Tag Archives: Soccer

Astoria resident creates social platform to connect fans in time for World Cup


| aaltamirano@queenscourier.com

Images Courtesy Fanspectrum


Next week fans won’t have to make the trip down to Brazil in order to cheer on their favorite teams in the FIFA World Cup; instead, their support will just be one click away.

Sports fan, former athlete and Astoria resident Vibor Cilic is expected to launch a new social platform called Fanspectrum, which will allow fans to show their support, regardless of their location, during the big games and also interact with other soccer enthusiasts.

“I would watch sports, I would watch my favorite team – Barcelona – and I would always ask myself, how do I connect with other fans?” said Cilic, who came up with the idea for Fanspectrum while watching games at Scorpio Cafe & Bar in Astoria. “How do you expand that real stadium into a global stadium?”

Fanspectrum, which will be available for free on the iPhone, Android and at www.fanspectrum.com, will have four features fans can access once they create an account and choose their favorite team.

The first core feature is called a “Fan Battle” where supporters of one team go against those of another and see which has the largest support. In this feature, the user will be able to enter a stream of social media posts for that specific match in which they have entered. The user will be able to post comments, videos and pictures, answer polls, create questions and comment.

In regards to the World Cup, fans will be able to access this feature during specific matches.

“Not everybody can make it to Brazil,” Cilic said. “We offer them a solution, for every fan’s voice to be heard, no matter where they are and what they do.”

Another feature is called a “Fan Map” where users will be able to pinpoint the locations of fans. According to Cilic, this will allow users to see where the larger groups of fans are coming from.

Fanspectrum will also have a Leaderboard which ranks the best fans for a specific team and time period. In this feature, the more fans a user invites, the higher they reach on the board.

The last feature is known as a “Fan Army,” which Cilic says works like a Facebook group but beyond just hitting the “like” button, allowing more user interaction.

“What we want to provide is that real-time engagement and real fans supporting their teams,” said Cilic, who hopes as the social platform becomes more known, fans will be able to receive physical rewards. “The whole point is for fans to be recognized as leaders and for us in the longer term to reward the fans.”

Once it officially launches, Fanspectrum will start with soccer fans, mainly focusing on the World Cup games. However, Cilic hopes to move the social platform forward in order for it to be available for fans of all different sports.

 

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Queens dogs to raise paws for favorite teams in World Cup


| aaltamirano@queenscourier.com

Photos by Mauricio Hernandez


This year’s FIFA World Cup is receiving a ‘pawsitive’ reaction from four-legged fans throughout the borough.

Dog owners and their pets will be able to show their love for their favorite soccer teams Saturday in Jackson Heights, just less than two weeks before the big games kick off in Brazil, during an event called “Mi Mascota, Mi Seleccion,” translated to “My Pet, My Team.”

During the event, which will take place from 4:30 to 8 p.m. at the garden of St. Marks Church at 33-50 82nd St., both owners and dogs are asked to come dressed in their favorite team’s colors. The day will feature food and treats for dogs, a trainer, entertainment for the whole family and contests for both pets and their owners.

“It looks like we are going to have a large participation of Colombian, Mexican and Ecuadorian pets, which are the majority in Corona, Jackson Heights and Woodside in Queens,” organizer Mauricio Hernandez said in Spanish.

One of the sponsors, who will also be selling dog jerseys at Saturday’s event, is Dalila’s Petwear located at 90-12 37th Ave. in Jackson Heights. Some of the national team jerseys in doggie sizes include the United States, Colombia, Paraguay, Argentina, Brazil and many others.

“I’m very excited,” said Miguel Rodriguez, owner of Dalila’s Petwear. “This idea came out last year. It’s amazing.”

Proceeds from “My Pet, My Team” will go toward St. Mark’s Church, which recently had to deal with a flooded basement.

After the event, photos of the best-dressed pets will be available on www.MyPetMyTeam.com. For more information call 718-644-7072 or 347-447-4433. To purchase a jersey click here.

 

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Former international soccer player to host meet and greet at Queens Center


| aaltamirano@queenscourier.com

Courtesy Verizon Wireless

With the FIFA World Cup about only a month away, soccer fans will be able to get a taste of the sport at Queens Center this weekend.

In preparation for the big games being held from June 12 to July 13 in Brazil, Verizon is hosting five shopping mall “Estadio Verizon” (Verizon Stadium) events for fans. The events will feature interactive soccer games, a customized stadium scoreboard, trivia games and a soccer-themed Plinko board to win prizes.

