Easton grad Luke Farrell has to give up soccer because of cancer battle, but discovers what’s important in life

Cancer does so many things besides kill. It clarifies, prioritizes and evolves. It debilitates and enables often at the same time. It frightens, enlightens and haunts. It's sudden and slow. It speeds up, slows down, stops and starts.Cancer is life. And death. And everything in between.Luke Farrell, the former Easton Area High School soccer goalkeeper who graduated from George Washington University this past weekend, came to find that out over the past year.More importantly, he found a goodness in life that few his age ever do. He discovered how much people care while coming to fully appreciate the value of relationships.Farrell, 21, is a survivor as a man after being a fighter as a boy, an inspirational athletic award-winner as a senior, despite being forced to the sideline for the entire season.But for a few hours last spring, he had no idea where he stood when he was told he had testicular cancer. But only for a few hours. This was because there wasn't time to ponder much else. The doctor he consulted told him he needed surgery immediately, if not sooner."There was just an initial feeling of disbelief," Farrell said. "But the crazy thing was that I had surgery scheduled for the next morning."Not until waking up from that procedure did he learn the full scope of his predicament.To make sure none of what might have been left behind by the surgeons would spread, Farrell would either need a second and much more invasive surgery to remove most of his lymph nodes, or a good bit of toxic chemotherapy.The choice of ordeals would be his.The premature end to his college soccer career that either choice would spell was a different matter.Farrell had helped Easton claim the 2011 District 11 3A title and would set the school records for most shutouts and saves. He started four games in goal as a sophomore at GW and seven as a junior.Since he was in elementary school, Farrell had dedicated a major portion of his life to making sure he would have much better and more plentiful Continue Reading

U.S. soccer viewing breaks record with U.S.-Portugal World Cup match

For Americans, the U.S.-Portugal World Cup game was the most painful draw imaginable — but the last-minute heartbreak also shattered a viewing record. The riveting soccer match scored big-time with pigskin-loving TV viewers, making it the most watched soccer game in U.S. history. The afternoon tilt, which saw the Americans denied a victory when the Portuguese side netted a tying goal on the game’s final play, was viewed by 24.7 million people, according to Nielsen. The 18.2 million viewers who watched the ESPN broadcast made it the most-watched sporting event in network history that did not involve American football. Another 6.5 million viewers saw the game on Univision, breaking a record for U.S. matches televised on the Spanish-language network. And with an average of 500,000 people watching the game streamed online, according to ESPN, and untold others taking it in at bars or in large public gatherings, the actual number might be closer to 30 million. “When we get back to the hotel and we hear about Grant Park in Chicago having 10,000 fans out to watch the game, and friends and family are sending pictures and videos of what’s going on, it can’t help but push you on,” said American midfielder Michael Bradley. “It’s awesome to see this and we are part of this movement, I guess, that is growing soccer in the States,” added U.S. midfielder Alejandro Bedoya. “It’s really cool, and I’m sure everybody feeds off this energy — and it’s really nice to see.” The previous record for the most-watched soccer match in the U.S. was the 2010 World Cup final between Spain and the Netherlands, which garnered 24.7 million viewers but had a smaller online audience. The former record for an American soccer team was the 18 million fans who watched the U.S women’s national team take home the Continue Reading

SEE IT: Video of British soccer player Ashley Cole shows star getting berated by bartender over not leaving a tip

A British soccer star was subjected to vile abuse in a Missouri street by a bartender — allegedly because he didn't leave a tip. Ashley Cole, who earns a reported $320,000 per week playing for Chelsea FC in the English Premier League, was filmed being told by a woman: "You're a f-----g a--hole, I f-----g hate you." She also screamed at the 32-year-old: "I hope this stupid ass gets robbed, gets beat, gets raped, right here on the mother-----g sidewalk." The incident occurred outside Missouri's Hair of the Dog bar in May. Cole left the bar after enjoying a night out following his team's post-season friendly defeat to fellow EPL team Manchester City FC, reports the Daily Star. The video, filmed by a bystander on his cellphone, emerged online this weekend. A confused Cole, who was married to short-lived U.S. "X Factor" judge Cheryl Cole before she allegedly left him after several infidelities, is initially seen trying to calm his abuser down. "How can you hate me, when you don't know me?" he asks, maybe slightly too innocently, which sets her off again. "You've been a d--- all night," she shouted, to which Cole replied, "Tell your f-----g people they can't do f--- all to me. You talk s---, you talk a bag of s---." TMZ speculates that the argument was over a lack of a tip from the soccer player. "They think they're f-----g cool and they have money, they don't even know how to tip," the bartender is heard shouting at the end of the video. On a mobile device? Watch the video here. Join the Conversation: Continue Reading

