Pioneers Aiming to Field Team in New League?

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The newly-established American Soccer League (ASL) is slated to kick off its inaugural season this spring, and one of the region’s most popular clubs may be a part of it.

The Western Mass Pioneers, which have played USL-sanctioned soccer since 1998, are believed to be exploring the possibilty of fielding a team in the ASL, in addition to its PDL side, this year.

According to its website, the ASL is comprised of eight markets within the Northeast, including Massachusetts. The league is spearheaded by former New England Revolution assistant coach Matt Driver, who serves as Chief Operating Officer for the ASL. The level of competition is believed to be in line with that of fourth-division soccer.

Over the weekend, Pioneers director of media Brandon Smith offered the club’s position on the possibility of fielding a team in ASL.

“While the Pioneers cannot comment on rumor, we are  constantly exploring ways to strengthen the Pioneers brand and are striving to give our fans as many games as we can at Lusitano Stadium,” said Smith. “That being said, we are 100% committed to the PDL, and are looking forward to an exciting 2014 season.”

Like the North American Soccer League, the ASL season will follow a spring-fall schedule. The Pioneers are in a unique position of playing within that schedule because of the fact that they have their own soccer-specific stadium – venerable Lusitano Stadium.

Last year, the Gremio Lusitano Club, the driving force behind the Pioneers, entered a club in the Connecticut Soccer League, which plays a spring-fall schedule, prior to the fall 2013 season.  Gremio Lusitano went on to register the best record in the league with a 9-1-2 (29 points) mark during the fall.

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About Brian O'Connell

Brian O'Connell serves as editor and staff writer at New England Soccer Today. He's also the Revolution beat writer for ESPNBoston.com, and is Officer at Large for the North American Soccer Reporters. He regularly contributes to The Associated Press, and has been featured on MLSSoccer.com & RevsNet.com. Follow him on Twitter: @BrianOConnell21 or contact him via e-mail at BOConnell21@aol.com