This Saturday, former Colombian national team captain and Major League Soccer player Carlos “El Pibe” Valderrama will be at Queens Center doing a meet and greet with fans from 4 to 6 p.m.

Between noon and 6 p.m. this weekend, visitors at the Elmhurst mall will be able to learn about Verizon’s video offerings including its “La Connexion” and Spanish Language Packages that offer customized content for Hispanics and others who seek more Spanish-language programming.

Also, throughout the weekend and in honor of Mother’s Day, visitors at Queens Center will be able to make a free international call to their moms, using the latest Verizon Wireless mobile devices.

 

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Middle Village-based Gottschee Soccer Club needs room to play


| lguerre@queenscourier.com

Photo courtesy of Miguel Brunengo

The legendary Middle Village-based Blau Weiss Gottschee Soccer Club is so popular it’s literally outgrown the borough.

The soccer club, which remains one of the shining examples of high-level urban athletic competition, has so many players that it utilizes a scattered combination of public fields across the city and has gotten to a point where the league needs to turn young soccer hopefuls away.

The team’s main field is Brennan Field in Juniper Valley Park, but they also travel to practice at Randall’s Island, located between Manhattan and Queens in the East River, and they rent space for games at Aviator Field Sports & Events Center at Floyd Bennett Field in Brooklyn, to name a few locations.

“We’ve got [players] spread like seeds in the wind,” said Timon Kalpaxis, a youth coordinator. “Some guys have to schlep up to Randal’s Island just to train.”

The club was created in 1951 by Gottscheer immigrants, an ethnic German-speaking people of from what is now south central Slovenia.

A few decades ago a boom of Hispanic immigrants began entering the club. And as soccer’s popularity began to grow recently in the United States, more and more players have been coming to Gottschee.

The club currently has 30 registered teams in various age and skill divisions, numerous intramural programs and free clinics. During warm months it can accumulate nearly 1,000 players combined, sometimes from the Bronx, Long Island and even New Jersey.

Organizers want more Queens field space so their players can play at a centralized location.

“We not looking for a huge bite of the apple, we’re just looking for a nibble,” Kalpaxis said.

In searching for new fields to expand, Gottschee organizers have identified Grover Cleveland High School Athletic Field near Seneca Avenue and Deklab Avenue as a great location. The field is regulation size and has lights, so night practices and games would be possible.

The Department of Education (DOE) is currently revitalizing that particular soccer field.

“We are currently in the early stages of design with topographic surveys and storm system investigations underway,” said DOE spokesperson Marge Feinberg. “Construction duration will be determined after the surveys and investigations are complete.”

The soccer club has reached out for support from local leaders and politicians to help get access to it when it is completed.

“We are always open to working with them and supporting them,” said a spokesperson from Councilmember Elizabeth Crowley’s office. “We are very supportive of sports and culture programs that serve kids in the district.”

Gottschee attracts much attention from many top Division I schools.

From 2005 to 2012 more than 80 Gottschee players received scholarships to play soccer at well-known universities, including the University of Michigan, Duke, Villanova, Princeton, St. John’s, Holy Cross and Rutgers, just to name a few.

Coordinators said even with the Grover Cleveland field, their problem is part of a fundamental issue of lack of ball fields in the city.

“We lament the fact that we got kids running around getting into trouble, but what are we giving them,” Kalpaxis asked. “Where is the infrastructure for these kids?”

 

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Mulligan’s golden goal puts No. 23 Red Storm pass No. 5 Akron


| lguerre@queenscourier.com

Photo courtesy of St. John's Athletic Communications

With a penalty kick lined up, the game rested on St. John’s forward Jimmy Mulligan’s foot.

Pressure poured in as the intense match, in which both teams just scored one goal apiece in 90 minutes of regulation and more than 15 minutes in overtime and had seven yellow cards handed out, came down to just one kick.

A little nervous, Mulligan was brimming with confidence, having much experience with this situation in practice. But what threw him off was the crowd’s anxiety. Approximately 1,533 Red Storm fans came to a silence the senior forward set-up for the kick.

“When they went quiet I got even more nervous,” he said.

Mulligan approached slowly, looked up quickly to see which way the goalie was leaning and then blasted the ball in the opposite direction for the golden goal and the 2-1 victory over No. 5 University of Akron on Friday night. Following the score the Johnny faithful started to roar again.