Mexican soccer league is no kick for Morelia club

MEXICO'S MONARCAS AT TURNING POINT What kind of a big mess will Monarcas be getting itself into in January? Morelia started off the 2014 Mexican Liga MX Clausura slowly with an unexpected loss against Queretaro and what lies ahead of them doesn't look easy. After the tie at Toluca against Los Diablos Rojos - Red Devils - Carlos Bustos' boys will host a wounded beast in the UANL Tigres. Lately, Ricardo (Tuca) Ferreti has shown more talent with his mouth than with the tactical approach of his team, which are stuck in a rut, but they're not exactly the kind of club that anyone would want to go up against looking for their first win at home of the season. The match at Morelos on Jan. 17 (ESPN Deportes and Watch ESPN; 8:25 p.m. ) will be a classic clash of styles between Bustos' open structure and Ferretti's analytical mindset. The following Friday, Jan. 24, (ESPN Deportes and Watch ESPN 10:25 p.m.), Monarcas will have to go down to the Xolos' doghouse in Tijuana, where the team is still going through an adaptation process under its new Venezuelan manager, Cesar Farias. Week 5 won't even be easy for Morelia, considering they'll be hosting the Mexican champion, the almighty Leon, on Jan. 31 (ESPN Deportes and Watch ESPN; 8:25 p.m). If by that time Bustos' team hasn't racked up a good amount of points, his job could be in jeopardy - in these short tournaments, lacking results with one-third of the schedule in the books could lead to the firing of any coach. Back to Week 4, the surprising Queretaro Gallos, stung by the loss of their Chilean forward and goal scorer, Esteban Paredes (who decided to return to his country), will be visited by Torreon Jan. 24 (ESPN Deportes and Watch ESPN 8:25 p.m.. Meanwhile, on Sunday, Jan. 26 (ESPN Deportes and Watch ESPN; 12:50 p.m.), Puebla will open the doors of Estadio Cuauhtemoc to face Chiapas. REPORTER'S DREAM JOB Can you imagine working as an ESPN Deportes reporter at the 2014 World Cup in Brazil? Continue Reading

Will Psy’s ‘Gentleman’ be the next ‘Gangnam Style?’ Watch new music video here

Psy is back with a new catchy tune and silly dance. On Saturday, 35-year-old pop star unveiled the video for "Gentleman," the follow up video to his smash hit "Gangnam Style" in, well, style. Psy premiered the music video at to a packed crowd at Seoul's World Cup Stadium. Another 160,000 people watched it online, according to Reuters. Fans of "Gangnam," which has more than 1.5 billion hits on YouTube, will spot some familiar faces in the follow-up video. Psy's arch nemesis in the yellow suit, comedian Yoo Jae Suk, is back. As is the grooving elevator guy (entertainer/ entrepreneur Noh Hong Chul). This time around, Psy's shenanigans include yanking on the strings of bikini tops, pulling chairs from under women and taking a soccer ball away from small children. He eventually meets his match in K-pop star Ga In from the popular girl group Brown Eyed Girls. The catchy song features the spoken hook "I'm a mother-father gentleman." And it wouldn't be a Psy video without a crazy dance a-la "Gangnam Style's" horse-riding. This time around, the signature move is some kind of subtle hip-sway/pelvic thrust. It's too early to tell if lightning will strike twice for the Korean pop star, but "Gentleman" does feature Psy in some pretty outlandish outfits and his trademark shades. And the guy certainly knows how to make entertaining music videos. On a mobile device? Watch the video here. Join the Conversation: Continue Reading

SEE IT: Lawmaker caught red-handed playing soccer game on his smartphone during Jordanian Prime Minister Abdullah Ensour’s speech

