I could only get two interviews at the event and, as I'm sure you can imagine, it was tough to get more interviews given their schedules. But, I did get interviews with Dzeko and Razak, which I hope will suffice for this piece and keep you guys reading! This was a great event not only for the community, but for me as well, growing up in a town effected by Sandy, I know the struggles of those closer to water ways. Enjoy!
May 21st Manchester City arrived at St. Joseph’s by the Sea in Staten Island to do more then just play soccer with local kids. About seven months since the devastation that Hurricane Sandy brought to the East Coast, Staten Island community members still look for a sense of normalcy.
City delivered some relief for this community when they arrived Tuesday to kick the ball around with Staten Island United soccer players. As a part of the team’s 2013 USA Tour, Manchester City made a stop in Sandy-ravaged Staten Island to donate a variety of much needed soccer equipment to the Staten Island United Soccer Club. “It was a tragedy, but it is good to see the kids after still happy and playing football,” said Edin Dzeko. The kids may not still feel the full effects of Sandy, but it is certain their parents do, but seeing their children happy is a great escape for those who are suffering. With multiple tragedies happening across the US, sports have given the country an escape, even if only for a moment especially with the recent Boston marathon bombing, and the devastation caused by tornados in Oklahoma. Dzeko said it best “it’s good for them to play a sport.”
Regardless of its appearance, were in dire need for equipment. Through the “City in the community” program, City has worked throughout America to help communities in need, through soccer! This is a great program that, now with a team in the US, City will be able to focus more efforts here and all over the globe.
The event gave the players a flashback to their younger days, and you could tell they were enjoying themselves.
Of course, everyone wants to know how the players are feeling after a “disappointing” season, and what looms for next season. I only got the chance to interview Edin Dzeko and Abdul Razak, but here’s what I got. Of course, players were not happy about how the season went “It was disappointing because we finished second, and lost in the final of the FA Cup so we aren’t happy, but that’s football,” said Dzeko.
Dzeko has been a hot topic in City camp, especially with changes expected. The Bosnian’s future with the club seems to be dwindling, but he is not focused on that right now. First is national team, we have have one important qualification left, then it’s holiday,” said Dzeko, “Too much talking about that, first national team, then rest, then who knows what can happen.” Obviously, he is not going to say much about this so I wasn’t too surprised by his answers, but I gave it a “college try!”
I fell in love today, and that was with Abdul Razak. No mom, it isn’t true love, it is a man crush. He was very talkative, much to my surprise, and I found it a great opportunity to see how he views the managerial changes and how they’ll affect his status with the club. “I worked hard for Mancini to give me my debut…any manager that comes, I will work hard to impress them,” said Razak.
It isn’t only his future that he see’s can improve from the introduction of a new manager, but every young player will have an opportunity to impress the new skipper (Pellegrini). “He will give an opportunity to every single young player for MCFC. It doesn’t matter where you have been, it is important to work hard,” noted Razak.
As a young player, it is hard for some to adjust to the pressure and intensity of an EPL season. Razak has been luck enough to have fellow countrymen (Yaya and Kolo) on the team when he arrived. “I’m always happy with them (Yaya and Kolo), it is nice for me because they help me.” I mean, if you haven’t fallen in love by reading these quotes, I wish I could attach the vocals to this post so I didn’t feel like such a creep, but just trust me.
The news of the New York City FC broke during/after the event and was unable to ask any of the players about what it means for the club. But, in my eyes, it is a great chance for some future employment ;). Seriously though, it will give NYC another professional sports team to get behind, grow soccer in the US and give our youth talent a chance to break into soccer in a middle of the road league.
Stay tuned, more to come on Saturday on a day full of events!