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Slain Penn Station stab victim was ‘amazing’ soccer player

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The straphanger fatally slashed in an unprovoked assault on a Penn Station practice Sunday was a gifted soccer player who was struggling to get again on his ft after years of homelessness, his former coach says.

Akeem Loney, who was sleeping when he was randomly stabbed within the neck within the early morning, was “just a great guy,” his onetime street-club coach, Reed Fox, instructed The Post.

“He was a fun-loving guy, and he absolutely loved the game of soccer,” Fox mentioned. “He was dependable, and he was actually enjoyable to be round.

“Not everybody working through homelessness and problems can maintain a positive attitude and be happy and find ways to have fun, and he did that,” he mentioned of Loney.

Police mentioned the victim was dozing on a No. 2 northbound practice shortly after midnight when he was randomly stabbed within the neck in what MTA officers known as an “absolutely horrible crime.”

Akeem Loney
Loney was described as a “great guy” and promising soccer player by his former coach.
Street Soccer USA

Loney was rushed to Bellevue Hospital, the place he was pronounced lifeless.

Investigators later launched surveillance photographs of the suspect.

Fox mentioned he met Loney — recognized to mates merely as “Lonny” — in 2017 when he joined the then-new grownup portion of Street Soccer USA, a Manhattan-based leisure program for special-needs and homeless Big Apple youngsters.

He mentioned Loney’s infectious upbeat perspective and fervour for soccer made him a preferred member of this system, notably among the many youthful gamers.

Fox mentioned Loney coached the kids and as soon as spoke to a fifth-grade class in The Bronx on the stigma and challenges of being homeless within the metropolis.

Although Fox relocated to California, he mentioned others who stored extra in contact with Loney instructed him that the victim lived on the males’s homeless shelter on Ward’s Island however might have been getting again on his ft.

Penn Station slashing
A knife on the ground at Penn Station after the assault.
Christopher Sadowski

“In speaking with some of his friends, he was working again, at a restaurant,” Fox mentioned. “I wasn’t exactly sure of his living situation, but by all accounts, it sounded like he was in a pretty decent place.”

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