Page 1


A Journal of New York Soccer

7/2011 Special Edition

Cosmos Copa Edition 2011

5 POINTS PRESS “Een Draght Mackt Maght� MMXI Special Edition: Cosmos Copa 2011

5 Points Press is an independent source of news and opinion on soccer and soccer culture in the City of New York. 5 Points Press is a division of 5 Points Media. ( All rights reserved ) Editors: Cesar Diaz Chris Dobens Nick Laveglia Writers: Chris Dobens Cesar Diaz Leo Glickman Nick Laveglia Contributing Writers: J.D. MacKinnon Brandon A.F. Sonnier Photography Chris Dobens Nick Laveglia Cesar Diaz Design and Layout: Brandon A.F. Sonnier 5 Points Press accepts contributing writers and volunteers. To help get involved, please contact us @


2 Paul Kemsley from the New York Cosmos



Letter from the editor

Reporting from the sidelines at the Cosmos Copa



Behind the scenes with uniform supplier for Cosmos Copa : FOSA

Cosmos Copa Team Previews

From the New York Cosmos Dear Cosmos fans and Cosmos Copa teams, On behalf of The New York Cosmos, we would like to say thanks for your support and involvement in the 3rd Annual Cosmos Copa NYC tournament. Every summer, we celebrate the rich cultural diversity of New York City by putting on the most important grassroots soccer tournament in the country. Just like the international fabric of the original New York Cosmos, it is important for our city’s soccer players to connect with their home countries while making their local communities proud as well. This year, we had 30 countries compete for a spot in the 2011 Cosmos Copa NYC. We saw tremendous talent on the pitch from the qualifying matches – and 16 teams have now made it through to the tournament which kicks off on July 9th. We encourage everyone to come out and support their team. It will make a difference for all the coaches and players who have spent countless hours preparing and training for this moment. It’s difficult to predict who will win the Cosmos Cup on July 24th, but we assure everyone that it will be a great summer event for soccer fans of all ages. As Cosmos Copa gets more popular and more competitive throughout the years – we hope every team comes back and we hope more teams will join in the movement. See you on July 9th (Group Stage), July 17th (Quarterfinals), July 23rd (Semi-finals) and July 24th (Finals) at Flushing Meadows Corona Park to witness NYC’s finest community teams battle for the title of “Cosmos Copa City Champion”.

Best regards, Paul Kemsley Chairman, The New York Cosmos


From the Editor Association football, commonly known as football or soccer, is a sport played between two teams of eleven players with a spherical ball. At the turn of the 21st century the game was played by over 250 million players in over 200 countries, making it the world’s most popular sport. Above you will find the Wikipedia definition of soccer. If there is one part of that definition that shines above the rest it is “Played by over 250 million players in over 20 countries” Now can you do the math and figure out how many people are spectators? There should be no doubt that soccer is the worlds most popular sport, which means, such as everything else that is global, each participating country brings its own style of play, its on flavor of support and celebrates the game differently. Now, unless that ATM slip recently found in the Hamptons is yours, you are lucky if you experience just a small amount of those countries and styles. Some people might never get to experience soccer outside of our shores and that is unfortunate. Lucky for us, we live in a very diverse city where it seems by a subway stop, there is a different culture for your to experience. Take the 7 train and notice how the neighborhoods and the cultures change in between stops. From the Irish in Woodside, to the Latino in Jackson Heights, to the Asian community in Flushing, there is an abundance of culture. But how do they celebrate “the beautiful game? Cosmos Copa offers the people of New York City not only a chance to witness competitive and passionate soccer but also a rare opportunity to observe how various cultures support the game they love. This is the MAIN reason to come out and support what will most likely become, one of the best months of the NYC Soccer calendar. This regal tournament can be taken as a learning experience. Perhaps you didn’t know what the most popular dish is for the Polish Community, and even more important, where the best places are to enjoy that dish. Maybe you can learn a bit about the Jamaican culture that you did not know. Attending this tournament is like attending a museum, except it’s a bit more interactive. Don’t read about a specific history, learn about from someone who lives it, and maybe make a new friend to watch some soccer with. Come on New York, come together for this event. Share your love for the game with your fellow New Yorkers. It is a great chance to make this city even better by coming together as one. Just think, if we start now, imagine what a Cosmos home game would be like in a few years. ❺

