Tag Archives: Soccer

Girl, 10, dies after collapsing at Queens College soccer camp


| rpozarycki@queenscourier.com

THE COURIER/File photo

A South Jamaica girl died on Monday after collapsing during a soccer camp at Queens College, according to police.

Laura Palma of 97th Avenue was participating in the Flushing camp just before 3:15 p.m. when she said that she wasn’t feeling well. Seconds later, according to published reports, she collapsed and lost consciousness.

Officers from the 107th Precinct and EMS units rushed to the scene and found Palma in cardiac arrest. Paramedics rushed her to New York Hospital Queens, where she was pronounced dead on arrival.

Her body was transported to the Office of the Chief Medical Examiner to determine the cause of death.

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Several BWG soccer teams bring home championships over Father’s Day weekend


| agiudice@ridgewoodtimes.com

Photo courtesy Blau Weiss Gottschee Soccer Club

It was a successful weekend for all of the Blau Weiss Gottschee (BWG) teams that took the pitch, with some teams capturing championships, while others fell just short.

The BWG U11 Girls took first place at the North Rockland Soccer Association Father’s Day Cup. To capture first place, the girls beat the North Rockland Rebels 2-1, Greenburgh United 7-0, Larchmont White Eagles 4-0 and tied against WSSL Red Bulls 0-0.

The BWG U15 Pre-Academy team won the Northeast Pre-Academy Championship with a 2-0 victory over PDA. The boys will now travel to the national tournament in July. The U12 team won the Cosmopolitan Junior Soccer League (CJSL) City Cup while playing in an older division. The U13 team lost their semifinal game against the Cedar Stars.

The BWG U13 Girls went undefeated in the Long Island Junior Soccer League to win the D3 championship and took second place in the CJSL City Cup.

The BWG 2000 Blue team won the Eastern New York Championship by beating GJOA in the finals 1-0.

On the academy side, the U14, U16 and U18 teams traveled to Indiana to play in the National United States Soccer Federation Academy playoffs against other MLS teams and academies from all over the country.

In the Super Y league, the BWG U12 team traveled to Pottersville, New Jersey, and won their first game of the season against FC New Jersey, 4-0.

The U13 Girls team failed to win their championship, as they lost in the city final. The Girls U9 Blue ended their season with a 6-2 win over Merrick. They finished in second place in their New York Club Soccer League division, with only one loss on the season.

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BWG teams compete in Memorial Day tournaments


| agiudice@ridgewoodtimes.com

Photo courtesy Blau Weiss Gottschee

Blau Weiss Gottschee (BWG) teams competed in several Memorial Day tournaments over the holiday weekend with great success.

U8 Blue played some great soccer in Commack. They were able to compete against older players and finished second place. U8 Blue won games against Boca Soccer and Dutch Soccer, tied New York Stars and lost to Long Island United.

The U10 Royals went undefeated in Massapequa and won first place in that tournament. They played some very close games but were able to win each one of them. On their way to first place, they defeated Massapequa, Port Washington, Garden City and Port Soccer.

The U10 Girls finished in second place in Massapequa with a record of three wins and one loss.

The 2002 Blue team played in the U13 top division tournament. They were victorious against Eastern FC, Long Island United and Massapequa. However, the kids lost 1-0 against West Islip, to take home second place honors.

On the academy side, it was a great weekend for BWG. All three teams shut out Seacoast United from New Hampshire. U14 won 3-0; U16 won 4-0; and U18 won 5-0. U16 is at the top of their division, while U18 moved closer to a playoff spot with the big win.

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BWG boys beat undefeated South Bronx United


| agiudice@ridgewoodtimes.com

Photo courtesy Blau Weiss Gottschee soccer club.

The Blau Weiss Gottschee (BWG) U19 boys soccer team battled undefeated South Bronx United in a Cosmopolitan Junior Soccer League (CJSL) game, and came away with a 3-1 win. It took less than five minutes for Nico Vasilakos to find the back of the net and striker Chris Kilcarr added another goal before South Bronx got on the board on a free kick. BWG’s Vasilakos scored his second goal, and that was enough to give BWG the victory. Next week BWG will head to Brooklyn to take on Brooklyn United.

The BWG U8 Blue played a good game against their counterparts from Brooklyn, the SC Gjoa. BWG won the game 3-2.

