It’ll be a soft opening of sorts for one of the region’s newest professional sides on Saturday as Western Mass Pro Soccer Club will take on Greater Lowell United FC for a preseason scrimmage ahead of their American Soccer League (ASL) debut later this month.
The match will take place at Lusitano Stadium, and kickoff is scheduled for 2:00pm. The club will be coached by former Pioneers coach Federico Molinari, who hopes to get a better feel for his newly-built team.
“It’s always a positive thing when we can get a good team to come play prior to the start of a season,” said Molinari in a team statement. “It gives us a chance to evaluate players in a game situation and allows for teams to play against each other that might not normally play to reach a new audience.”
Molinari’s squad will officially kick off its season at 7:00pm on Aug. 30 when they host Mass United at Lusitano Stadium.
Western Mass is part of the widely-recognized Western Mass Pioneers organization, but is a separate entity from the organization’s PDL side, which is specifically targeted to college players wishing to retain their NCAA eligibility.
“Our system works,” said Molinari. “We currently have nine players signed who have played in the Pioneers system or have played with the Pioneers PDL teams of the past. Players enjoy playing here and we appreciate the dedication on their behalf.”
Area fans will recognize a number of faces on the club’s roster, which features Pioneers alumni Warren Gross, Jayme Kapinos, Jay Willis, Trey Jasinski, Mike Matera, James Beeston, Evan Burokas and Will Daniels.
The Rhode Island Oceaneers will join Western Mass and Mass United as the league’s trio of New England-based clubs.
The ASL, which was established last fall, will field eight teams in total for its inaugural campaign, which kicks off on Saturday. The league’s 10-game fall schedule will run through Nov. 1, with action resuming sometime in spring 2015.