While the borough’s first professional men’s soccer team had its inaugural season postponed a year due to the COVID-19 pandemic, it has continued to build its program.
Queensboro Football Club, which will start playing in the 2022 season of the USL Championship, the top tier of the United Soccer League, announced it has signed two homegrown players to its academy roster.
The club signed both 17-year-old attacking midfielder Leo Guarino of East Rockaway and Piero Elias of Maspeth, an 18-year-old defensive midfielder who is also part of the U.S. Soccer Development Academy system.
Guarino has played professionally for the New York Cosmos Soccer Club. Previously, through the U.S. Soccer Development Academy, he played for the New York City Football Club and the New York Red Bulls. Prior to that, he helped the Lynbrook/East Rockaway Sting win two State Cups and two Long Island Cup championships.
While at the New York City Football Club, Guarino was the captain and leading scorer on its Under-17 team. Elias has played for the New York City Football Club and MetOval. The Peru native was recently called up for training camp with the Peruvian National Team’s Under-18 squad.
“The Queensboro Football Club Academy is one major step of many towards building our first-ever professional team for Spring 2022 kickoff, and I am very focused on recruiting the right talent and positioning our club to succeed on the pitch,” Queensboro FC Head Coach and Sporting Director Josep Gombau said. “It has been incredible to see the commitment of these young players –along with their hard work, dedication and enthusiasm in wanting to be a part of the historic making of our club.”
Gombau is relocating to New York from Barcelona in preparation for the Spring 2021 start of the USL Academy League season, where the QBFC Academy will play in the Northeast Division.
After a series of tryouts last November, Gombau and Technical Director Luis Guitierrez have made their initial academy roster selections and the first academy training session will take place on Wednesday, Feb. 17.
The team’s first international academy player in residence will be 18-year-old Spanish goalkeeper Pol Rodriguez Subirats, who comes from Gimnàstic de Tarragona — one of the oldest football clubs in Spain (founded in 1886), which currently plays in the third tier of Spanish football, Segunda División B.
“After months of planning and preparation, we are ready to come together and train as a team, and I am looking forward to soon unveiling our final QBFC Academy roster,” Gombau said.