The BWG U9 White team lost against Chelsea Piers 2-3. Marco Bogdanovic and Lautaro Artigala each scored a goal in the loss.

The Korabi Eagles defeated the BWG 2004 White team by a score of 1-3, while the BWG Royals 2004 won their game against Islas Malvinas, 2-0.

The BWG girls U9 Blue team celebrated two victories this weekend. The girls advanced to the NY Cup semifinals with a 3-1 win against the Syosset Red Hots on Saturday. Stefanie Stimpfl scored two goals and Eva Gonzalez contributed one. They also defeated Busby SA Thunder in league play on Sunday, with Abby Jalocha scoring the lone goal for the 1-0 win.

The BWG girls U10 won their game against Samba 4-1. Ashley Kieblesz scored a hat trick and Erika Strumpf added one goal in the win.

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BWG stars commit to college


| agiudice@ridgewoodtimes.com

Photo courtesy Blau Weiss Gottschee soccer club.

Several players from the Blau Weiss Gottschee (BWG) soccer club have decided to take the next step in their soccer-playing careers by committing to play soccer for their colleges of choice.

Those athletes who will continue to play soccer are (pictured from left to right) Donovan Cesar, going to Mercy College; Nicholas Montgomery, attending Haverford College; Ryan Ott, committed to Bucknell University; John Pappas, attending Marshall University; Grant Burg, going to Lafayette College; Michael Balzan, playing at the University of Hartford; Lasha Alkhazishvili, committed to the University of Rochester; Johnathan Epstein, going to Kenyon College; and Christian Casagranda, playing at Quinnipiac University. Not pictured is Carlos Bonilla, who will play for Suffolk Community College.

The younger BWG teams took the pitch this weekend to continue their campaign in the Cosmopolitan Junior Soccer League (CJSL).

The BWG U8 White team defeated the Brooklyn Lions by a score of 3-2. At Juniper Valley Park in Middle Village, the BWG U8 Blue team tied against FC Select 2-2.

In a head-to-head match in the CJSL, the BWG 2004 White team defeated BWG 2004 Royal team by a score of 6-5.

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BWG soccer teams were at it again this weekend


| agiudice@ridgewoodtimes.com

Photo courtesy of Blau Weiss Gottschee

Many of the Blau Weiss Gottschee soccer teams took the pitch this weekend seeking victory.

The biggest story for the BWG teams was the BWG Girls 98 Blue team winning the 2015 NYC College Showcase Tournament. They defeated the Bridgeport Premier team 1-0 in the finals of the tournament.

The BWG Blue U8 team played a very good game and beat Vera Soccer Club 6-2 in their second game of the Cosmopolitan Junior Soccer League’s (CJSL) A Division. In the same division, the BWG Royals were victorious 1-0 against Korabi SC.

The BWG U9 White team played two games over the weekend, but failed to win either game. BWG fell 1-2 against FC Select Orange and lost 5-0 against Chelsea Piers.

In the second game of the young CJSL season, the BWG 2004 White lost to the Manhattan Kickers 2004 by a score of 3-8.

The BWG pre-academy 2002 teams played over the weekend as well with mixed results. The BWG 2002 White team won their game against Oakwood, 6-5. The BWG 2002 Blue team tied both of their contests, 4-4 against NYSC and 1-1 against Albertson.

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BWG soccer teams open up spring season with big wins


| agiudice@ridgewoodtimes.com

Photo courtesy BWG Soccer

Many of the Blau Weiss Gottschee (BWG) soccer club teams kicked off their 2015 spring seasons on Saturday, March 28.

The BWG U8 Blue team had its first league game of the spring season and dominated the entire match, winning 8-2 against Dutch Total Soccer.

The BWG U9 White team played two matches over the weekend. In the first contest, the U9 team won 3-0 versus the Manhattan Kickers. Goals were scored by Jakub Rembiszewski, Malik Mashrigi and Kevin Uni.

In the second game of the young Cosmopolitan Junior Soccer League (CJSL) season, the BWG U9 White team beat PSG 3-1. Goals were scored by Joaquin Franco, Marco Bogdanovick and Dylan Gage.

In its first game of the season in CJSL, the BWG 2004 White U10 team defeated NY Stars Premier Pulsar by a score of 7-1. The U10 team took a four-goal lead in the first half with a quick passing attack. Fortunately in the second half, the BWG team was able to keep up the pressure and preserve its large lead.

