Squad goals! Police beat firefighters in Brooklyn Heights soccer match

Squad goals! Police beat firefighters in Brooklyn Heights soccer match
A tradition: The fire department faced off against the police department during the annual New York Fest at Brooklyn Bridge Park on April 16.
Photo by Louise Wateridge

They laid down the law!

A squad of soccer-playing police officers beat a team of fussballing firefighters in a star-studded tournament at Brooklyn Bridge Park on Saturday, and the coach of the winning side said the long-standing rivalry between the two departments made the victory extra sweet.

“It’s always good to beat them,” said Police Department coach Ron Mejia. “Even though they’re friends off the field, when they get on the field they get really competitive.”

New York’s Finest topped New York’s Bravest 2–1, netting the winning goal in the final three minutes of the heart-pounding contest.

The game was part of the annual New York Fest, which pits hundreds of players from the media world against each other on the soccer field. Some of the stars even pitched in for the battle between the two departments, including “The Daily Show” host Trevor Noah, who played for the firefighters.

The two teams have faced off seven times this year, and the cops now have the edge — netting their fourth win in Brooklyn’s Front Yard, according to Mejia.

Mejia said the team — which has been around since 1988 — plays in charity games around the world, and has kicked off for a good cause in exotic locations such as Colombia, South Korea, and Ecuador.

Saturday’s event raised money for America Scores New York, a year-round after-school program that teaches kids soccer, poetry, and media.

Most of the guys used their vacation time to play in the match on Saturday, said Mejia, but all of the smiles across the pitch made it worth it.

“It was a great time,” he said. “A lot of people who looked like they were having fun.”

Reach reporter Lauren Gill at lgill@cnglocal.com or by calling (718) 260–2511. Follow her on Twitter @laurenk_gill

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