FC New York played its inaugural home game at Belson Stadium in Queens, New York
Their celeste blue is reminiscent of Manchester City’s colors and their lofty ambitions are identical
By Carlos Giron
New York City’s one and only professional soccer club, FC New York, played its inaugural home game last Saturday at Belson Stadium in Queens, New York.
The historical match was successful in every way, except the scoreboard. The club lost to Orlando City, 1-2.
Off the pitch, everything ran smoothly, the stadium operations, security, the referees, ticket sales, press box, public announcer, and yes, the team had a near sellout—registering an attendance of 2,011—just a bit short of the 2,500 venue capacity.
Despite the loss, the team did score a true golazo off the boot of Owen Morrison, who chipped a beautiful rainbow shot over the Orlando goalkeeper on the 54th minute, tying the match. Orlando City’s goals were scored by Lawrence Olum in the first half, and Lewis Neal, off a free kick just outside the penalty box in the second half.
FC New York looked solid on the field, moving the ball well, with technical skill and a well defined tactical plan. Right away, one came away with the impression that the team is well coached and that the players are fit and ready to compete.
The fan experience at Belson Stadium—home of the St. John’s University soccer program—is truly outstanding. The small stadium provides a cozy atmosphere. The stands are very near the field, as a result, every single fan in attendance gets to live the dynamic soccer action up-close and personal.
Belson Stadium's food vendors provide hot and tasty meals and a variety of drinks and all the fan facilities, including the rest rooms, are clean and well kept. St. John’s University staff and students work security and other posts around the stadium and do a great job. Plus, there is an official police presence around the clock as well. There is ample and free parking available.
The ticket prices are affordable and family friendly. Ticket prices range from 12 to 25 dollars. Tickets can be purchased at the St. John’s University Box Office beginning at 6 pm. Tickets can be purchased at the box office until the 55th minute of the match, or by visiting www.FCNewYork.com.
Frankly, the overall message the team sent to Queens soccer fans is that the this club is for real. The people behind it are serious. The coach is serious. The players are serious. And all of us soccer fanatics who love the sport and adore our beautiful “Boro” of Queens are in for some serious entertainment and fun this year, without having to cross Manhattan and venture into another state.
Finally, the team celeste blue and white home colors are similar to the colors of the other team hailing from Manchester, England. No. Not ManU, Manchester City, that is. Check out the photo of ManCity’s Argentinean superstar Carlos “El Apache” Tevez.
As a long-time Queens resident, I must admit that the arrival of the team brings me great pride and joy. Nothing like having a professional team from your home city!
Englishman Matt Weston, a product of the Manchester United Academy, and formerly of Ipswich Town.
English veteran and former Arsenal product Paul Shaw.
The 37-year-old spent most of his professional career playing for Millwall, Burnley, Cardiff City and Peterborough United respectively.
Latinos on the team:
Derby Carillo, a 6' 4", 200 pound Salvadoran-American goalkeeper out of St. Johns.
Jhonny Arteaga, Colombian-American striker with promising future who played in the Poland first division.
Steven Diaz, a Colombian-American goalkeeper, and backup to Carrillo.
Tim Murray, a goalkeeper from the New England Revolution.
Ilija Stolica, a towering and muscular striker from Serbia and property of the New England Revolution.
Brazilian on the team:
Tadeu Terra, a native of Rio de Janeiro, Brazil before joining St. John’s University who plays central attacking midfield.
Speedster lateral attacker:
Graciano Brito, formerly of Clube Operario Desportivo of the Portuguese League, and a Quinnipiac University standout striker (named to ESPN Top Six Senior College Forwards in 2008). Brito is also a native of Huntington, N.Y.
Photo credit: FC New York photo courtesy of Ira Cohen.