The BWG U10 girls won their opening game against Gotham Girls FC 9-1. Goals by Ashley Keiblesz (3), Ashley Chimborazo (2), Alexa Kieblesz, Sydney Morgan, Isabella Muro and Raquel Gonzalez sealed the deal in this one-sided match.

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Inclusive Queens soccer program teaches kids skills beyond the field


By Queens Courier Staff | editorial@queenscourier.com

Photos courtesy of Soccer Kids NYC

BY ANGELA MATUA

A new soccer program for children in Queens hopes to have kids setting goals on and off the field.

Soccer Kids NYC was created by Noe Canales in September 2014 after he noticed that other programs did not focus on teaching lessons that could translate to all aspects of a child’s life.

Canales said that Soccer Kids NYC strives to teach not only the fundamentals of soccer but also skills that children can utilize off the field like teamwork, respect and perseverance.

Soccer Kids NYC differs from other programs in several ways. Canales, who is a certified special education teacher, integrates children with special needs into all classes. He hopes to remove the stigma that families of special needs children typically deal with.

“Soccer Kids NYC wants to help in getting rid of that pervasive thinking,” Canales said of the three-month course that costs $179. “Our mission cuts across all lines; our program is for children with special needs and typically developing children. We don’t believe in labels except for our kids’ names.”

He believes this inclusiveness contributes to the program’s 99 percent retention rate. The coaches at Soccer Kids NYC also strive to make their classes affordable for everyone, he said. Though children typically attend classes once a week, students are encouraged to join other classes if there is available space at no extra cost. They also provide a refund to all families who are not satisfied with the program.

Scouting the right coaches is important for Canales, who is also a teacher at TheraCare Preschool Services, a preschool in Rego Park that accommodates children with and without special needs. Coaches are trained extensively until they are ready to lead a class. This approach is the reason he can provide a quality program, he said.

“My experience with larger programs has been that they will first find a location to expand and then work on hiring and staffing those classes with a coach,” Canales said. “This approach hinders the quality of a program as many times these coaches are not fully trained to lead a class and consequently, our kids get the short end of the stick.”

Every season, parents are encouraged to leave feedback for the coaches. Canales said they have not received any negative feedback yet, but the coaches still come together to reflect on ways to make the program better.

The feedback has been all amazing,” Canales said. “This is something that we feel extremely proud of.”

Classes are taught in Bayside, Woodhaven, Middle Village, Elmhurst, Flushing, Kew Gardens and other parts of Queens. Canales said they are not in a rush to expand but would like to eventually teach classes in other parts of Queens and New York.

 

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NY Cosmos introduce Raúl


By Queens Courier Staff | editorial@queenscourier.com

Mike Stobe/Getty Images

In a press conference held on Tuesday at the Four Season Hotel in New York, Soccer legend, Raúl Gonzalez Blanco, was officially introduced by the New York Cosmos as their new signing for the 2015 North American Soccer League (NASL) season.

Raúl built his legendary career playing for Real Madrid, a Spanish Club considered by many to be the among the top three soccer clubs in the world. His professional career with “el club merengue” lasted 16 years, from 1994 through 2010. In his tenure, Raúl became the club’s leading scorer, was instrumental in the winning 6 La Liga championships, three UEFA Championships and several other national titles. After leaving Real, he played for Schalke in the Bundesliga and for Al-Sadd in Qatar.

“As an organization, we are committed to laying the strongest foundation possible, on which to build our future success” Said the Chairman, of the Cosmos, Seamus O’Brien. “Raúl’s commitment, not only to play but to lead our academy in the years ahead, is central to our plans ensuring our long-term growth and development. But perhaps most importantly, for building the ties to the communities, in which we live and work.”

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Site near Aqueduct could be home to new MLS stadium: report


| slicata@queenscourier.com

File photo

A new soccer stadium is trying to kick its way near Aqueduct Racetrack.

After plans to build the New York City Football Club’s new stadium in the South Bronx fell through, developers are now looking at land near the Aqueduct Racetrack, according to a published report.

The owners of the club, Manchester City Football Club and the New York Yankees, are looking to develop the stadium near the racetrack because they believe there is “an abundance of land primed for development,” according to Capital New York.

