The College Point Flames blanked Queens Calcio in the LISFL Second Division/Third Division final. (FrontRowSoccer.com Photo)
By Michael Lewis
UNIONDALE, N.Y. — Even before players join the College Point Flames, they are already part of a much larger team — the Fire Department of New York.
The Long Island Soccer Football League club is one of the most unique sides in soccer because it stocked with firemen or people who work in that industry. The Flames also have paramedics and EMTs on the team.
Translated: they share a common bond and that can go a long way on the soccer field, indoors or out.
Take, for example, what transpired at the Joe Goldberg Memorial Indoor Soccer tournament as the Flames secured the Second Division/Third Division title on Sunday. They defeated Queens Calcio, 3-0, in the final at Global Sports Center.
“It’s the quality of the guys that we have and their commitment to each other,” said head coach Joe Brosi, who is a Battalion Chief with the FDNY. “We have a tremendous commitment and a sense of duty for each other which they bring from their occupation onto the field.”
Sean Morrissey Tommy Garafola, a two-time Golden Boot winner for two consecutive years in the LISFL outdoor league, and Greg Baum scored for College Point to win the Second and Third Division title.
Anton Shipman and Tommy Hunt, the team captain, helped anchor the defense in front of goalkeeper Pedro Velasquez, who also stood out in the competition.
Brosi was proud of the fact that the Flames were one of the oldest teams, perhaps the oldest, in the Open Division.
“We’re an old team,” Brosi said. “We’re probably older than most of the teams playing in the Open Division but our guys have fitness, dedication and they never quit. They know how to dip a little bit deep and they keep playing for each other.”
The Flames finished the tournament undefeated.
“I have a couple of guys who have broken the half a century mark that are still coming out and playing with us,” Brosi said. “I would say our younger players are probably 27, 28. We’d probably be a very good over 35 team because of the dynamic of the fire department right now and the transition that we have in hiring. Every now and then we get a couple of young players, but we’d rather get a good group of guys that just have youth and we’re lucky. We have guys who truly enjoy each other, truly enjoy the game.”
Brosi noted that he did not use all of his players during Sunday’s playoff round.
“The other guys who didn’t get on the field, they all showed up and supported the team,” he said. “We have a very tight group of guys who are still passionate about playing.”
The Flames players make sure they are off from work to play.
“Guys that worked last night, guys who are leaving early to go into work tonight,” Brosi said. “It was fun that this tournament was posted live on Facebook [on Soccer2Night]. We were getting texts from the brothers in the firehouses that were actually watching the games in the firehouse kitchen. So, we’ve come a long way. It was a lot of fun. It was a good win.”