Tennis Legend John McEnroe Wows Fans During NYFEST's Celebrity Match

Cesar DiazCorrespondent IIApril 26, 2011

John McEnroe taking charge during Saturday's NYFEST Celebrity Match. (Photograph courtesy of NY Cosmos)
John McEnroe taking charge during Saturday's NYFEST Celebrity Match. (Photograph courtesy of NY Cosmos)

NEW YORK, NY—Tennis Legend John McEnroe took part of this past Saturday's "Celebrity Match," hosted by NYFEST.

In a partnership with the Tribeca Film Festival, Umbro and The New York Cosmos, NYFest is New York City's first film and entertainment soccer tournament.

Along with his legendary competitive spirit, McEnroe has been considered by many of his fans as the epitome of a true New Yorker with an unbreakable will. With that said, McEnroe represented the home team, grouped with Ritchie Williams, Anderson Silva, John O'Brien, Tab Ramos, Ethan Zahn, Steve Nash, Andrew Shue and Claudio Reyna.

Representing the away team was Jeff Agoos, Giovanni Savarese, Gale Harold, Gilad Bloom, Ian McKee, Frank Whaley, Eli Freeze, Russell Pain, Eddie Louis, Ethan Hawke and Tony Sanneh.

With the weather mostly horrific for the day, soccer fans as well as the competing teams unitedly endured and braved through the weather for charity. Due to their participation, the event raised $25,000 for underprivileged children who are affiliated with nonprofit organizations that provide soccer-based programs.

In true "Johnny Mac" form, McEnroe opened things up when he headed home first goal of the game.

While many fans in attendance were surprised by the McEnroe's soccer skills, his true fans didn't even blink. Before McEnroe became a tennis legend, he played four years of soccer at Trinity School, the prestigious Ivy League preparatory school in Manhattan.

Despite the fact that he's no longer in his prime, McEnroe's play demonstrated that he's a man who will continue to be competitive. And that's not a bad thing, because it's the one trait he's globally recognized for.

For someone who grew up seeing John McEnroe as a no-nonsense, aggressive, must-win, obsessed tennis player with an opinion, it was nice to see how outgoing and polite he is. He presence shined noticeably at Pier 40.

He enthusiastically interacted with fans, joked around with some of the reporters and even ordered the clouds to stop raining so the sunlight can shine through Pier 40 as the NYFEST concluded. All in all, he was simply fun to watch.

And yes, I am being serious.


Cesar Diaz covers Soccer for He's also a Columnist for; your source for American Soccer news brought to you by members of the U.S. National Team. Easily accessible, you may reach Cesar at and at Twitter at @CoveringSoccer.