With the victory the No. 23 Red Storm is now 2-1 for the season and earned their first win against a ranked-team. “I was pretty confident, I was thinking I was going to bury it and get this win for the team,” Mulligan said about the kick.

For the first 70 minutes both sides struggled for control. In the first half Akron outshot the Johnnies 5-1, but the Red Storm took the lead in corner kicks, 2-0.

It didn’t look like either would score, until Eric Stevenson powered a goal from about 20 yards out in the 71st minute for the Zips, assisted by Ismail Seremba.

The goal came as a sudden shock, but the Johnnies responded quickly. About three minutes later, Red Storm sophomore Josh Godec beat a defender and scored from about five yards of the goal after a cross pass from teammate Jelani Williams.

“I knew I just had to get across that man, I saw the ball coming in and I was like I’m going to get there,” Godec said. “I’m just lucky it went in.”

It was a significant moment for Godec, who red shirted his first year and didn’t play a game last year, because it was his first college goal.

“It’s amazing to see the hard work finally paying off,” he said.

The Johnnies will host Pennsylvania State University in their next match on Sunday.

 

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Pols raise concerns over planned Cosmos soccer stadium near Queens border


| lguerre@queenscourier.com

Renderings courtesy of the New York Cosmos

Some politicians feel the New York Cosmos need to do everything they can to win the community.

The soccer club, which restarted recently after not playing a game in nearly three decades, is planning to construct a 25,000 seat stadium in Elmont’s Belmont Park near the Queens and Nassau border. The team currently plays at Hofstra University’s Shuart Stadium in Long Island.

The project has come under direct fire by Carrié Solages, a legislator in Nassau County, while on the Queens side Councilmember Leroy Comrie has brought up potential community concerns, such as increased traffic, noise and lights.

“It’s a residential community and you can understand that people want to keep it that way,” Comrie said.

The team has started to give back to the community through various partnerships, including the American Cancer Society, Long Island City YMCA and New York Hospital Queens.

The Cosmos began hosting a series of “Back to School” soccer clinics around New York for children between the ages of seven and 14. There will be four clinics around the city and Long Island this month. Cosmos players and coaches will interact directly with children at the clinics to teach them the fundamentals.

“As a native New Yorker, being able to play for the Cosmos is a dream come true, and it’s made even more special when we get to go into the community and work directly with the next generation of American soccer stars,” said Carlos Mendes, Cosmos defender and team captain.

Comrie is not against the stadium as he was with Major League Soccer (MLS) trying to put a similar-sized venue in Flushing Meadows-Corona Park for the New York City Football Club because that project called for taking land from the park. But he thinks Belmont could be a “suitable” location for a soccer stadium.

The councilmember will gauge concerns from the community through future meetings.

The Cosmos’ plan for the stadium is still in the early stages as they have only made a proposal for the land and early renderings. A team representative said the organization is willing to work with the community to address any future concerns that they may have.

“The New York Cosmos have a strong belief in social responsibility and the desire to make a positive impact,” a representative said. “We feel that we have an obligation to be a leader in the community and we’ve shown that through our actions.”

 

Additional reporting by Carlos Montanez 

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Cosmos team up with NY Hospital Queens to educate about sports injuries


By Queens Courier Staff | editorial@queenscourier.com

Photos courtesy New York Hospital Queens

CARLOS MONTANEZ

New York Hospital Queens (NYHQ) teamed up with the New York Cosmos to educate players, coaches and parents about sports injuries to ensure young players are safe on the field.

Players and coaches were on hand for a press conference held at NYHQ on August 19 to officially announce this, and that NYHQ will be the official hospital of the rebooted Cosmos franchise.

“[The goal is to] play for a long time, play safe and enjoy sports,” said Dr. Alexander Golant, who specializes in orthopedic surgery and sports medicine for NYHQ.

The Cosmos, which played their first professional game since 1985 on August 3, and NYHQ are planning to spread awareness about sports injuries to athletes around the borough with wellness clinics in the fall.

At the clinics athletes, parents, coaches and trainers will learn about certain injuries and how to prevent them. Dates and times for the clinics have yet to be announced.

As a part of being the official hospital of the Cosmos, NYHQ will have direct involvement with the team as well. The hospital will provide game day physician coverage for home and away games and have detailed plans to take care of any type of medical issue that may come about during a game.

“The doctors have been great,” said Carlos Mendes, Cosmos defender and native New Yorker. “They have been [checking in] with us on a weekly and early basis.”

