Soccer Preview: FHRS, BCHS See Positive Things Ahead
Far Rockaway Educational Campus boys soccer coach Michael Falzone got an unexpected turnout when practice started two weeks ago. He got up to 17 players, which is more than he thought would turn out for this upcoming season.
Falzone has a lot of new additions on this year’s roster and most who showed up has enough previous soccer experience to believe good times may be coming ahead.
“I have a bigger team, more skillful, not outstandingly fast, but a knowledgeable team who can make the pass and work together,” Falzone said.
Far Rockaway will travel to Keith William Park to take on Hillcrest today in their first game of the season at 4 p.m. They will go to August Martin on Sunday morning.
It’s an optimism the Seahorses must have, especially coming off a 4-8 season playing in a tough PSAL Queens ‘BI’ Division against Campus Magnet, Jamaica and Hillcrest.
“I only have five new players return from last year and I got new players who moved up here,” Falzone said.
Some of the new arrivals have encouraged Falzone that his team will have success passing the ball and maintaining enough possession to threaten the opposition.
One of the players who could be key in being a central cog in midfield is senior Kareem Kennedy, a 6-1 transfer from Maryland. Falzone says Kennedy has excellent ball handling skills and a great shot. He can also at times switch to more of a defensive role when games are tight.
Brandon Fyffe and Ruel Riddle are a few players returning from last year that will provide experience. Fyffe, a sophomore, was named co-captain and can play either stopper or sweeper. Riddle, a junior, can switch positions with Fyffe on defense.
Senior midfielder Al Hassan Kamate is another returning player who Falzone thinks can start.
Falzone is thinking of starting two near players up front. Jose Guillen didn’t try out for camp this year, but has a good enough shot to slot in as a forward or switch to center midfield.
Ariel Ramirez is described as a tall athletic striker who should get plenty of looks.
“I have a nice bench and everyone is pretty skilled. I have 16 or 17 players and I can some subs in and get some different options,” Falzone said.
The Seahorses want to share the wealth in terms of scoring goals. In Falzone’s two years coaching, he’s had one main scorer get the bulk of the goals. Far Rockaway may have up to 4 players who can record some major production.
“Everyone is improving in this league. Hillcrest is a good team and we will have our hands full,” Falzone added. “We need to take it one game at a time and try to do well.” Dolphins Look To Shine In ‘A”
Beach Channel/Channel View had enough distracting issues in what eventually became a disappointing 4-8 season in their first go-around in the PSAL Queens ‘A’ West Division.
A core number of players who were expected to start became ineligible. The lack of numbers on the roster, along with the inability to handle the increased speed and rhythm of the top teams within the division, became too much for the Dolphins to handle.
Dolphins coach Dominick Stanco says his team is to ready to handle the rigors of the ‘A’ Division this season. They’re also more confident as a team and ready to display their talents this season.
“We’re going to control the ball. There are no superstars on this team,” Stanco said. “We got guys who can move he ball well, can touch the ball and score.”
Beach Channel will host Long Island City on Saturday at 12 p.m. in their league opener. Stanco, along with former player and current assistant Eduardo Flores and the other assistant coach Carlos Flores believed improved conditioning would be key in keeping up with the better teams in the division such as reigning champions John Adams, Long Island City and Aviation.
“We worked the 11-13 guys who showed up to practice three hours a day,” Stanco said. “These guys never have been conditioned harder, running, carrying sandbags, pulling weights and running laps.”
Alexis Bustillo and Hugo Romero are two returning starters who Stanco says has gotten stronger during training camp. Freddy Sazo, a senior, could see time at goalkeeper or another position on the field. Cesar Alvaro and Franklin Henriquez are also returning players that can slot in at midfield or at forward.
Stanco says there are least 5or 6 newcomers who are skilled enough already to compete for starting positions. Even if his team is not as experienced as some of the others in the division, Stanco believes his players are ready to fight for a playoff spot.
“I got a positive attitude about this team. I’m really excited,” Stanco said. “I know and the players know what to expect in this division and this is a good team across the board.” Girls Soccer
Beach Channel/Channel View will have a new coach in Laura Gavidia and should hope to compete for another division crown in the PSAL Queens ‘BV’ Division with top scorers Oyindamola Aregbesola and Samantha Andino expected to return.
With Far Rockaway Educational Campus struggling the last few years in the ‘B’ Division, the girls soccer team has dropped this season to play in the PSAL Developmental League. The Lady Seahorses, who will be coached by Dez-Ann Romain, will play six games in 2011. One of those games in a nonleague matchup at Beach Channel on September 22.