Western Mass Pioneers forward Alencar Junior has scored 19 goals in his last 17 games. (Photo: David Henry/sweetdogphotos.com)
LUDLOW, Mass. – It takes him less than a minute to lift them off their seats.
On a seasonably warm evening in a stadium neatly tucked inside a neighborhood packed with ranches and capes, the Western Mass Pioneers and CFC Azul are only moments into a Friday night match in front of about a thousand supporters, many of whom are just settling into their seats before a bolt of energy flashes before them.
Newly-acquired striker Alencar Juniorcollected his secondhat trickin three gamesto lead the Western Mass Pioneers (5-1-2, 17 points) to a 4-0 thumping of Seacoast United Phantoms (0-4-4, 4 points)on Friday at Lusitano Stadium.
Junior, who also bagged a three-goal effortagainst Real Boston on Jun.
Pioneers striker Alencar Junior scored his fifth goal in three games in his club's 2-1 win over the Voltage on Friday. (Photo: David Henry/sweetdogphotos.com)
Two weeks ago, Alencar Junior was a player without a PDL squad.
Since joining the Western Mass Pioneers on Jun. 14, the former Hydra forward has scored five times, with his latest two strikes coming from a 2-1 win over the Vermont Voltage on Friday at Lusitano Stadium.
Javoni Simms scored for the second game in a row to help the Western Mass Pioneers overtake the GPS Portland Phoenix 4-1 at Lusitano Stadium on Friday.
Simms opened the account in the 31st minute, while Kevin Zapata found the back of the net in the 49th minute. Pierre Omango brought one back for the guests in the 53rd minute, but the Pioneers padded their lead with goals from Drou Goff and Tommaso D'Agostino shortly after Omango's strike.
EASTON, Mass. Former Revolution Academy striker Fabio Machado scored in his PDL debut to help send Real Boston Rams to a 3-0 win over a shorthanded Seacoast United Phantoms on Sunday at Muscato Stadium.
Machado's 34th minute goal followed Luke Finkelstein's opening goal in the 26th minute.
EASTON, Mass. Ali Sozeri scored in stoppage time, but it wasn't enough as GPS Portland Phoenix staked a 2-1 win over Real Boston Rams on Saturday at Muscato Stadium.
Sozeri's strike came from a free kick that swerved inside the far post from 20 yards. Cau Da Silva opened the scoring in the 5th minute, while teammate KyleShangrawgrabbed what proved to be the game-winner in the 87th minute.
Former Revolution midfielder Andrew Sousa scored a pair of first half goals, but a late Ottawa Fury(1-0-0,3 points) comeback sent the Real Boston Rams (1-2-0, 3 points) to a 3-2 loss at Algonquin College Soccer Complex on Friday.
Sousa, a 2011 Revolution draft pick,tallied for theRamsin the 17th and 33rd minutes, while Jordian Farahani brought one back for the Fury before the break.
Cramming in a few last exhibitions before their seasons start, last weekend saw three New England PDL clubs fielding trialists and testing their starting eleven against local teams. In Newtown, CFC Azul battled Connecticut Soccer League's Prosto SC beforethe Reál Boston Rams took to the field for their inaugural match versus Newtown Pride, all while the Western Mass Pioneers battled the NPSL's Mass United FC on the newly-refurbished Lusitano Field.
In a move that caught some in the New England soccer scene by surprise, the New England Revolution announced on Wednesday they will be partnering up with local Premier Development League club, the Reál Boston Rams, making the Easton, Mass.-based team an official affiliate for the coming season.
By partnering up with one of the newest United Soccer League expansions, the Revolution have made the Rams part of their "developmental pyramid," allowing New England academy products to play for Reál Boston over the summer while performing the training hours necessary to remain "Homegrown protected," all while under the watch and guidance of the Revs' technical staff.
With winter over and May rapidly approaching, Premier Development League teams have commenced announcing rosters as they finalize squads for the new season.