The medical attention isn’t just special to the soccer club. The hospital believes it gives its patients the same amount of care as it does for the Cosmos, according to Dr. Justin Classie, director of sports medicine for NYHQ.

“We treat everyone as a professional athlete,” Classie said. “Our goal is keeping everyone active, regardless of their level of competition.”

 

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Two Queens soccer players signed to Cosmos


| aaltamirano@queenscourier.com

THE COURIER/ Photos By Angy Altamirano

David Diosa and Sebastián Guenzatti are kicking their way to the top, as both were signed to be part of the returning New York Cosmos.

The Cosmos, which were once based in New York and featured the likes of famed soccer player Pelé, are making a comeback to the North American Soccer League this August.

On the roster, fans will find Diosa, 20, from Jackson Heights and Guenzatti, 22, from College Point.

Colombian-born Diosa started playing soccer at age 4 and came to the United States when he was 10. He played soccer in Flushing Meadows-Corona Park on a team called Bolaños and went on to play with other local teams. Diosa also shone bright as he helped Martin Luther King High School’s soccer team win the Public Schools Athletic League (PSAL) soccer championship four years in a row.

Diosa later became part of the Cosmos youth academy, where he played for the under-18 and under-23 teams.

“It feels amazing,” he said. “I was waiting for this moment since the academy, so I feel glad to play here, feel honored to play here, to be part of the team and to be part of the legendary club.”

Cosmos head coach Giovanni Savarese finds it rewarding to have a player like Diosa on the team. Savarese believes the acquisition shows the work that went into the academy paid off.

“Diosa has a great passion for the game, great commitment,” he said. “He has been doing great and he has been growing very rapidly and developing in his game to be a player that can bring things that we don’t have.”

Guenzatti, who began playing soccer at age 4 in Uruguay, caught Savarese’s eye when he played for him at another local academy in the under-17 and under-18 teams.

“He was always a player that I liked. I felt that he had the potential to become a good pro,” said Savarese. “I felt that it was the right time for him to be part of this.”

After playing soccer for Francis Lewis High School for four years, Guenzatti went on to play for two Uruguayan teams.

Savarese then gave him a call to return to New York and try out for the Cosmos.

“I got a little experience over there and now coming here and playing with players I used to see on T.V. and I used to follow – it feels good,” said Guenzatti.

For both Diosa and Guenzatti, it is still surreal to be playing on the same team with players they watched on television for years. But they hope to learn from other teammates and grow together. Both are also thankful to their families.

“I will just work hard [and] listen to the people who are older than me — that have more experience — and get more experience out of this, too,” said Guenzatti.

The Cosmos’ home opener is on August 3 against the Fort Lauderdale Strikers at Hofstra University’s Shuart Stadium.

 

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Residents march against MLS stadium plans


| tcullen@queenscourier.com

THE COURIER/Photo by Terence M. Cullen

Less than a week after Major League Soccer (MLS) held meetings on consecutive days regarding its planned stadium for Queens, residents opposed to the project took to the streets to march against it.

“Parkland is sacred,” said State Senator Tony Avella. “And it shouldn’t be taken away for a money-making proposition.”

Avella, also a candidate for borough president, and Councilmember Julissa Ferreras headlined the protest march on Sunday, December 9.

Two other massive projects — expansion at Willets Point and at the Billie Jean King National Tennis Center — begin at the same time a new soccer stadium would be built. Avella said that would create gridlock and make access for parkgoers nearly impossible.

“You not only have the discussion about a soccer stadium,” Avella said. “You also have the tennis stadium, the tennis association that wants to expand, and you have Willets Point — all of these projects supposedly are going to be done at the same time.”

Ferreras said the project could not move forward without bringing the community into play. The future of Flushing Meadows needed to reflect the community, she said, and what it needs regarding greenspace.

“We cannot make any deals behind closed doors,” Ferreras said. “We cannot have such an important part of our community — the lungs of our community — be negotiated in City Hall. This is important for our community; I cannot be supportive of a project that says it’s at the finish line, when we are only at the beginning.”

Luis Gonzalez, a member of advocacy group Make the Road New York, said that while the residents around the park love to use its amenities to play soccer, that does not mean the community, as a whole, wants to have a stadium in the middle of open space.

“I play soccer in the park,” he said. “Our community loves soccer. But that doesn’t mean we want a soccer stadium right in the middle of the park. The kids in our community desperately need open space to exercise.”