Nick Laveglia Editor - 5 Points Press

Nick Laveglia


Covering the Game from El Salvador’s Sidelines by Cesar Diaz


New York, NY - The Cosmos Copa NYC 2011 officially kicked off this past Father’s Day weekend as 22 Copa teams battled to qualify for the final eight slots at the Parade Grounds, and at the College of Staten Island. After two grueling and intensive days of combative, competitive soccer, Kosovo, Trinidad & Tobago, Ivory Coast, Croatia, Senegal, El Salvador, Colombia, and Italy emerged as your victors, who will continue with their quest of becoming your Cosmos Copa NYC 2011 champions. They will now be competing against the eight 2011 NYC Elite Teams, who had already qualified due

to last year’s advancement to the Quarterfinal Round of NYC’s World Cup. Leading the way for the 2011 NYC Elite Teams is none other than defending champions, Poland. Team Poland is without a shadow of a doubt one of the most dangerous team in the tournament. Masters of set plays, this is the team you don’t want taking corner kicks, free kicks, and especially penalty kicks. They’re also a good physical and transitional team that possesses deceptive speed, a la Jerry Rice. Following Poland is last year’s runner-up, Jamaica. From the number of times I’ve seen them play, this is a team that is determined to win this year’s tour-

nament and hoist the Cosmos Copa trophy over their heads. They possess the tools to win it all this year. Jamaica is a fantastic team. Their players are phenomenal and they know how to spread the ball throughout the pitch with their laser passes. Along with their excellent ball movement, Jamaica is going to be tough to contain in the penalty area. Whether they “shake & bake” their opponents or blast the ball from outside the penalty area, they will beat many teams if the defense isn’t tight. Are they the “Showtime Lakers” who won championships, or the “Running & Gunning” Phoenix Suns who entertained their fans? We’ll find out in July. The remaining elite teams consist of England, Ecuador, Mexico, Haiti, Greece, and Ireland. Later this week a draw will take place to determine the match ups. Once the matches are finalized, the Cosmos Copa will begin on the weekend of July 9th & 10th, and conclude with the Championship Match on Sunday, July 24th. All the games will be played at the Corona Park, Fields 8 and 9 in Flushing Meadows, Queens. With all the action that took place this weekend, the one match that stood out for me was El Salvador against the 2009 winners, Albania. In my opinion, this is the best game that I’ve ever had the privilege of covering. Just to be clear, I’ve covered this year’s Gold Cup, was in Toronto for last year’s MLS Cup, and I’ve witnessed the United States battle Brazil, Argentina, and current World Cup Champions Spain. However, I’ve never been in the sidelines for any of those matches. Even though I had a “Field Access” pass, it was El Salvador’s coaching staff who extended an invitation to join them for their match against Albania. I found this to be a generous invitation, which I gladly accepted and promised that I would join them in the second half. Back in April, I had met El Salvador’s Team Captain Javier Martinez and Coaches Reyes Merlos, Sifredo Deras, and Hector Maltes at the Cosmos Copa launch party. Like many of the teams who are competing this year, I’ve followed the work that they’ve put forth towards their team. For someone who’s accustomed to covering the majority of matches from the Press Section or bleachers, being on the sidelines is a unique experience. Instead of questioning the coaching tactics, it was explained to me freely. In addition, I experienced the joy and pain of

