Harris Photo Essay

Sports teach us lessons that we can apply to life: Teamwork, quick thinking, persevering through adversity, all things that are important to life as a policeman, according to Officer Diego Martinez.

The NYPD Soccer team is a highly competitive team comprised of young, athletic officers who crave the kind of competition and skilled sportsmanship that they experience on the soccer pitch. The team is a tight family on and off the field.

The team, along with competing against talented teams all over the country, gives back by participating in charitable tournaments and children’s soccer clinics. This November, they are traveling to Colombia, the hometown of team captain Diego Martinez. In Martinez’ home turf, the team is bringing 2,500 pounds of donated soccer gear to children in poor communities around Colombia.

“It is an incredible experience for us not only to be able to give back, but to have the opportunity to travel around the world doing it,” said Officer Greg Dylan, a team member and coordinator of the trip.

Officer Diego Martinez, captain of the team, shares a pre-practice laugh with teammate Mike Tyburczy
Officer Diego Martinez, captain of the team, shares a pre-practice laugh with teammate Mike Tyburczy
Officers get their gear ready for practice in Flushing, Queens.
Officers get their gear ready for practice in Flushing, Queens.
Officer David Pulice leads the warm-up run. Pulice said that it is important for the team to work together on and off the field, and running together in a unit reinforces this.
Officer David Pulice leads the warm-up run. Pulice said that it is important for the team to work together on and off the field, and running together in a unit reinforces this.
More officers show up for practice and join the warm-up run.
More officers show up for practice and join the warm-up run.
After the warm-up run, the team jumps right into stretches.
After the warm-up run, the team jumped right into stretches.
Officer Andrew Garcia winces as he stretches his leg, still sore from last weekend's game.
Officer Andrew Garcia winces as he stretches his leg, still sore from last weekend’s game.
Officers Ugur Kahveci and Gorge Bedoya joke with each other while stretching.
Officers Ugur Kahveci and Gorge Bedoya joke with each other.
Officer Gorge Bedoya takes a break from stretching to look around at his teammates.
Officer Gorge Bedoya takes a break from stretching to look around at his teammates.
A downward-dog stretch is led by Officer Ricardo Hernandez, who is distinguished by the bright white "NYPD Soccer" on the arms of his shirt.
A downward-dog stretch is led by Officer Ricardo Hernandez, who is distinguished by the bright white “NYPD Soccer” on the arms of his shirt.
Officer Martinez looks on as the team stretches. Having only been a police officer for three years, Martinez rose quickly as a standout player on the team.
Officer Martinez looks on as the team stretches. Having only been a police officer for three years, Martinez rose quickly as a standout player on the team.