Mass United Join New ASL

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Lynn, Mass.-based side Mass United FC announced on Monday that it will join the new American Soccer League (ASL), which kicks off its inaugural season this spring.

The club, which has fielded teams in the NPSL and the Bay State Soccer League, have been in operation since 2009. They play their home matches at Manning Field in Lynn, and local goalscoring legend Alencar “Junior” Ventura featured for the side in 2012 and 2013.

“Joining ASL is a magnificent opportunity,” said Mass United CEO/GM Jim Antonakas in a team release. “We’re very excited to be ushering in a new age of soccer that we feel will be good not only for Mass United, but for soccer in North America as a whole.”

Mass United – affectionately called “the Riders” -  have also competed in National Amateur Cup and U.S. Open Cup qualifiers in recent years. In 2012, they reached the Amateur Cup state semifinal, where they fell to Mass Premier Soccer 4-2 in overtime.

“This is a great first step forward for the ASL to have Mass United as one of our founding team members to step forward and join our league,” ASL Founder/CEO Matt Driver said in a statement. “Jim Antonakas has… shown great faith in the ASL by deciding to jump on board with the ASL in our inaugural season.”

The ASL hasn’t yet announced its 2014 schedule which, similar to the NASL, will be bifurcated. The spring portion of the schedule is expected to start sometime in April or May.

According to the release, the ASL is a subsidiary of American Professional Soccer (APS), which Driver launched last year. The goal of the APS founders is to become a sanctioned professional league under the United States Soccer Federation (USSF) “when the proper protocols and procedures have been established to fit under the Division 3 USSF guidelines.”

While awaiting approval,  the ASL will play as a sanctioned league in the United States Adult Soccer Association (USASA).

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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