Without games to be played at the Adirondack Bank Center, UCFC defender Domenico Vitale has put another one of his talents to work in making a difference during this uncertain time.

When the Syracuse-native isn’t entertaining fans on the blue turf, he keeps them in style with his tailoring business. From prom attendees to wedding guests and even head coach Ryan Hall, Vitale’s fashion sense is typically on display throughout the community. However, the battle against COVID-19 has caused business to drop significantly without public events being held.

With materials growing scarce and supplies running short, Domenico has gotten creative and adapted the materials available in his shop to create masks to keep medical professionals and other essential personnel safe.

“I overheard my sister talking about having a shortage of masks at the doctor’s office, so I made a few to see how they came out. My good friend is a CFO at Usherwood and saw what I made so he put an order in for his warehouse staff. I made his thirty masks to donate and I have gotten so many requests since.

“Every day, I go to my shop and make as many as I can to give out to people who request and need them. The materials are starting to become scarce in stores, but luckily, I have a lot of inventory to keep me going.”

To make the masks, Vitale uses two sheets of wool or cotton patterns (which he prefers as the cotton patterns are machine-washable) and then adds a thicker woven material used for suit jackets in between as an extra barrier for safety. As an added touch, he inserts small pipe cleaners to pinch around the nose to secure the gaps.

With an average of 15 masks produced each day, Vitale has greatly enjoyed helping the community and finding a sense of normalcy in an unprecedented time.

“It feels great for many reasons. I get to help individuals who can't obtain the means to stay safe and I feel like I have normal working hours doing what I'm good at. It is so important to stay mentally strong and positive in a time like this and this has allowed me to do so.”

Outside of producing masks, Domenico has kept in touch with his teammates in a group chat and promises that a new TikTok with the team is coming soon!

Additionally, he is staying in shape for that great day when soccer returns to Utica.

“I have a bunch of men's health magazines that I pick workouts out of. I also take the dog for  a walk twice a day and twice a week, I go for a 14-mile bike ride.”


To up the ante, he and UCFC captain Bo Jelovac have agreed to a friendly fitness bet. The goal: To see who can be as toned as defender James Togbah in seven months.

Vitale encourages the fans to keep hope during these trying times with the goal of everyone uniting as one and getting through this together.

“My message is to stay positive and stay healthy. We are all in this together. The quicker we take care of stopping the virus, the quicker we can get back to what we love to do, and in Utica we love our sports!”