the team as they tried to overcome a one-goal deficit in the second half. The coaches had made some smart substitutions in order to move the ball better. While El Salvador moved the ball well, they simply weren’t able to close the deal by tying the game. At times it appeared that the calls weren’t going their way, but El Salvador continued to attack until they were awarded a penalty kick. Prior to the kick, some of the fans were praying and hoping for a successful attempt. Their prayers were answered when El Salvador tied the game with little time remaining in the second half. Despite both team’s final opportunities to produce a game winning goal, the game resulted in a 2-2 tie in regulation. From there the match went into penalty kicks. In all my years of covering this beautiful game, I’ve never covered a game from the sidelines during penalty kicks. What exciting and agonizing moments these were as Albania converted the first penalty kick off a fluke play. Despite El Salvador’s GK making a well-timed save, the ball rolled in to the net to give Albania a 1-0 lead. El Salvador leveled the PK score 1-1, and prior to both teams’ fifth kicker, the score remained 4-4. Albania’s blast sailed over the crossbar, and it came down to El Salvador’s Nelson Romero. Romero converted his penalty kick and El Salvador advanced to Sunday’s games, where they will have a chance qualify for the Cosmos Copa. A miss would mean that penalty kicks will continue until a winner has been declared. With both teams and their fans praying for a goal/miss, many witnessed Romero’s goal which gave El Salvador a win 5-4 over Albania. After rallying furiously to tie the game 2-2 in regulation and then win it penalty kicks, the entire team rushed to Romero for a hug as their supporters strongly cheered them on. Following Saturday’s match, El Salvador carried their new found momentum and qualified on Sunday, when they took second place in their designated Group. Along with Saturday’s amazing sideline match, I enjoyed interacting with the fans who were rooting for El Salvador. I found it comical when one of the player’s wives shouted “Boo Boo, what the heck are you doing?” Would I ever hear Victoria Beckham utter those words? Probably not... ❺


bra nd irt n Just a


More tha

by Cesar Diaz Greenpoint, BKLYN - Soccer is in the air as the Cosmos Copa NYC 2011 tournament officially kicks off on Saturday, July 9th at Flushing Meadows, Queens. If you’re in the area, drop by the Corona Fields 8-9 to watch the action. While many publications have reported the Cosmos Copa, we at 5 Points Press have been covering this majestic tournament from Day One. From the launch


party to the friendlies to the qualifying weekend and the draw, we’ve been there. The tournament hasn’t even begun and this has been an experience I wouldn’t trade for. Even though I’ve interacted with the Copa Teams, the organizers Spencer Dormitzer and Chris Noble on a regular basis I knew there was one element that was missing. When I found out that FOSA USA was the official merchandise partner of the Cosmos

Copa NYC 2011, I knew I had my story. I was able to get of hold of FOSA USA’s President/Founder Sherif Hassan, I explained to him that I wanted to learn more about FOSA USA and have a possible tour of their facilities. After a couple of email/phone conversations, everything was arranged and I took off to Greenpoint where they’re located. Once I was inside their fa-

cilities, I loved the “old-school” gym atmosphere because I knew they were a company who worked. Just from observing the organized chaos in their office, I was convinced this was a company that didn’t have time to appear that they were working out. Along with the Screen Printing Machine and Heat Press Machine and boxes of finished orders, I noticed their board listing orders they were working on. It was refreshing to hear that they’re a company who’s environmentally aware. For those of you are curious, I saw the Cosmos Copa jerseys that the competing teams will be wearing in July. I will admit that upon seeing those jerseys’s I grinned like a Cheshire cat. And I will admit that I had a couple of questions to ask Sherif about the jerseys. However unlike Michael Scott who would impulsively utter, “That’s what she said,” I’m able to practice impulse control. While it would have been easy to ask questions about their relationship with the New York Cosmos, that wasn’t the reason I traveled all the way from Manhattan to meet Sherif in Greenpoint at 8pm. I was more interested in learning about their involvement in the New York soccer scene. So what did I learn about FOSA USA? They’re a small company with eight dedicated workers (one is a Regional Director in DC) in their staff who along have smartly invested their time in conducting focus groups with New York soccer