MLS pitches Queens soccer stadium to community


| tcullen@queenscourier.com

Photo Courtesy of Major League Soccer

As most of the 500-plus inside the Queens Theater cheered for a new soccer team to play just yards away, a small crowd gathered in the lobby with signs that contrasted the ones ushers offered when walking in.

A town hall meeting on Tuesday, December 3 hosted by Major League Soccer (MLS) to inform the community of its plans to build a 25,000 seat stadium in Flushing Meadows-Corona Park over what is currently the Fountain of Planets.

“Our goal is to be one of the top soccer leagues in the world by 2022,” said MLS Commissioner Don Garber. “This team and this stadium will help us achieve that. You can’t be a dominate soccer league without having a dominate team in the largest, and most important city in the world.”

The theater itself was filled mostly with soccer supporters who wanted to see MLS’ potential 20th team call Queens its home. In between translations or speakers, cheers could be heard such as “build it, baby.”

A highlight of Garber’s presentation was the support to local small businesses surrounding the park and fuel the already bulging soccer culture that’s developed in the borough.

More than 700 businesses had signed letters of support of the stadium, Garber said. He also likened a tradition by fans of the Seattle Sounders FC, who will often march to the stadium and stop at local businesses on the way.

The league has set out to speak to communities throughout the borough — particularly those that surround the park — including a presentation to the Queens Borough Board the night before. The questions asked by the audience focused on getting jobs at the arena, who would own the new team and where the displaced parkland would go.

State Senator Jose Peralta voiced his support for the project and promised to keep the league accountable for the promises attached to the stadium.

“Obviously, there’s a lot to like about MLS’ proposal,” he said. “But as I have said to them before, and I will say to MLS again tonight, we’re going to hold your feet to the fire.” But while he promised to ensure the lost parkland would be replaced, “let’s not shoot ourselves in the foot. Let’s recognize a good deal for what it is and work together to ensure that all the parties hold up their end of the agreement.”

Those waiting in the lobby, however, thought any kind of deal is wrong and replaced greenspace would never redeem that which is lost. The meeting, some added, was more of a rally for bringing pro soccer to Queens instead of an actual town hall.

“This is a promotional event for Major League Soccer,” said Donovan Finn, a member of the Jackson Heights Green Alliance. “I guess they can call it whatever they want, but it’s not the transparent process that Commissioner Garber was talking about during his presentation.”

Only about two of the projected 10 to 13 acres eaten up in the project would be from grassy areas in the park, according to MLS officials. The rest, mainly concrete walkways and the fountain itself, has been considered a closed off and under used part of the borough’s largest park.

NYC Park Advocates President Geoffrey Croft doesn’t think the designated site is a boondock patch of park, and alleged the league was making claims to sway public interest toward the stadium.

Several attendees against the stadium alleged organizers opted to have them sit in another room with the meeting broadcasted into the it. Finn, who he arrived at 7 p.m. just as the meeting was starting, said he was told that since he did not have a reserved seat, he would have to sit in the lower room and watch from there.

“I came in right at 7 o’clock and I was asked if I had a reserved seat,” she said. “And I said ‘I don’t know what you’re talking about,’ then they said, ‘You’re in the basement.’”

This was not the case, however, and the league had opened the room to everyone, said MLS spokesperson Risa Heller. The league had widely advertised the meeting in the two weeks leading up, she said, and tried to get the word out through mass and social media.

“Any suggestion that our town hall wasn’t open to the public is sour grapes,” she said. “This was a come one, come all event.”

Parkland at center of MLS stadium project


| tcullen@queenscourier.com

DSC_0985w

Major League Soccer (MLS) officials presented plans for a 25,000-seat stadium in Flushing Meadows-Corona Park to the Queens Borough Board on Monday, December 3.

But while the league promised the board that soccer would be a good neighbor to the community, questions arose regarding parking, access, replacement of the 10 to 13 acres of parkland that would be eaten up by the stadium.

Professional soccer could kick off as soon as 2016, should the project be approved, said MLS President Mark Abbott. He acknowledged this was a lofty but plausible goal for the league.

Abbott assured the board that seven of the nine existing recreational soccer fields would be completely refurbished before the first shovel breaks ground at the stadium site at what is now the Fountain of Planets. By making the borough’s largest park its home, Abbott said MLS is committed to investing in the park and “making it better for the people who use [it].”

