Jean-Pierre goal lifts Northeast in Public final

Posted: November 01, 2012

Andy Jean-Pierre stood outside the Northeast locker room, clutching a busted pair of red-and-black cleats, the shoelaces wrapped around the bottom to hold back a flapping heel.

He wore a borrowed pair with bright yellow trim, the ones he hurriedly slipped on just before the start of the second half, while everyone stood around on the field waiting for him.

There should be plenty of volunteers to buy him a new pair after his goal with 14 minutes left gave Northeast a 1-0 win over Franklin Towne Charter in the Public League boys' soccer final Wednesday at Charlie Martin Memorial Stadium.

The title was Northeast's first since 2007, sending coach Sam Feldman into retirement a champion for the second time.

"A little magic in those shoes," Feldman said.

Feldman's discovery of Jean-Pierre, who emigrated from Haiti to Miami in 2010, and then moved to Philadelphia in February of last year, had an element of magic to it, too.

He spotted Jean-Pierre, who hadn't immediately joined the team, gliding around the soccer field during a spring gym class.

"I didn't know who he was. I just saw him and said, 'That's my man,' " Feldman recalled. "Being that [Northeast is] a melting pot, you don't know where kids are going to come from. They just show up on your doorstep."

Jean-Pierre, a senior forward, has 20 goals this season. His strike Wednesday, off a long pass and a deke to draw the goalie out, was the first goal that Franklin Towne Charter (13-2-1) allowed in seven games.

"It's not lucky shoes. I'm just blessed [with] that," Jean-Pierre said. "Soccer is my dream. This is all I do."

Feldman, who has at least one more game left Friday when the Vikings (11-1-1) play the La Salle-Father Judge winner in District 12 Class AAA final, isn't sure what he's going to do in retirement.

But he's certain of one thing.

"It's going to be hard leaving here," he said.

Franklin Towne Charter   00-0

Northeast   10-1

Goals: N: Andy Jean Pierre 1.


Contact Tim McManus at tmcmanus@philly.com, or follow him on Twitter @ByTimMcManus.

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