fans. I was happy to learn that they have an excellent relationship with two of the most respected soccer stores in NYC; Doss Soccer Store and Upper 90 Soccer + Sport. I also learned the origin behind FOSA USA. FOSA is an acronym for Five O’clock Shadow Apparel. “The name came as result of everyone on the team at one point having to shave for their corporate jobs and it was only after the work day was over and our Five O’clock Shadows had kicked in were we able to get out and play the sport we loved. It’s when the five o’clock shadow came on and we were playing is when we felt most comfortable and at our happiest point of the day,” explained Sherif. While the origin of the name is unique, it’s FOSA USA’s philosophy that intrigued me. As stated in their website,” Five O’clock Shadow Apparel USA (FOSA USA) is a company that seeks to promote, unite and grow US Soccer culture.” Along with running their company, FOSA USA’s activities are all based in the community and support grassroots soccer. Sponsoring various organizations such as NYC Football League, Street Soccer NYC, and Pickup Soccer NYC, the staff of FOSA USA also volunteers their time in ensuring that each operation is running cohesively and updated. Any soccer company that’s willing to take time out of their busy schedule to give back to the community deserves our support. In addition to being a fairly young

company, FOSA USA is open to new ideas. Anyone who’s creative, loves soccer and agrees with the philosophy of FOSA USA may reach Creative Director David Walker at Considering that I’ve seen their facility and was educated about their company. From my conversation with Sherif and his brother Tamer, I have no reservation in purchasing my soccer apparel from them. Personally, I love the fact that I actually know the individuals who are responsible for creating my t-shirt. Any company that finds time to give back to their community and is willing to learn what we want in our soccer apparel is what many of us die-hard soccer fans have been hoping for. While it was impossible to meet the entire staff of FOSA USA, I wanted to take a moment to thank Sherif Hassan – President, Joe Cox - Vice President, Scott Monteleon - Vice President, David Walker Creative Director, Lisa Josephsen - Marketing/Branding Director, Winfield Clifford – Executive Director, Tamer Hassan - Production Manager, and Matthew Miller - Regional Director (DC). Thanks for offering me a glimpse of FOSA USA and I wish you many more success! To learn more about FOSA USA: ❺


Cosmos Copa 2011 Team Preview

Our writers sit down with a few select teams that are particpating in this year’s Cosmos Copa tournament. 8

Team Name: NYC Ireland

experience from his days at Manchester United and Millwall were he was coached by Sir Alex

Team Nickname: The New York Bhoys!

Ferguson and Mark McGhee.

Theme Song (or Favorite Song): Where The

Player to Watch & Why: Conor Hunter is a

Streets Have No Name by U2

small player/striker who plays with 110-percent. Most teams know and respect him be-

Typical Formation: The old 4-4-2

cause he is such a hard worker and energizes the entire squad. He is also the joker in the pack

How Did You Form & How Long Have You

and has to be watched at all times off the field

Been Playing Together?: Team Ireland formed

too with his pranks! Also, we are working on

3 years ago when Copa’s very own Spencer got

two surprise players!

in touch with Paul Doherty, who managed the Lansdowne Bhoys. Paul pulled together a man-

Where Do Most of You Live?: The players and

agement team of Tommy Smyth as President,

staff are mostly from the Woodlawn area and

William Dempsey of the Irish Rovers, Robbie


Walsh of the Irish Shamrocks, and William MC Grory of Lansdowne Bhoys to form the New

Favorite Bar/Restaurant: We have so many dif-

York Irish Football Association. From here

ferent bars and eateries were we meet, includ-

we have developed a network among the clubs

ing Legends, PD Hurleys, Nevada Smiths, Gal-

to identify players for the team as well as as-

way Hooker, and Fagans Ale House.

sist with functions, charity events, etc. It was a lot of hard work for all involved but well worth it. The addition of Kevin Grogan as coach this

Favorite Drink: Guinness!!! Though we typically drink anything that flows and is cold.

year is huge for us, as he brings a vast amount of


Team Name: NYC Holland

Team Name: NYC Greece

Team Nickname: Central Park Heroes

Theme Song: “Sikoseto to timimeno” [“Lift the honored (trophy) high” [Adopted since the Euro 2004 triumph ]

Theme Song: ‘Swedish House Mafia’ by Armin van Buuren (the #1 DJ in the world) Player to watch and why: Ruben van Veen: Very agile and lots of experience. He played for The Knicks in the Netherlands.