This plan for an MLS stadium would be the second one proposed in Queens. Plans fell through for the first soccer venture in Flushing Meadows Corona Park.

The club is working with city administrators to find a proper fit for the stadium.

“The administration is committed to working with the City Council and the NYCFB club to identify an appropriate site in New York City to host a world class soccer stadium and facility,” Phil Walzak, a spokesman for the de Blasio administration, told Capital New York.

But the possibility for a new stadium in south Queens was met with skepticism from local politicians.

“Currently, I am extremely hesitant to welcome a soccer stadium to the Aqueduct site,” state Sen. Joe Addabbo said. “Exact location and size of the stadium, traffic patterns, public safety and the certain impact on the surrounding neighborhood quality of life are just some of the issues that I would need answers to in examining this proposal. My constituents need as many facts as possible now, as we start to have discussions on this issue.”

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US Open inadvertently shines a light on local soccer


| lguerre@queenscourier.com

THE COURIER/Photos by Liam La Guerre

For many tennis fans the US Open is the closest thing to heaven.

The chance to watch the world’s premier tennis players battle for the country’s top title and partake in numerous tennis-related activities draws some 700,000 fans annually to the two-week sporting event in Flushing Meadows Corona Park.

But inadvertently, the Grand Slam literally shone a light on soccer as The Courier observed fans of the world’s most popular sport playing games under the lights of a US Open parking lot on Monday—the tournament’s opening night.

Soccer 1

The soccer players were of various ages and played mixed-gender pick-up games, complete with two white mini goals.

Anyone who frequents Flushing Meadows Corona Park knows how popular soccer is for local players and fans. On any given day—with appropriate climate conditions—the fields are occupied with soccer matches for various age groups.

The sport is so popular officials tried to build a 20,000 to 25,000-seat stadium in the park for a new MLS team. But park advocates fought to keep the stadium out.

Since the soccer fields don’t have lights, most stop playing when it becomes night time, according to players.

However, temporary lights have been set up in the US Open “H” parking lot near the New York Hall of Science as evening matches tend to run late into the night, giving Queens soccer lovers some extra playing time.

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Woodside resident writes book on famed Brazilian soccer player


| aaltamirano@queenscourier.com

THE COURIER/Photos by Angy Altamirano

One Woodside resident has scored a goal in the literary world.

Dominique Beaucant, who is originally from France and came to the United States in 1978, is the author of the privately published book called “Garrincha – O Rei Dos Reis,” meaning “Garrincha – A King of Kings.”

The book looks back on the life of Brazilian soccer player Garrincha, whose real name was Manuel “Mané” Francisco dos Santos.

Garrincha, who passed away in 1983, was known for his “dribble” on the soccer field and also for his bent legs which did not prevent him from helping the South American national team take home World Cup titles in 1958 and 1962. He was referred to as nicknames such as “People’s Joy” and “Bent–Legged Angel.”

“He was more than a soccer player, he was a phenomenon,” Beaucant said. “When I saw a book that came out in 1995, I said, ‘You know what? I’m going to do a book one day that gives justice to this great player.’”

The 56-year-old Woodside resident began learning about Brazilian soccer players from his sixth-grade teacher Walter Durando in France. Every time he got together with his teacher he would ask to learn more and before making his trip to America he was given a collection of hundreds of magazine and newspaper clippings of the soccer duo.

As the years went by, his admiration for Garrincha grew into more than just hobby.

“That’s how it started and I never stopped,” Beaucant said. “I was fascinated by the guy, who he was and what he did on the field.”

In 1995, Beaucant, who has been a freelance writer and chef, began jotting down notes on Garrincha and throughout the years kept filling his drawers with hundreds of notes. In 2011, he began combining the notes and started writing the 288-page book.

To complete the book, which is written in Portuguese, contains 245 photographs and comes in a slip case, Beaucant looked back at his large Garrincha collection of newspaper and magazine clippings and images.

He has also traveled to Brazil and Europe for seven years, meeting Garrincha’s family and childhood friends.

More than 100 photographs in the book are never-before-seen images from the French sports newspaper “L’Equipe.”

Each book will be sold individually by Beaucant for $150 and he is plans of taking out a second book on Garrincha as well.

“I never did this book to make money. I never did this book to make a big profit,” Beaucant said. “This book is a result of all of my love, admiration, infatuation, respect and admiration for Garrincha.”