Well, it wouldn’t be the first time someone was accused of playing games in politics, would it? A member of Jordan's parliament apparently got so bored during Prime Minister Abdullah Ensour’s speech that he whipped out his smartphone and enthusiastically played a soccer game. Jordanian Prime Minister Abdullah Ensour was addressing an open session in parliament when the lawmaker lost interest and distracted himself with his phone. The unidentified politician was captured from behind but was clearly seen wildly swiping his finger across the screen to take a few shots at the goal. His neighbor to the left also leaned in to watch the game. The quick-fingered man even appeared to remark to the observer about how well he was playing. Although the lawmaker tried to hide his phone in his lap and behind the desk, his less-than-discreet hand movements caught the attention of eagle-eyed photojournalist Amjad al-Taweel. Al-Taweel, who was seated a few rows up, whipped out his camera and filmed the misbehaving politician. He posted the video online on Friday. On Saturday, the newly appointed Ensour and his 18-member Cabinet were sworn into office. On a mobile device? Click here to watch the video. Join the Conversation: Continue Reading

WATCH IT: LEGO fan constructs intricate Great Ball Contraption, video goes viral

If Edison were alive today, he might be into LEGOs. Japanese LEGO wiz Akiyuki created a jaw-dropping Great Ball Contraption — a.k.a. GBC. Akiyuki's invention transports up to 500 miniature balls over 101 feet with 17 modules from Technic and Mindstorms, LEGO's more sophisticated lines. WORLD'S TOP LEGO CONSTRUCTIONS A GBC resembles a machine from Rube Goldberg's comic strips. Goldberg regularly drew unnecessarily complex machines for accomplishing simple tasks. akiyuky via YouTube NXT Robot S750 collects the balls near the end of their journey. Akiyuki constructed this device with LEGO Mindstorms equipment. The contraption uses various stairs, cups, basketball shooters, lifts, trains, elevators, conveyor belts and robots. The intricacy of Akiyuki's creation calls to mind detailed videogame levels or theme park rides. BLOCKBUSTERS... IN LEGOS Akiyuki needed discipline as well as imagination. It took him about 600 hours to complete this meticulously crafted LEGO project. akiyuky via YouTube The automatic basketball shooters must score before the ball can proceed. Although it physically sits on a wooden floor of his house, the contraption has mesmerized online viewers worldwide. LEGO NINE CIRCLES OF HELL Akiyuki recorded two balls (one red, one blue) traveling through his LEGO funhouse. The rest of the balls on the journey resemble soccer balls and basketballs, so it's easier to follow exactly where the blue or red balls are at any moment. akiyuky via YouTube The balls reach the next step of the journey via LEGO railroad tracks. He posted footage to YouTube on Monday and it has already attracted about 138,000 viewers. He also writes about his LEGO inventions on a blog for fellow LEGO enthusiasts. Michael McNally, a spokesperson for LEGO, told the Daily News that Akiyuki’s GBC is “phenomenal.” “We know that LEGO fans are inventors, architects, problem solvers, engineers and puzzlers, and Continue Reading

Get your kicks at top soccer bars in New York

Following soccer in New York can be notoriously difficult, and with the knockout phase of the UEFA Euro Cup just around the corner, fans don’t want to miss a shot. Just as the remaining half of teams gear up to compete in grueling matches, bars and pubs across the city are polishing HD screens and getting fresh drafts ready for crowds. We’ve checked out the best places for fans to sneak out and catch the midday matches Don’t worry, we won’t tell your boss. NEVADA SMITH’S. 125 E. 11th St. (917) 402-1510. nevadasmiths.net From the World Cup to Major League Soccer, this East Village bar makes televising live soccer its duty. “Footy” fanatics wearing team jerseys and sipping a wide selection of brews are a commonplace sight. Just don’t forget to check Nevada Smith’s online “fixtures” board for a daily game schedule. IRISH ROVER. 3718 28th Ave., Queens. (718) 278-9372. Complete with dart boards, jukeboxes and a massive selection of beers on tap, the Irish Rover is everything a neighborhood pub should be. The Queens bar is a go-to spot for avid football followers from around the borough, and fans of the sport are usually glued to its TV screens. WOODWORK. 583 Vanderbilt Ave., Brooklyn. (718) 857-5777. woodworkbk.com The self-proclaimed “sexy soccer bar” promises to show all of the Euro Cup matches by tuning its 50-inch televisions to three separate feeds. They’ll also sell house-designed Euro Cup T-shirts and post the game schedule on their free iPhone app. FOOTBALL FACTORY AT LEGENDS. 6 W. 33rd St. (212) 967-7792. footballfactoryny.com Famed for its drunken Fifa 12 viewings, faithful projections of different league games and other soccer-related bar fun, this midtown footy zone — which boasts its own soccer museum — will satisfy any diehard’s Euro Cup needs. SLAINTE PUB. 304 Bowery St. (212) 253-7030. slaintenyc.com The NoHo bar Continue Reading