Player to watch and why: It’s a team effort

Type of Soccer Formation: 4-4-3 of course!

Community team is based from: Astoria, Queens

Community team is based from: Manhattan (New Amsterdam) / Brooklyn (Breukelen)

Best sports bar in your Community: Pancyprian Lounge

Best sports bar in your Community: Tonic West on 727 7th avenue in New Amsterdam. Here’s where we watch all the Dutch National Team games. Best place to go for a meal in your Community: Java Indonesian Rijsttafel in Breukelen. Best Alcoholic Beverage from your Country: A good cold Heineken, Grolsch or Amstel. Contact Information: Iwan Vandervinne;


Type of Soccer Formation: 4-4-2

Best place to go for a meal in your Community: Dinner- Any Greek food restaurant. Too many to name them all. Brunch/Lunch- “Avenue Café” Best Alcoholic Beverage from your Country: Wine (after all we did invent it); Ouzo Contact Information: George Halkidis [ghalkidis@]

Team Name: NYC Poland Team Nickname: Red&white Theme Song (or Favorite Song): “Remember” by Funky Polak Typical Formation: 4 - 4 -2 How Long Have You Been Playing Together?: 2nd year How Did You Form?: Marek Kasprowicz initiative. He is the “founder”.

Team Name: NYC England Team Nickname: Three Lions Theme Song: Theme from Dambusters Player to watch and why: Tommy Smith, striker… goals! Type of Soccer Formation: probably 4-4-2 or 4-5-1

Player to Watch & Why: Chris Karcz (last year MVP and golden boot winner)

Community team is based from: English people in New York come from across the city.

Where Do Most of You Live (Neighborhood): Brooklyn, Queens, Pasaic, Garfield, Wallington

Best sports bar in your Community: N/A

Favorite Bar: Zoom Favorite Restaurant or Food: Johnny’s Cafe (Ridgewood) Favorite Drink: Polish Beer - Zywiec or Lech

Best place to go for a meal in your Community: N/A Best Alcoholic Beverage from your Country: Beer!


Team Name: NYC Peru Team Nickname: Peruchos Theme Song: El General “Muevelo� Erick Morillo remix Player to watch and why: I believe you should see the whole team, our transitions from defense to midfield to forward. Our game is simple and smooth. Our midfield game will be to watch the most, players like Andy Cesti works the middle really well. then 18 and 19 year old players like Edu Ames on the left and Walther Castillo another CAM smart player. Rare mature players with 100% Peruvian culture and style of playing Forward Jorge Antonio Quito speed and endurance of a bullet. Over all our team is ready and will bring back the Peruvian soccer we all know we have. (Pay attention to the right midfielder) Type of Soccer Formation: 4-4-2/ 4-5-1

Team Name: NYC Japan Team Nickname: Blue Samurai Player to watch and why: Please watch our team, not any particular player Type of Soccer Formation: Balanced style between attacking and defending Community team is based from: 9 existing Japanese teams & some college teams. Please visit http:// Best sports bar in your Community: Katsu-Hama Best place to go for a meal in your Community: East Village or Midtown East, Manhattan; there are

Community team is based from: New York State & New Jersey

many to choose from

Best sports bar in your Community: Woodwork; Brooklyn, NY

Best spot for Dessert: Tackahachi Bakery

Best place to go for a meal in your Community: Pio Pio & Chimu Best Alcoholic Beverage from your Country: Pisco Sour


