New England Soccer Today

Oxford United Return To New England

While the PDL and NPSL regular seasons are wrapping up this weekend, there will still be some exciting soccer in New Hampshire and Maine as English League Two (fourth division) side Oxford United travels to New England to face the Seacoast United Mariners, Seacoast United Phantoms, and a PDL and NPSL New England All-Star team.

Oxford United returns to New England for the second straight year.

Oxford is returning to New England in July for the second straight preseason through a partnership with Seacoast United.

“We are really looking forward to it and once again we thank our friends at Seacoast for their hospitality,” said Oxford United Chairman Kelvin Thomas in a club release. “It was very successful last season and this year will hopefully be even better. We have made a few adjustments such as games kicking off in the evenings rather than in the heat of the afternoons,  but the lads will be working hard over there and it is a great chance to let them bond as a team.”

The “Us”, founded in 1893 originally as Headington United, will open their preseason slate against the Mariners, Maine’s new National Premier Soccer League (NPSL) team, at Thornton Academy High School in Saco, ME, on Tuesday, July 24, at 7 p.m. The Mariners (2-7-5, 11 points), concluded their first-ever NPSL season on Sunday, finishing in last place in the eight team Northeast – Atlantic Conference.

Oxford United, which finished ninth in the 24 team League Two last season, will then travel to New Hampshire to face the Phantoms, of the Premier Development League (PDL) on Friday, July 27, at 7 p.m. at Portsmouth High School.  The Phantoms (5-5-5, 20 points), conclude their season on Saturday against the Worcester Hydra, and currently sit in sixth in the eight team PDL Northeast Division.

Oxford will conclude their preseason tour with a match against a PDL/NPSL All-Star team, dubbed the Jim Dedeus XI in honor of the man who was instrumental in bringing senior level soccer to the state of New Hampshire 18 years ago. That match will take place on Monday, July 30, at 7 p.m. at Portsmouth High School.

“We as a Club felt it was important to build on all of the positives resulting from last year’s preseason trip,” said Seacoast United President and CEO Paul Willis in a club release.  “It was beneficial to our organization as well as the Oxford United first team squad and I am even more confident that a Seacoast United player will end up playing for Oxford in the near future.  The relationship our organizations enjoy is unique amongst English and American clubs and we look forward to taking it a step further this summer.”

Tickets are available online at $5 per game.

Last summer Oxford United tied the Phantoms, 1-1. Highlights from that game are below:

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