“The idea is, we’re coming here to be a partner with the park.”

Roughly 20 to 25 games would be played at the stadium per season, Abbott said, which includes an average of 17 regular season home games. Although the stadium would be within earshot of Citi Field and the Billie Jean King National Tennis Center, the league plans not to host any games when the Mets are playing, or during the two weeks of the U.S. Open, alleviating congestion.

Regardless, many are concerned that parking for games will spill into the neighboring community and disturb residents’ day-to-day life.

League officials are currently working with the Mets to reach an agreement to use their parking facilities — mainly the lot that used to be Shea Stadium — but do not have a time frame for when executives will sit down with Mets management, Abbott said.

But one of the biggest concerns was where the parkland would be replaced.

Abbott, fielding questions from board members and councilmembers, said MLS will not pick a site for the lost acres without getting full community feedback from the surrounding neighborhoods.

“We’ve started to look at some sites, but that’s something we need the community’s input on,” Abbott said.

The league has set up several town hall meetings in or around the park to hear the community’s thoughts of where they would like to see new greenspace.

Councilmembers Peter Vallone and Mark Weprin agreed that before any official stance could be taken on the proposal, a dedicated, well-researched site for the new land has to be chosen.

“I don’t think we can responsibly take a position until we know all the details,” Vallone said. “Especially regarding what parkland would replace the park. This has to be parkland that effectively replaces and is as usable as this parkland is.”

Weprin said he was currently open minded to the idea, but many of the concerns first had to be addressed before any decision could be made.

“I think it could be great for economic development in the area,” he said. “But there are a lot of concerns that I would like to see addressed before we approve it. To reject it out right would be a mistake.”

Geoffrey Croft, president of NYC Park Advocates, however, hopes Queens residents will oppose the project, saying that any replaced land would never be the same as that lost to the project.

“These things are never of equal value, and never of equal usefulness,” he said. “And the community always gets ripped off.”

Queens Morning Roundup


| brennison@queenscourier.com

TODAY’S FORECAST 

Friday: Increasing clouds, with a high near 47. Light and variable wind becoming east 6 to 11 mph in the morning. Friday night: A slight chance of rain or drizzle after midnight. Mostly cloudy, with a low around 41. East wind 9 to 11 mph. Chance of precipitation is 20%.

EVENT of the DAY: Shirley Valentine at Queens Theatre

The Tony and Olivier Award-winning play, written by Willy Russell, is about a middle-aged housewife who finds herself unhappy and wondering what happened to all the joy in her life. But when she’s offered the chance to go on the vacation-of-a-lifetime, Shirley is introduced to the adventure, hope and, ultimately, love she had been missing. Click here for more info or to submit an event of your own

Citizens group demands ‘overdue’ stormproof measures to prevent future devastation of Rockaways beaches

Just hours after Superstorm Sandy devastated Rockaway Beach, someone angrily spray-painted a message on the wall of a battered handball court: “John Cori warned you.” Cori, who grew up down the street on Beach 92nd St., has spent the past few years advocating for beach replenishment, new jetties and other reforms to protect the dangerously eroded shoreline. Read more: Daily News

NY1 Exclusive: Red Cross Worker Charged With Alleged Sexual Abuse Of Woman Who Lost Her Home To Sandy

A Red Cross worker is charged with sexually assaulting a woman who turned to him for help after Hurricane Sandy destroyed her Queens home. NY1’s Dean Meminger filed the following report. Evergreen Washington says a Red Cross worker should be stripped of his red and white uniform and put in a prison jumpsuit. Read more: NY1

Romney lunches with Obama at White House

Bitter campaign foes just weeks ago, President Barack Obama and Mitt Romney met for lunch at the White House on Thursday, sitting down with an eye on overlapping interests rather than the sharp differences that defined their presidential contest. Read more: NY Post

Rockaway Residents Frustrated With Crowded Buses, Longer Travel Times

Rockaway residents say they’re fed up having to wait an extra 30 minutes or more each morning for a bus to work. “I don’t get paid if I’m not there,” said one commuter. “It’s crazy.” In some cases, buses are so packed, they have to bypass stops. Read more: NY1

St. John’s University dean Cecilia Chang expressed “suicidal ideations” a month before she killed herself

Ex-St. John’s University dean Cecilia Chang talked of committing suicide little more than a month before she hanged herself during her criminal trial, according to court papers. A female friend of Chang’s asked to have her name removed from the bail bond because of the defendant’s increasingly bizarre behavior, defense lawyer Joel Cohen told a judge at an emergency hearing held on Oct. 1. Read more: Daily News