The Northeast Division has been particularly abuzz over the last month as the Reál Boston Rams and CFC Azul have both made major moves before the season's start, all while two former Seacoast United Phantoms have signed professional contracts in Iceland.
Real Boston Rams coaches look on during a recent tryout held at Dana Farber Fieldhouse in Foxborough. (Photo: Real Boston Rams)
Since the United Soccer League's inception in 1986, Eastern Massachusetts has long struggled to keep its teams in the division from moving or folding all together after a few seasons each, save for the Cape Cod Crusaders who lasted from 1994 to 2008.
A week after naming Paxton Ballard as their first committment for the 2013 season, the Reál Boston Rams announced the addition of Wheaton College midfielder Luke Finkelstein to its roster.
Playing as a #5 since his days in the Peabody Youth Soccer program, Finkelstein was one of the first New England Revolution U-16 players from back in 2008 and now joins the Rams' ranks as a "quality player (with).
His actual titles, Philadelphia Union assistant coach and Reading United head coach, are just as clunky, especially in newsprint. Trust me. That said, it's true. His coaching credentials have gone from this-pays-better-than-USL-ball-so-sure, to assistant coaching the Union, in seven years. He's 31 and has lost all of 11 regular season games with Reading United in that time.
Now that (nearly) everybody in the six primary outdoor soccer leagues in the US and Canada has had a home match, we can take our first comprehensive look at 2013 at attendance figures. I've added medians to the chart this time. (These are through games of Sunday, June 9 and, as always, corrections and additions are welcome.
The FA Cup is the best and most famous domestic knockout tournament in the world. It is where part-timers and lower league teams get the chance to go up against some of the biggest stars in the world, and sometimes prevail in victories that are talked about for generations.
The Fire have had an active role in player development beginning from the youth stages of the game with the Chicago Fire Academy, to the Super 20s, and Chicago Fire Premier of the Professional Development League. But with all the success these programs have had throughout the years, why hasn’t the club been able to produce more homegrown players that can make the jump from the academy or PDL to the starting XI similar to homegrown players from other teams within MLS?
The Portland Timbers announced their opening round match for the 2013 U.S. Open Cup is here in Portland, where they will face the Austin Aztexs or Wilmington Hammerheads. Meanwhile, the Timbers U-23 team advanced to round two with a win over the Sacramento Gold, and will now battle the Charleston Battery for the right to host the San Jose Earthquakes in round four.
The United States Soccer Federation announced the tournament rules and format for the 2013 U.S. Open Cup field that will feature both the Portland Timbers and the Timbers U-23 teams within the 68 team field. For 2013, there is more prize money for the winners, while rules put all decisions for hosting matches between the two sides within a round to be determined by a coin flip.
Hey Soccer Fans...... The Virginia Beach Piranhas are once again looking for host families to host a Piranha in their home for the 2013 season. We have both PDL (male) and W-League (female) players in need of housing. Many of our fans have been host families in the past and have formed close ties with our players.
Virginia Beach, Virginia - The Virginia Beach Piranhas announce the clubs 2013 ticket prices which include a Flexi-Pack that allows fans to combine tickets for both men's and women's games. Season Ticket Flexi-Pack ($79.99) includes 13 tickets that can be used in any combination for regular season PDL and W-League home games.
The competition was a PDL side but there were still plenty of positives to take from the Fire's 2-0 win over FC Tucson on Saturday afternoon. The starters were pushed for ninety minutes and although there was some fatigue evident late in the second half the team registered their fifth clean sheet in six pre-season contests.
It appears that there is one less soccer team in the KC metro area. Today, the United Soccer League released the schedule for their Premier Development League season. One name absent from the list for the first time since 1997 is the Kansas City Brass.
There'd been rumors towards the end of last year that the Brass would not be returning in the 2014 season.
US Soccer has released the potential match-ups for the third round of the 2013 US Open Cup tournament after coin flips this morning to determine the pairings. The Fire will play the winner of the match between the Seattle Sounders U-23 (PDL) team and the Charlotte Eagles (USL Pro). That game will be played on May 21 in Charlotte.