not just play against 10 players at a time, but for beating them all.
Leonid Shor, another co-founder of this club, is 66. Shor is a soccer master, offering a wealth of knowledge and experience in soccer for his teammates. He is originally from Ukraine and graduated from the Kiev Dynamo Soccer Academy. Prior to playing with the Internationalists, he played soccer professionally for 10 years and went on to coach for 10 years in Russia.
One of the youngest members of the group is Hollywood Awards winning Musician and Future Film producer Aleksander Golberg who is also known to the public as Alexander Golberg Jero, Alexander is also founder of international music company bringing music to masses in the variety of creative ways. Alexander is actively playing in defense and enjoying being the part of the team.
These are just a few of the many team members that have come together to form this team. Each of the players has their own background and story but have come together to play soccer because they are passionate about this sport. They grew up playing this sport as children and loved it, despite sometimes never actually having a soccer ball to play with. Life hasn’t always been easy for them, but they always had soccer to help them through it even if they didn’t have the best equipment to play with back then.
This passion fuels their competitive spirit, giving them the mental and physical strength that is needed when they are out there on the field. Through mutual respect, teamwork, and love of the sport, the Internationalists are out to prove that age is nothing but a number. They can go out there and play just as hard as other teams can. Passion and heart are just as important in sports as your physical abilities.

Mark Kostukovsky
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