Queens homeowner can’t get in touch with insurance company

Dark and damp, the smell of seawater left from Sandy is a reminder for homeowner Marcy Miller Bolden of the water which flooded her basement during the hurricane. “My basement is completely destroyed,” Miller Bolden said. “The seawater corroded my boiler.” Now Miller Bolden is living without heat and expenses she can’t afford. Read more: NY1

MLS seeks to build 25,000-seat soccer stadium in Queens

Major League Soccer is taking its plan to build a 25,000-seat home for a new team in New York City to the politicians in Queens who will decide the project’s fate. The league will present its plan for a stadium in Flushing Meadows Corona Park to Borough President Helen Marshall, Queens city council members and community leaders on Dec. 3, Dan Andrews, a spokesman for Marshall, said today in an e-mail. Read more: NJ.com

Weekend Roundup


| brennison@queenscourier.com

Quinn leads crowded field for 2013 mayoral nod

Council Speaker Christine Quinn remained at the head of the field in the 2013 mayoral race, though her once wide margin has shrunk. NY1-Marist Poll released a poll surveying registered city voters on next year’s race for mayor with Quinn coming out on top with the support of 23 percent of Democrats. Read more: Queens Courier

Witness has two versions of NYPD detective’s fatal shooting of unarmed National Guardsman

A key witness in the fatal police shooting of an unarmed National Guardsman told cops that she took her eyes off the victim’s hands just before the gunfire erupted, the Daily News has learned. Witness Diane DeFerrari’s statement, contained in an Oct. 4 police report, contradicts her later assertions that Noel Polanco had both hands on the wheel when he was shot on the Grand Central Parkway. Read more: Daily News

Queens principal forced to retire over offensive remarks

A Queens high-school principal made a host of discriminatory remarks against Jews, blacks and gays — as well as off-color quips about sex and sexual favors among co-workers, city investigators found. Nancy Casella was forced to retire from Information Technology HS in Long Island City this month after the jarring comments were confirmed by the city Department of Education. Read more: NY Post

1 dead in head-on crash in Queens

An investigation is underway after one person was killed in a crash in Queens. It happened Friday night at 48th Street and Laurel Hill Boulevard in the Sunnyside section. Two cars collided head-on. Read more: ABC

Mexico cops hunt Orlando Orea, suspect in Union Square soccer coach Mike Jones slaying

The hunt for the fugitive who escaped to Mexico after the stabbing death of soccer coach Mike Jones has begun in earnest after the NYPD won cooperation from authorities there. Interpol has flagged the suspect, Orlando Orea, meaning if he attempts to flee to a third country he will be stopped, said Deputy Commissioner Paul Browne, the NYPD’s top spokesman. Read more: Daily News

Queens beauty school sued by attorney general

New York Attorney General Eric Schneiderman has sued a Queens beauty school, claiming it convinced hundreds of students to pay course fees but failed to train them as nail specialists. The suit, filed this week, names Tinny Beauty Inc. and two of its officers, saying it used ads in Chinese-language newspapers and word-of-mouth to find and mislead students about obtaining nail specialty licenses. Read more: ABC

7-inch iPad tablet to hit stores on Nov. 2

The long-rumored downsized clone of Apple’s iPad tablet is set to hit stores on Nov. 2, according to technology blog TechCruch. Apple is hosting an event in San Jose on Tuesday, and while the company hasn’t released details, it’s widely expected to unveil a 7-inch tablet that’s being called the iPad Mini. Read more: Daily News

Queens Morning Roundup


| brennison@queenscourier.com

TODAY’S FORECAST

Thursday: Sunny, with a high near 63. West wind 9 to 13 mph. Thursday night: Mostly clear, with a low around 52. Southwest wind around 8 mph.