Although the book was printed by a company in New Jersey, the typesetting, cover design and embossing was done by Ebrahim Jaffer of Triboro Printing located at 25-02 Steinway St. in Astoria.

“[Garrincha] is no longer with us physically, but with this book his spirit and his soul [are] still living,”

Beaucant said. “The angel with bent legs, how he was known before, somehow is being reborn and the divine angel that he was is going to fly again.”

For more information or to purchase a book you can email Beaucant at copade58brasilcampeao@aim.com or call 718-626-0486.

 

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Queens College soccer alum to train with Liverpool, Arsenal, AC Milan


| lguerre@queenscourier.com

Photo courtesy Queens College

After recovering from six surgeries, former Queens College soccer captain Peter Touros is making strides toward his dream to become a pro.

The Astoria native was chosen as one of five grand prize winners in Gatorade’s “Unreal Around the World” contest and will have the opportunity to train with elite football clubs Liverpool, Arsenal, Barcelona, AC Milan and Boca Juniors. He’ll also travel to Brazil for a scrimmage game at Maracanã Stadium, the site of the 2014 World Cup final.

“It’s absolutely tremendous. He’s a great kid and he has been through a lot,” said Queens College soccer head coach Carl Christian. “It’s a once-in-a-lifetime experience. I compare it to Charlie and the Chocolate Factory. It’s the golden ticket.”

Touros, who scored five goals and led the 2013 Queens College team to a 9-5-3 overall record, suffered three of his six injuries — a torn labrum and two ACL tears — during his soccer college career.

The Gatorade contest challenged entrants to demonstrate how training and hard work could translate into success. Touros submitted a video entitled “6 Surgeries Won’t Stop Me,” in which he performed a number of high level shots. Now he’ll be able to train with some of the world’s top teams.

“After all I think he’s been through, it’s well-deserved,” Christian said.

Click here to see Touros’ video.

 

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Ridgewood, Glendale German ancestry revealed in World Cup


| ejankiewicz@queenscourier.com

Photo courtesy of Gottscheer Hall

Most bars will be broadcasting the World Cup game this weekend but to celebrate it in true Deutsch fashion, Ridgewood and Glendale maintain a healthy group of German bars that harken back to the German ancestry of the area.

Gottscheer Hall on Fairview Avenue will be open on Sunday, a day that they usually close on, for the game. Roland Belay, who is the secretary for the bar and grill, plans to meet the game between Germany and Argentina with a full force of potato pancakes with applesauce, goulash , bratwurst, German pretzels and a whole menu of German-Austrian food that is sehr gut.

“The whole purpose of this building is to maintain our heritage,” said Belay, whose parents left the once Austrian-owned Gottschee region. “It’s a very homey atmosphere and we keep all the traditions alive here.”

Other German bars in the area to watch the game include: Zum Stammtisch and Celtic Gasthau on Myrtle Avenue, and Manor Oktoberfest on Cooper Avenue.

“This is definitely the area for German fans to hang out,” Belay said. “But we won’t be mean to the other side.”

 

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Queens: Your best destination for the World Cup


By Queens Courier Staff | editorial@queenscourier.com

SoccerBallFlagsHC1306_X_300_C_Y

JONATHAN WHITE

Soccer, or football as it’s known everywhere but in the U.S., is the world’s favorite sport — and every four years the planet is transfixed as the top national teams from around the world gather to crown a champion at soccer’s World Cup. 2014 is a World Cup year, and this year the month-long, 32-team competition will take place in Brazil starting Thursday.

With major network and cable operators looking to cash in on global soccer’s booming popularity here, television coverage will be ubiquitous, and you’ll be able to watch every game from the comfort of your own home (or at any bar, restaurant or hair salon with a TV, for that matter). But with the diversity and sheer size of New York’s international communities, the city offers even the most casual soccer fan a lot more than just a slew of accessible places to watch games. In fact, if you’re looking to get the full global flavor of the competition there is probably no better place in the world to watch the Cup, outside of the stadiums themselves in Brazil, than right here. And nowhere in New York City will you find better home-cooked soccer fever than in Queens, the diversity capital of the world.

Neighborhoods like Astoria, Corona and Jackson Heights, home to communities with some of the richest soccer traditions on the planet, will be a sea of national shirts and a global street party during the World Cup. And throughout the borough there will be any number of bars and restaurants filled with folks from every country in the competition, and those who love them, faithfully recreating the particular soccer mania of wherever “home” is.

