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PSAL Classic to showcase city’s top soccer programs

Will Stasiuk did not waste any time in making an impact as the new PSAL boys’ soccer commissioner.

The Kew Gardens native has arranged the sport’s first-ever showcase event. The PSAL Classic will be held at Newtown Athletic Field on Oct. 14.

The event, patterned after many of the basketball events during the winter, will feature three of last year’s semifinalists and six of the eight teams in the quarterfinals.

Three Queens teams will compete, as Newcomers face Monroe at 9:30 a.m. followed by Bayside against Wingate at 11:15 a.m. After Beacon takes on Madison at 1 p.m., Newtown will face Martin Luther King in the day’s marquee matchup.

The Newtown-MLK game will be a repeat of the 1999 final, won by the Queens school, which ended MLK’s three-year reign as PSAL champs. It is the first time the two schools have played since that afternoon.

At first, Newtown coach Howie Ranzer refused to play rival Martin Jacobson and MLK.

“He said, ‘Why should I play them,” Stasiuk said of Ranzer’s initial reaction. “I told him it was for the good of the program, that it would generate a lot of interest. These are the two teams who mean everything to PSAL soccer. How can you go wrong?”

Ranzer is not one to hide his disdain for Jacobson, accusing him of recruiting players on the CBS show, “60 Minutes II” at which aired three days after the title game.

“It’s just a game, it’s an exhibition,” said Ranzer, who downplayed the game against MLK. “It doesn’t mean anything to me. He always seeks out to play me. I guess it’s good for the game. If [the PSAL] regards me this highly, I’m honored.”

Stasiuk, who is also the girls’ soccer commissioner, took over for former commissioner Mike Turo, who stepped down in July after seven years because of health concerns. Stasiuk is also the head coach of the boys’ varsity team at Brooklyn’s Automotive High School.

“It was my first goal,” Stasiuk said. “I really wanted to do it. I kind of got the idea from basketball. It’s such a great idea to have a showcase event.”

The event, which is expected to draw a bevy of college coaches, is being heralded by Queens coaches as something that is long overdue.

“I think it’s great,” said Bayside coach Joe Corrado. “The only time we get to see Brooklyn, Bronx and Manhattan is in the playoffs. It’s a great experience for everybody.”

“We’re looking forward to that, it’s good exposure,” said Newcomers coach Louis Llull, whose team opens the four-game tournament at 9:30 a.m. “Hopefully, being that it is the first game, people will be out in time to see our game.”

Reach Associate Sports Editor Dylan Butler by e-mail at TimesLedger@aol.com or call 229-0300, Ext. 143.

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