EVENT of the DAY: The Mutations

Devil Science Theater is an interactive event where the audience plays drinking games and makes fun of terrible movies while being egged on by professional comedians in the crowd. Click here for more info or to submit an event of your own

Raul Ibanez’s heroics in 9th, 12th innings give Yankees 2-1 lead over O’s

The Orioles were two outs from taking control of their AL division series against the Yankees. Jim Johnson had converted a big league high 51 saves. But then Raul Ibanez, pinch hitting for no less than Alex Rodriguez, turned on a 94 mph fastball with one out in the ninth inning to tie the score 2-all. Two innings later, it was Ibanez again. Read more: ESPN

Relatives, friends gather at funeral for teen killed in LI crash

Those who knew Christopher Khan all seemed to say the same thing: he always had a smile on his face, no matter the day or the time. Funeral services for Khan were held on Wednesday, October 10 in South Ozone Park. Hundreds of relatives, friends and neighbors packed the funeral home to say goodbye to the young man, killed, along with four others in a tragic wreck on the Southern State Parkway. Read more: Queens Courier

Lindsay Lohan gets into fight with mom over unpaid $40K loan, accuses her of cocaine use before cops are called to scene

The Lohan family’s lunacy just hit an all-time LiLo. A screaming fight between daughter Lindsay and mom Dina after a hard-partying night led dad Michael to dial 911. He claimed his daughter was held hostage early Wednesday inside a chauffeured SUV. She wasn’t. Read more: Daily News

TSA disarms 9 at NYC airports

Airline passengers were packing an arsenal this past weekend. Screeners for the Transportation Security Administration caught nine passengers at the city’s three major airports with illegal weapons or contraband, the agency said yesterday. Read more: NY Post

Slain soccer coach remembered as search for killer expands to Mexico

The search for the killer of a popular youth soccer coach has now shifted to Mexico as family and friends gathered Wednesday for a memorial service. Dozens of mourners filled the morning service for 25-year-old Michael Jones at the First Baptist Church in White Plains, N.Y. Read more: NY1

Lance Armstrong not only used performance-enhancing drugs, cyclist pushed banned substances on teammates: U.S. Anti-Doping Agency report

Lance Armstrong wasn’t just a cheater who used performance-enhancing drugs to win seven Tour de France titles, according to the explosive “reasoned decision” released by the United States Anti-Doping Agency on Wednesday – he was also a dope pusher who supplied banned substances to his teammates and threatened to replace cyclists who refused to juice. Read more: Daily News

MLS unveils plans for Queens soccer stadium


| tcullen@queenscourier.com

Rendering courtesy of Major League Soccer

Major League Soccer (MLS) announced their rough plans for a soccer stadium in Flushing Meadows-Corona Park this morning, and hopes to reach an agreement with the city in the near future.

“This is a project that we have been dreaming about since the league was founded many, many years ago in 1996,” said MLS Commissioner Don Garber. “This would be our second team in New York. This is a soccer country and this is entirely a soccer community here in Queens… Our goal is to bring the world’s game to the world’s park.”

The planned stadium is expected to seat 25,000 soccer fans, and host 20 games a year — which would be held when the Mets are not playing, Garber said. MLS would expand to create a new team for the stadium. Construction of the stadium, if approved, would create up to 2,300 union jobs; there would be 160 full-time and 750 part-time jobs once the stadium is completed.

The league hopes to reach a deal with the city soon, Garber said, and hoped a lease-agreement will be inked within the next month.

The eyed spot for the stadium is currently the Fountain of Planets, or Industry Pond, which many have called an under used area of the park. Ten to 13 acres of parkland will be eaten up in the project, Garber said, but only one acre used will be from grass areas. Garber, a Queens native, and MLS officials said they looked at a number of spots throughout the city, including Pier 40, but felt the Queens park was the prime spot for the stadium.

“We settled here in Flushing Meadows-Corona Park because we think it’s the absolute perfect place to have our 20th team,” he said.

SHoP, designer of the recently-opened Barclays Center, has been tapped to design the stadium, Garber confirmed. A concept is expected to go public in the next few weeks.

MLS is expected to reach out to the community for feedback and concerns in the next 30 days, Garber said. Community reaction to this project, and the land that will be lost, has been met with mixed reactions from surrounding communities.

If the city approves the deal, which would take 15 to 18 months and cost anywhere from $300 million to $350 million, MLS is required to replace all parkland that would be alienated by the project. The stadium would be privately financed, Garber said.

In addition to new, nearby green space, MLS has vowed to refurbish the seven soccer fields around the site — some will have to be relocated because of the stadium’s footprint. These fields would be completely renovated before construction began, Garber said.

Some of the spots MLS has looked at include the western waterfront of Flushing Creek and the land around an abandoned rail yard in Rego Park.

Garber’s goal for groundbreaking on the project is 2014, with a 2016 or 2017 opening. He said the league has been speaking with a number of potential team owners, and one could be named within the next six to eight months.