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Giving kicks! Entertainment industry types play soccer for charity

Pre-game: Ethan Hawke came down to Brooklyn’s front yard for the soccer tournament.
Photo by Jason Speakman

Media mavens had a ball on Brooklyn Bridge Park’s soccer fields over the weekend.

The occasion was the New York Film and Entertainment Soccer Tournament, a do-gooder soccer tournament that took over Pier 5 on Saturday. The all-day charity event included a so-called “celebrity match” that included crew members from popular television shows, reality TV personalities, pro soccer players, and actor Ethan Hawke. The pitched on-field battle was nothing compared to the rigors of working on set, an organizer said.

“The media arts are a lot of fun. There’s a lot of play. But they’re also very intense industries,” said tournament founder Dylan Leiner, a vice president at Sony Pictures Classics. “This is a chance to unwind.”

The competition is in its third year and the cash it raised benefited the Claudio Reyna Foundation and City Soccer in the Community, groups that promote youth soccer in poor areas. In addition to the entertainment industry tournament, which included more than 200 players from Comedy Central, NBC, and Nickelodeon who paid to participate, the event also featured youth soccer clinics run by former pro ball-players.

Organizers circulated an event flyer that showed Stephen Colbert squaring off with Jon Stewart, but neither funny man showed up. The staffs of their respective shows did play, with Team Colbert coming out on top.

Boerum Hill resident Ethan Hawke turned out with his daughter Indiana. He played defense during the 30-minute game that also featured some retired pro footballers, and the winner of “Survivor: Africa.”

Hawke, who attended the Packer Collegiate Institute in Brooklyn Heights for a short time when he was growing up, is a big fan of the growing park in Brooklyn’s front yard.

“This is awesome,” he said. “I love it down here.”

The soccer fields opened in late 2012 and are made of synthetic turf laid over padding made of sand and coconut fibers.

Reach reporter Matthew Perlman at (718) 260-8310. E-mail him at mperlman@cnglocal.com. Follow him on Twitter @matthewjperlman.
Deft poets society: Boerum Hill resident Ethan Hawke shows off his dribbling skills.
Photo by Jason Speakman

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