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Youth Soccer Coach Murdered In New York

Roses are left next to where the body of Michael Jones, a youth soccer coach, was found early Sunday morning. (Photo by Spencer Platt/Getty Images)

Roses are left next to where the body of Michael Jones, a youth soccer coach, was found early Sunday morning. (Photo by Spencer Platt/Getty Images)

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NEW YORK (AP) — A 25-year-old youth soccer coach was fatally slashed in the neck and torso and his ear cut off in one of New York City’s busiest neighborhoods last weekend, and police Monday were hunting for the suspected killer.

Michael Jones, a native of Liverpool, England, was a coach with the New York Red Bulls Youth Training Program. He lived in West Harrison, in Westchester County.

He was on 14th Street in Manhattan’s Union Square at around 4:30 a.m. Sunday when he was seen arguing with a man. Jones had earlier been out with his girlfriend but they parted around midnight, police said. Police were called to the bloody scene where Jones lay on the street. He was taken to Bellevue Hospital where he was pronounced dead at the scene.

Police late Sunday released surveillance footage of the suspected slasher, a man with a ponytail wearing a dark jacket. No arrests have been made.

The New York Red Bulls issued a statement, calling Jones a “fantastic coach who loved soccer.”

“This is truly a sad day for our soccer community and we will do our utmost to help authorities in their investigation of this case. Our thoughts and prayers are with Michael’s family at this time,” the team said.

The New York Red Bulls are a Major League Soccer team.

(© Copyright 2012 The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)