In addition, Queens is also home to the oldest, biggest and some of the best soccer-watching spots the entire City has to offer — including beach bars that if you squint hard enough, just might make you think you’re actually in Rio itself. So buy your flag-capes, check out the list of teams and places here, and draw up your itinerary for where in Queens you’re going to watch the games you most want to see.

Algeria
The eastern part of Steinway Boulevard in Astoria has a large and vibrant North African population that includes one of the largest Algerian communities in the country — and soccer fans who come out in droves for big games. Tiny Caffe Borbone (25-07 Steinway/718-777-1023) is one spot many Algerian fans traditionally gather.

Argentina
As one of the tournament favorites, Argentina’s games and their star Lionel Messi will be closely watched everywhere. For the full-bore Argentine experience, however, head to La Esquina Criolla (94-67 Corona Ave./718-699-5579) or El Gauchito (94-60 Corona Ave./718-271-8198), two traditional Argentine steakhouses across the street from each other in this Argentina/Uruguay section of Corona, and Boca Juniors (81-08 Queens Blvd./718-429-2077) in Elmhurst — another steakhouse dedicated to all things related to Boca, one of Argentina’s biggest soccer clubs, and Maradona, Boca’s most famous player.

Bosnia-Herzegovina
Bosnia-Herzegovina put up the best record in its World Cup qualifying group and featured two of the top four scorers in all of European qualifying — all while qualifying for the World Cup for the first time in its history as a country. No doubt their fans gathering at cozy Sheher Restaurant (28-51 42nd St./347-484-4045) and tiny Cevabdzinica Sarajevo (37-18 34th Ave./718-752-9528) will likely be among the happiest and angst-free of any you’ll see all month.

Brazil
Astoria/Long Island City is also home to the City’s large Brazilian community and fan base for the most famous national team on the planet: no other country has been in every World Cup, no one’s won more World Cups and no country has produced as many great players. The rustic and homey Favela Grill (33-18 28th Ave./718-545-8250) in Astoria and the Rio Grande Churrascaria (39-05 29th St./718-361-1707) in the Long Island City Holiday Inn will be top spots among many in the neighborhood for the Brazil faithful to gather. With the Cup at “home” this year, much popular unhappiness over government handling of the economy, and with Brazil being one of the favorites to take the championship, fan intensity will be enormous.

Cameroon
See Ghana listing.

Chile
Though New York does not have a large Chilean population, supporters of one of South America’s top qualifiers this year regularly gather to take in Chile soccer games at the San Antonio Bakery (36-20 Astoria Blvd./718-777-8733) — one of the few Chilean food outposts in the City.

Colombia
Jackson Heights is the traditional home of the City’s huge Colombian community and the scene of raucous street celebrations when the team is playing well — as it is now. All of the many Colombian bars and restaurants along Roosevelt Avenue and Northern Boulevard such as Boulevard Restaurante (82-22 Northern Blvd./718-651-2797) will be filled with fans for Colombia’s games, but you can also check out Basurero (32-17 Steinway/718-545-7077) in polyglot Astoria for its spacious interior and wild, soccer- and flea market-themed décor.

Croatia
Despite the country’s small size, a number of Europe’s top players always seem to be Croatian, and this World Cup year is no exception, with top Croatian players for Champions League winners Real Madrid and Bayern Munich leading the national team charge. You can join the vibrant fans of the decidedly sports-centric nation, well-represented in Astoria and Woodside, at both stylish Veslo restaurant (32-11 Broadway/718-728-0549) and at bare-bones Scorpio Café (35-15 Broadway/956-8233) as they cheer on their team.

England
Eleventh-ranked England displayed excellent form in qualifying for the World Cup, topping their group. They are now however faced with the unlovely necessity of beating sixth-ranked Uruguay and ninth-ranked Italy in order to ensure they advance to the next stage in Brazil. Head over to top sports venue Bar 43 (43-06 43rd St./718-361-3090) in Sunnyside to connect with the many supporters here who will be working overtime to will England through this minefield alive.

Ecuador
Any number of Ecuadoran spots also line Roosevelt and 37th avenues in Jackson Heights, and they, too, will be packed with hopeful fans from the neighborhood’s substantial Ecuadoran population. One place sure to draw a crowd is spacious, upscale-rustic Barzola restaurant (92-12 37th Ave./718-205-6900).

