One season removed from a last-place finish, the Western Mass Pioneers punched their ticket to the PDL playoffs with a wild 4-3 win over the Westchester Flames on Friday at Lusitano Stadium in Ludlow, Mass.
Veteran midfielder Maxi Vieira bagged a quick brace by scoring in the fourth and eighth minutes while Kyle Tomas tallied in the 37th minute to give the hosts a seemingly secure lead going into halftime.
A scoreless first half gave way to a compelling sequel as a short-handed Western Mass Pioneers dropped their first match of the season to GPS Portland Phoenix in a 2-1 defeat on Friday at Lusitano Stadium in Ludlow, Mass.
Pioneers striker Kyle Tomas was issued a 63rd minute red card that left the hosts shorthanded for the duration.
LUDLOW, Mass. It was a memorable May afternoon in a small, soccer-mad town in central Massachusetts on Sunday. And not just because of the unexpectedly pleasant break in a recent stretch of wet and cool weather.
Not long after unveiling a larger-than-life statue of Portuguese great Eusebio at its home park, the Western Mass Pioneers grabbed a late winner to secure a 2-1 victory over F.
Renowned scorer Alencar Junior tallied in his Seacoast United Phantoms debut, giving his squad a 1-1 comeback draw against the Western Mass Pioneers in Saturday's season opener at Portsmouth High School in Portsmouth, N.H.
Junior, who played for the Pioneers from 2013-14, scored a 75th minute equalizer to rescue a point for the hosts.
Could one of the PDL's most prolific strikers be targeting a return to a certain New England soccer hotbed?
Alencar Junior, who's scored 32 goals in 25 PDL matches since 2012, told NESoccerToday.com recently that he's interested in re-joining the Western Mass Pioneers, a club he played for during the 2013 and 2014 seasons.
One of the longest-running clubs in the regionhasrevampeditsidentity packageas the Western Mass Pioneers unveiled a new badge and logo on Thursday.
The Ludlow, Mass. outfit, whichlaunched in 1997, initially released an image of the badge on its official Facebook page. The badge featuresan update of the club's traditionalwordmark inside of a red-and-black striped shield.
Now that all the leagues of consequence on these shores have completed their regular seasons (and only two, MLS and the NASL, are still to crown champions), here's a combined list of the 83 North American outdoor soccer clubs for which I have any attendance data for the 2016 season.
Some information (especially at the very low levels) is incomplete.
The PDL MVP just pounded another nail into the MLS SuperDraft's coffin, PSP's Dan Walsh writes. Also, observations on the Union's Roland Alberg and how Alejandro Bedoya and Warren Creavalle are (not) meshing.
A 2015 PDL Young Player of the Year Finalist, Todd Wharton finds his way to the defensive midfield for the RGVFC Toros in 2016.
One of the top prospects at his position in the 2016 MLS Superdraft, soccer experts were shocked Todd Wharton went undrafted. After an incredible season leading the Portland Timbers U-23 PDL side, Wharton will look to continue his great play and show the MLS teams that he deserves a spot in the league.
Facing the Seattle Sounders will be Kitsap's toughest test of 2016.
The Kitsap Pumas are already the best PDL team in the 2016 US Open Cup, but their goal is to do more than take that $15,000 prize. Up next are the Seattle Sounders FC, a team just across the Puget Sound from the pro PDL team that features two former Sounder Academy players and a former S2 player.
PDL Roster Rules are weird and have plenty of complexity but the overage rules, sorry Kitsap but those are basic.
Semi-pro leagues will always have people only vaguely following the rules and with players not being paid and going in and out of a team as frequently as most PDL teams do, it can create a giant headache.
Fletcher Ekern scored a controversial stoppage-time penalty that lifted GPS Portland Phoenix to a 2-1 comeback road victory over AC Connecticut on Saturday at Western Connecticut State University in Danbury, Ct.
The decisive call came after Connecticut's Alain Sargeant fouled Skyler Milne inside the area in the 90th minute, setting up Ekern for the winner.
Northeast Division winners GPS Portland Phoenix saw their postseason dreams come to a crashing halt after they suffered a 4-0 loss to the New York Red Bulls U-23s in Saturday's Eastern Conference Semifinal at NJIT in Newark, N.J.
Joe Swenson scored the opening goal in the 45+1 minute to send the Red Bulls into halftime with the advantage.
Former Seacoast United Phantoms forward Anthony Grant, who earned the 2015 PDL MVP award on the back of a 12-goal season with the New Hampshire outfit, signed with the USL's Richmond Kickers last week.
Grant, who collected a combined 26 goals over the last two seasons with the Phantoms, joined the USL side last Thursday.
AC Connecticut did not win the PDL championship this year that distinction belongs to KW United FC following Sunday's title game win in Seattle. But in many respects, what the Nutmeg State selection did this season was far more meaningful than any trophy or award could signify.
On May 11th the 102nd Lamar Hunt US Open Cup gets underway. In the Puget Sound that means PDL side Sounders U23s get to host California club Outbreak FC.
Outbreak is based out of Long Beach/Huntington Beach where they host adult and youth teams. Their team earned a chance at the Open Cup through local qualifying, beating San Pedro Monsters FC and Buena Park FC.
The PDL officially welcomed the addition of FC Boston Bolts to its national roster of 67 clubs for the upcoming season on Thursday, with the storied youth outfit filling one of the biggest sports markets in the country.
The Bolts, which was founded in 1986, will be coached by the organization's Executive Director of Coaching Brian Ainscough, and will compete in the Northeast Division of the PDL.
On this Special Summer Roundup Episode, hosted by Jason Sieira: A 2015 Premier Development League (PDL) review. Interview with NPSL Champion side Cosmos B head coach Alecko Eskandarian. Interview with W-League's Colorado Pride captain Laura Kane. And a 2015 College Preview. Other ways to listen: Download the Podcast.