When doctors fail you: Teen’s mom finds cure for daughter … online

Doctors threw up their hands when they couldn’t find a reason for 14-year-old Hayley Lairmore’s agonizing stomachaches. But the teen’s determined mother, Christine Lairmore, spent hours online, finally discovering that her child had an often misdiagnosed but curable illness called postural orthostatic tachycardia syndrome (POTS). Now that her disorder is being treated, Hayley is on the mend and regaining some of the weight she lost since she got sick. The teenager’s nine-month-long ordeal began on her birthday at Disney World, with stomach pain and bouts of throwing up. Sometimes she threw up a dozen times in a single day. "Every night at 2, 3 and 4 in the morning, we’d be up," her mother, 43, told ABC News. "The nights were horrible. We would watch movie after movie, and she was in excruciating pain. She would cry, ‘Mommy, you have to help me, please help me,’ but no one could help." Doctors and top specialists in the Los Angeles area were unable to find a cause for the girl’s pain, and one recommended that she see a psychiatrist. A gastroenterologist prescribed such strong laxatives that Hayley had to wear a toddler pullup during the half-hour drive from the family’s home in Arrowhead Lake, Calif., to the doctor. Seven months after Hayley’s symptoms started, the doctors admitted they didn’t know what was wrong. But Christine Lairmore spent hours online trying to find information that would help her child, although she says she is not computer-savvy. One night, she came across a chat room in which a teen girl was discussing a condition called POTS. And after more links, more clicks and a YouTube video of a girl talking about all-too-familiar-sounding symptoms, Lairmore ultimately got hooked up with the Mayo Clinic. It turned out that Hayley did have POTS, a disorder of the autonomic nervous system with a constellation of seemingly unrelated symptoms such as fatigue, exercise intolerance, Continue Reading

Get schooled: Brooklyn and Queens teams and players to watch this fall

September marks the beginning of school and the opening of the cornucopia of sports activity that accompanies it. Here's a look at some of the players, teams and games that we'll be following over the upcoming fall high school season. PLAYERS TO WATCH: Jacquelyn Bruno, McKee/SI TechBruno's prospects are kind of scary; the sophomore forward tallied 19 goals and nine assists for the champion Seagulls as a freshman. Taylor Addison, SpellmanForward put herself on the city map by scoring 36 goals as a freshman last season. What's the encore? Emma Pichl, Notre DameThere are few players in the city as skilled as Pichl. The junior defender dazzled last season, scoring 28 goals to help lead the Gators to an 11-3-1 record. Colleen Ryan, Fontbonne HallLooking for a reason the Bonnies finished with a 14-0 regular-season record? Look no further than Ryan, a junior forward, in the open field. Melissa Lijo, FlushingSophomore midfielder assaulted every defense she saw last year while leading the Lady Red Devils to the league's 'B' championship. She tallied 59 shots on goal for 24 scores during the regular season, and added eight more goals in the playoffs. PLAYERS TO WATCH: Greg Davis, MolloyDavis returned from a groin injury last year and helped the Stanners win six of their final seven games and land a berth in the CHSAA state championship match. Imagine what the senior midfielder could do when he's 100% healthy. Oscar Castillo, Bishop FordThis speedy junior forward simply made things happen on offense and defense as a field general for the Falcons last year. He's a 'B' league player that could hang in the 'A.' Alex Zorrilla, MLKZorrilla had one of the best spots on the field: protecting goalkeeper Malick Faye, the Daily News PSAL soccer Player of the Year. Now, the senior defender may be asked to lead the defending-champion Knights himself. Sebastian Guenzatti, Francis LewisFrancis Lewis reached the PSAL semifinals last season, and Guenzatti, a senior defender, was Continue Reading