France
The folks at 1682 French Louisiana restaurant (48-19 Vernon Blvd./347-738-4921), a French/Creole spot in Long Island City, will be looking to draw fans of “Les Bleus,” as the French national team is called, from the French eating establishments and other small businesses nearby as the team tries to capitalize on the talent of the many top European players in their squad and to erase the memory of the French team’s miserable 2010 World Cup performance.

Germany
Queens’ old and well-established German community has plenty to cheer about this year as the traditional powerhouse has also been tapped by many to win it all. Hordes of Germany fans always gather at Zum Stammtisch (69-46 Myrtle Ave./718-386-3014), a full-on Bavarian hunting lodge-style restaurant serving top traditional German fare in Glendale, a neighborhood with sizable German, Eastern European and generally soccer-centric populations. Recently opened Max Bratwurst und Bier (47-02 30th Ave./718-777-1635) in Astoria offers another Germany alternative. Loyalty conflicts will likely be severe at these venues, though, with Germany and the U.S. in the same playoff group.

Ghana, Nigeria, Ivory Coast, Cameroon
The Jamaica neighborhood is home to a sizable African community, and Mataheko (144-07 Jamaica Ave./718-739-3980) is a popular pan-African eatery, party place, and game-watching locale — particularly for soccer fans from the first three countries listed here. All four countries’ teams are led by stars for big-name European club teams, so fans will undoubtedly be out in force. Another reason interest should run high at Mataheko is that Ghana knocked the US out of the 2006 and 2010 World Cups — and the two teams are in the same playoff group and facing each other again in their first games in Brazil on Monday, June 16. Hold on to your hat…

Greece
Astoria is also home to the City’s large Greek population, and all the many Greek restaurants in the area will be hosting the Greek team’s traditional crowds of raucous supporters. One location favored by fans for its spaciousness and extensive outdoor seating is the Athens Café (32-07 30th Ave./718-626-2164).

Italy
Opportunities to root for Italy’s national team, the “Azzuri,” are everywhere given the number of pizza parlors and Italian restaurants in every neighborhood. In addition, every “favorite’s” fans will be watching them and their games carefully: Italy’s won the second most championships after Brazil because they usually manage to marshal their talent to emerge as one of the most dangerous teams at any World Cup. Head over to Studio Square (33-35 36th St./718-383-1001), described in detail in The Beer Gardens section below, to see if they can emerge from the “group of death” they’re in with England and Uruguay.

Ivory Coast
See Ghana listing.

Korea
This is Korea’s eighth consecutive World Cup appearance, and you’ll find the immensely proud Korean community in Flushing and Bayside out in numbers at any of the myriad Korean sports bars and restaurants throughout the area. You also may want to head to the massive Kum Gang San restaurant (138-28 Northern Blvd./718-461-0909), which will be featuring Korea games on a giant screen in one of their banquet halls.

Mexico
With Mexican restaurants and stores everywhere, it will be easy to connect with fans of the national team, “El Tri.” For a more comprehensive experience, however, head to Corona or Roosevelt Avenue in Jackson Heights where Coatzingo (79-11 Roosevelt Ave./718-424-7272) or Pico de Gallo (82-12 Roosevelt Ave./639-0808) among others are sure to draw crowds for games. You might also want to try Casa Enrique (5-48 49th Ave./347-448-6040), a refined, mod cantina in Long Island City, where the focus will also be on willing the Mexican team out of its recent mediocre form.

Nigeria
See Ghana listing.

Portugal
Newark and Mineola aren’t the only places in the metro area with Portuguese communities and their serious soccer fans. Jamaica has them both, too — and Portugal fans from all around will rally at O Lavrador (138-40 101st Ave./718-526-1526) and A Churrasceira (95-29 Sutphin Blvd./718-523-5293) for top-notch Portuguese home cooking and to watch Europe’s 2014 top player, award-winner Christiano Ronaldo, lead Portugal to hoped-for glory. O Lavrador is also hosting a series of traditional St. John’s Festival events the weekend that Portugal plays the U.S. (Sunday, June 22), so this place could be a tough environment if you’re conflicted about your loyalties! Also note that A Churrasceira has a convenient parking lot across the street from the restaurant.