Best Alcoholic Beverage from your Country: Miyanoyuki (Japanese Sake)

Team Name: NYC Trinidad and Tobago Team Nickname: Soca Warrior Theme Song: I’m ah Soca Warrior Player to watch and why: Kareem Joachim. Very explosive, Andrew Revanales, Excellent touch. David James. Utility player. Type of Soccer Formation: 4-4-2

Team Name: NYC Italy Team Nickname: TEAM ITALIA Theme Song: Inno di Mameli Player to watch and why: Gianmarco Ciotti, very good young player Type of Soccer Formation: he played for the juniors of Bologna

Best sports bar in your Community: Sugar Cane

Community team is based from: Our community is very old and it is spread out all around the five boroughs, New Jersey. Our community team could be the Brooklyn Italians, so from Brooklyn, but there are many other Italian teams.

Best place to go for a meal in your Community:

Best sports bar in your Community: N/A

Community team is based from: Brooklyn NY

Sugar Cane Best Alcoholic Beverage from your Country: 10 cane, 1919, Stag beer. Contact Information: Andy Haynes; 917-374-5118.

Best place to go for a meal in your Community: Too many good Italian Restaurants… Best Alcoholic Beverage from your Country: Wine? Grappa? Limoncello? Martini? I can go on for a while… Contact Information: Francesco Bardazzi,


Team Name: NYC Sweden

Team Name: NYC Croatia

Theme Song: Group: GES Song: När vi gräver guld i USA

Team Nickname: Vatreni (translates to the fiery, blazing, burning passion in our hearts)

Player to watch and why: Sebastian Alvarado (captain) and John Salhag (goalscorer)

Players to watch: Tommy & Kris Bistre, Dynamic Brother Combination

Type of Soccer Formation: 4-4-2 or 4-3-3 Community Team is based from: Brooklyn and Manhattan Best sports bar in your Community: Best place to go for a meal in their Community: Aqvavit and FIKA Best Alcoholic Beverage from your Country: Absolut Vodka and Skane Aqvavit

Type of Soccer Formation: 4-4-2 Community team is based from: Proud to be from every borough as well as CT & NJ, although we are primarily based in Astoria, Queens. Best sports bar in your Community: Café Bar Scorpio Best place to go for a meal in your Community: Veslo Best Alcoholic Beverage from your Country: Karlovacko To follow NYC Croatia, please go to their facebook page: Croatia-Cosmos-Copa-Page/186664001378975


Team Name: NYC Kosovo Team Nickname: Kosovars Player to watch and why: Burat Lajqi – quality passer, heart of the team; strong leadership; focused. Berat Islami – skillful on the ball and fast; tireless work rate. Type of Soccer Formation: 1-4-1-3-2

Team Name: NYC Albania Team Nickname: Shqipe (Eagles) Theme Song (or Favorite Song): Not a song, but Ole, Ole, Ole, Ole... Typical Formation: 3-5-2 How Long Have You Been Playing Together?: We have been together since 1999

Community Team is based from: Bronx

How Did You Form?: We played together in the NESSL and Cosmopolitan D1 for the last decade and are all family, and friends.

Best sports bar in your Community: Howl at the Moon

Player to Watch & Why: Rigels Qosa, our Captain, he is an ex-albanian international, and Dritan Sela (Seton Hall forward) who will be a great player

Best place to go for a meal in their Community: Michael Angelo’s Coal Fired Brick Oven Pizza & Gurra Cafe Best Alcoholic Beverage from your Country: Birra Peja

Community team is based from: Bay Ridge, Ridgewood and Pelham Manor Favorite Bar: Harry’s at Hanover Square Favorite Restaurant or Food: Harry’s at Hanover Square Favorite Drink: Raki it is our national drink


5 Points Press: Special Edition, Cosmos Copa 2011  
5 Points Press: Special Edition, Cosmos Copa 2011  

A Journal Of New York City Soccer