Today Mitchel Field, the training home for the NY Cosmos saw a joint press conference with them and their next opponent, on Sunday @ MCU Park, PRFC.
The reason for this was not so much about the game as the message behind it. PRFC has been like most of their island devestated by the 2 strong storms that ripped through it of late. No electricity is common, gasoline is not, resturants that do operate have limitied menus and hours, their stadium in a shambles light poles down with the field littered with debris. The message of this conference was not of what to expect on the field Sunday and more about what is going on otherwise. Many players and staf have no homes to return to some are very damaged a few are unscathed. The team was finally able earlier today to get all the players off the island and now all are here in the states. All staff have been accounted for and many are at this time doing volunteer work back there in the aftermath. The players and travel staff are here on the mainland for a few weeks as they have no training ground or home stadium to play in. They look very much forward to getting back when they have more of a place to get back to and are glad they are here rather than there as it gets them a bit more of a semblence of normalcy. Dismayed at what happened and the conditions their family friends and fans are now enduring they are getting help. Today at the press conference the news came out that now ALL tickets sold will have 50% of that money go to the Carmelo Anthony Foundation and is to help with the people and their plight. The asst. coach told of how damaged their facilities are. Two players, Ramon Soria Alonso & Joseph Morrero lent a very personal light to it.
I later spoke with club President Thomas Payne and he explained on his end how difficlut it was to find a flight out finally getting away six hours before the storm hit. Payne said at first there was no money to get things from the larger retailers there, then the ATM would have an hours long line if you found a place as they were unable to use credit due to the lack of communications. 1400 out of 1450 cell towers were down, billboards at the stadium turned over, goals split in half.
If your out of town, if unable to make the game, buy a ticket give it back to the team to sell again in the effort to raise funds, every little bit helps. If your in town see you Sunday if you see me please say hi.
Donating half of all ticket sales is a great thing for the NY Cosmos to do, so very generous lets hope Sunday has the largest ticket sales of all games to date at MCU Park.
Please see the facebook page of Soccer Long Island Magazine for videos of the press conference and SLIM giving clothes to Asst. Coach Stefanowski to bring back to PR.