Russia
Though the Russian team doesn’t feature any immediately recognizable stars, this group is no joke: they finished on top of their qualifying group — above Portugal, the world’s third-ranked team — while allowing one of the least number of goals scored against them throughout the entire qualification round in Europe. Bear (12-14 31st Ave./917-396-4939), a newish and sparkling bar/restaurant featuring locavore renditions of classic and new wave Russian food, draws a crowd of Russian nationals and others who will be gathering in force and rooting that the team can continue their good form and give them something bigger than a solid first round performance to celebrate.

Spain
A large Spanish population also has roots in Astoria. As winners of the 2010 World Cup and the current top-ranked team in the world, expectations for the Spanish team are also huge. If you don’t have any friends who can get you into Casa Galicia, a private social club that’s also a great place to watch Spanish games, head to La Rioja (33-05 Broadway/718-932-0101) for excellent tapas and a good crowd of Spain supporters.

Uruguay
Uruguay finished in fourth place at the last World Cup, led by the top goal-scorer in the English Premier League, Luis Suarez, and by some measures they have only gotten stronger since then. On the other hand, they are also in the nightmare “group of death” with England and Italy here in 2014. You can join the crowd of Jackson Heights-based Uruguay fans at La Gran Uruguaya (85-06 37th Ave./718-505-0404) and Chivito d’Oro (84-02 37th Ave./718-424-0600), both excellent Uruguayan takes on the South American steakhouse.

United States
U.S. supporters will be out at any venue not specifically tied to another national team — and there will likely be plenty even at these spots. Top venues will likely be sports cafés Bar 43 (43-06 43rd St./718-361-3090) in Sunnyside, Twist and Smash’d (34-02 Steinway/718-806-1542), along with Studio Square (33-35 36th St./718-383-1001), described in detail below.

Other noteworthy venues — only in Queens

The Beer Gardens
In addition to the venues described above oriented toward specific teams, Queens boasts some of the best “non-denominational” World Cup viewing options in the City. If the Czech Republic or Slovakia were at the World Cup this year then Bohemian Hall (29-19 24th Ave./718-274-4925) would not be in this list — but they’re not, so it is. This beautiful and massive outdoor elm-shaded beer garden, once one of hundreds here, is the City’s oldest and the inspiration for the recent rediscovery of the beer garden tradition in the City. With burgers, wurst and other classic beer garden fare on the menu, this is also a great place to watch the World Cup.

One of the new venues inspired by Bohemian Hall is Studio Square (33-35 36th St./718-383-1001) — an even more massive modern open-air beer garden specifically conceived with major event viewing in mind: there’s a 160-square-foot LED screen in the main courtyard, multiple screens on the surrounding open-air mezzanine and in the interior spaces, and seating for 1,200 with overall capacity for over 2,000. It’s like being at a World Cup fan-fest with picnic tables. The atmosphere is unequalled, and it’s a favorite destination for every team’s fans from across the City.

The Beach
Pretend you’re at a bar in Ipanema watching the games at the beach in Rockaway. Rockaway is a first-class beach, and great new concessions have appeared on the boardwalk as Rockaway has become an increasingly hip destination over the last several years. With the concessions rebuilt post-Sandy, the food spots at Beach 97th and Beach 106th are now also getting big new flat-screen TVs in anticipation of the World Cup. The games will also be on at the venerable Bungalow Bar and Restaurant (377 Beach 92nd/718-945-2100), which features a big backyard and deck, and an outdoor bar right on the sparkling waters of Jamaica Bay. World Cup on the beach and the bay? Now that sounds like a great way to spend a summer day in the City!

The Views
Everyone also knows that the best views of the Manhattan skyline are in Queens — and if it’s spectacular views you want as a backdrop to your World Cup soccer, you even have great up-close and panoramic options to choose from. Rooftop restaurant and lounge Penthouse 808 at Ravel Hotel (8-08 Queens Plaza South/718-289-6118), right on the East River next to the Queensboro Bridge, is serving up additional TVs for the World Cup to complement its pan-Asian cuisine. And for that panoramic Emerald City/Wizard of Oz look, be sure to check out the hyper-slick bar and lounge atop the brand-new Flushing hotel The One (137-72 Northern Blvd./718-886-3555). Both venues are planning special World Cup events as well.

 

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