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Bayside’s Chronis a soccer star in the making

Then Chronis’ family moved from Whitestone to Bayside and he became neighbors with one of the club’s coaches, Rob...

By Dylan Butler

As a budding soccer standout, Andreas Chronis wanted to play with famed club Blau-Weiss Gottschee, but he didn’t have an in with the club.

Then Chronis’ family moved from Whitestone to Bayside and he became neighbors with one of the club’s coaches, Rob Schweitzer.

Next-door neighbors.

“I played against him and I knew how good the team was, so I’ve always wanted to be on his team,” Chronis said. “We moved here and I actually saw his son (and current teammate Alexander) going into the house, so I went to ring the doorbell and I saw him.”

Six years later Chronis is heading to the U.S. Under-14 National Team Development Camp, held in Concord, Mass. from Monday through Sunday, as one of the top 120 players in the country.

A good performance could land Chronis on a U.S. National youth team.

“That’s my dream,” he said. “That’s what I strive for.”

Chronis, one of nine players from the Eastern New York Olympic Development Program to be invited to the camp, is no stranger to high level soccer.

As a star on the Gottschee U-14 team, Chronis helped the team win the state cup for the second time in three years, and the team lost in semifinals of the regionals by one goal.

“He’s very physical, very fast and he’s been able to do very well,” Schweitzer said. “Besides being a good soccer player, he’s also a good student.”

Chronis, a versatile left-footed player, said his favorite soccer player is Roberto Carlos, because he plays the same position (left fullback) as the Brazilian superstar.

But Chronis very rarely gets to see Roberto Carlos or any other soccer player on television. That’s because he’s almost always on the field, either playing or training with Gottschee or the Eastern New York ODP.

“I miss out on some things, but it’s worth it because later on I’m probably going to get a scholarship to college,” Chronis said.

Chronis’ father, Peter, a former semi-professional player in Greece, said he noticed Andreas’ abilities at a very young age.

“He was just starting out, but he works very hard and he really concentrates when he plays, and I believe that made him stand out,” said the owner of Beginnings Blues, a clothing store at the Bay Terrace Shopping Center. “Plus he’s a great athlete, and when you combine all those things together I believe you can make a nice soccer player.”

Andreas is not the only athlete in the household. His brother Christos Chronis, 15, is also a left-footed soccer player who plays at Gottschee and Holy Cross. And Andreas’ oldest brother, Dean Andriotis, 16, is a baseball player at Archbishop Molloy who is playing for the Midville Dodgers during the summer.

Peter Chronis and his wife, Elaine, encourage their children to play sports, but they don’t push them too hard.

“There is this fine line and you can’t cross it,” Peter Chronis said. “By crossing the line you can get them really anxious; you make them maybe lose their concentration and most likely make them lose their love of the sport.”

Chronis, who will attend Holy Cross in the fall, is not just a great soccer player. He also excels in the classroom. He graduated from Junior High School 194 in Whitestone on the Silver Honor Roll, a step below Gold Honor Roll.

“A lot of the things in soccer it’s the same in school — you have to focus and concentrate,” said Chronis, who is fully recovered from a knee injury that sidelined him for seven months. “If I’m concentrating on soccer, I’ll do better in school.”

What’s on the horizon for Chronis? It’s too early to tell, according to Schweitzer.

“Does he have ability? He has tons of ability,” he said. “He has a very special makeup, he has a very competitive nature, tremendous physical attributes and he’s very strong. All that is a plus. If he does the right things he has great potential.”

Reach Associate Sports Editor Dylan Butler by e-mail at TimesLedger@aol.com or call 718-229-0300, Ext. 143.

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