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The story of how Buffalo State men's soccer star Luke Pavone landed his first professional contract is one of Jewish descent, the support of a best friend and teammate, personal resilience and a fierce commitment to training. On June 25, the second-team NCAA Division III All-American will land in Petah Tikva, Israel, to prepare for training with the city's second-divisi…

Luke Pavone, a two-time All-SUNYAC selection as a midfielder at SUNY Buffalo State, has signed a two-year contract to play professional soccer in Liga Leumit, the second division league in Israel. Pavone will play for Hapoel Petah Tikva FC. He produced 19 goals and nine assists for 47 career points in 2015 and 2017 for Buffalo State after transferring from UMass Amherst…

Soccer

The evolution of the Western New York Flash organization from repeat professional women's soccer champions to a well-rounded soccer academy of both girls and boys teams, capped by a semi-professional United Women's Soccer side, has taken time, but the reinvention is making progress. Take the Flash's three Elite Clubs National League (ECNL) girls youth teams that have qu…

Sports

Over the first three weeks of the FC Buffalo season, the Wolves attack was missing something. At first glance, it seemed an unstable crew of forwards was at least partly responsible. Kendell McFayden's suspension for the first game and Akean Shackleford's late arrival from college meant Isaiah Wilson, deployed as a winger at St. Bonaventure, was thrust into major minute…

Soccer

With respect to Argentina and maybe France - two nations included in our World Cup pretenders list - three countries have separated themselves as favorites for the 2018 World Cup, which kicks off June 14 and runs through July 15. This trio of contenders appeals for different reasons: one is the reigning world champion with a refined approach and frightening pool of tale…

Soccer

As host nation Russia and Saudi Arabia kick off the 2018 World Cup on Thursday, soccer fans around the globe will gleefully prepare for a month of seemingly nonstop action. Thankfully for viewers' sake, there's no clear favorite - but a slew of contenders who, with some good fortune, breakout performances and steady play, could hoist soccer's biggest prize on July 15. …

Soccer

Outside of favorites such as Germany, Brazil and Spain, the tiny country of Iceland is a trendy team to root for during World Cup 2018. In a group with Argentina, Nigeria and Croatia, the country that shocked the world by reaching the Euro 2016 quarterfinals is back to prove its last surge wasn't a flash in the pan. Iceland, a Nordic island nation with a population of j…

Soccer

Canisius men's soccer coach Dermot McGrane will be serving as a guest correspondent for The Buffalo News during the World Cup. A two-time Metro Atlantic Athletic Conference Coach of the Year, McGrane has been at Canisius since 2011 after nine years as coach at Niagara. McGrane is originally from Leicester, England, and has been coaching at U.S. colleges since 1995.  I r…

Food and Drink

Dedicated soccer supporters don't have many demands when it comes to watching a match at a pub, but there are a few considered non-negotiable. The bar must sell beer, the sound must be amplified for big games and it must be accepted that supporters will sing, shout and probably curse louder than most patrons. For some bars, that's actually a lot to ask. With the Worl…

FC Buffalo added an insurance goal on a breakaway by Akean Shackelford during stoppage time in a 4-2 National Premier Soccer League victory over the Rochester Lancers on Sunday. Sammy Wasson scored the first goal of the game for Buffalo. After a 1-1 first half, Bayley Winkel’s goal gave FC Buffalo the lead for good in the 53rd minute. Keane McIvor made it 3-1 in the 67th …

Sports

Scoreless draws don't have to be bereft of spectacular moments. FC Buffalo goalkeeper Steven Casey made at least four terrific saves - two in each half - to preserve a point for the Wolves against Cleveland SC on Friday night at Robert E. Rich All-High Stadium. FCB now stands at 1-2-1 (W-L-D) on the season, with a road match at 5 p.m. June 3 in Rochester on the horizon.…

Soccer

Akean Shackleford waited patiently for his chance. Returning from Indian Hills Community College's graduation on the day of FC Buffalo's first game, the Jamaican striker was deployed as a substitute against Fort Pitt and the Erie Commodores, both losses for the Wolves that put them in "must-win" mode Sunday. In his first start for the club since finishing 2017 with a…

FC Buffalo is in the win column for the first time this season. After coming oh so close Saturday before falling in stoppage time, the Wolves (1-2) triumphed 4-1 over Syracuse FC on Sunday afternoon at All High Stadium. Akean Shackleford scored three goals (in the 28th, 32nd and 38th minutes) while Isaiah Wilson (St. Bonaventure) also found the back of the net during the…

Sports

The National Premier Soccer League National Game of the Week lived up to its billing. Unfortunately, the late-game drama that bore three goals between the 88th minute and the fourth minute of stoppage left FC Buffalo and its traveling supporters with a sick feeling in their stomachs. Behind stoppage-time tallies from substitute Christopher Eduardo and hat-trick hero Cam…

FC Buffalo dropped a 4-3 decision to the Erie Commodores at Sox Harrison Stadium on Saturday. Kendell McFayden, Austin Stodt and Sammy Wasson scored for FC Buffalo, which fell to 0-2. Cam Philpot scored the game-winner for Erie in the 94th minute. FC Buffalo faces Syracuse FC at 4 p.m. Sunday at All High Stadium.