New England Soccer Today

Boston City Has Bold Ambitions

Photo credit: Boston City FC

Photo credit: Boston City FC

It’s fair to say that the minds behind expansion NPSL side Boston City FC aren’t lacking ambition.

A month after the NPSL announced the addition of the Beantown-based squad for the 2016 season, it’s clear that Boston City’s leadership group won’t be content with being just another expansion side content to join the league.

“We hope to win our first national championship within five years,” Boston City Chief Executive Officer and Manager Renato Valentim told NESoccerToday.com. “We also hope that some of our players will be able to move up into the next division of soccer and perhaps Boston City FC, itself, will be able to expand and have a second team within a higher division.”

Of course, a second team within a higher division would likely entail an entry to the NASL, which does not have a team located in New England. And while Boston would be a natural fit for a possible NASL expansion side, there’s still plenty of work for Boston City to undertake before any second-division plans can be solidified.

So far, though, the newly-minted side appears to be ahead of the game in terms of its expansion status. The club officially established itself in April, and quickly hit the pavement to recruit players, many of whom were personally selected by someone who knows a thing or two about footballing talent.

Before he became President of Boston City, Jorge Silva – better known in his native Brazil as Palhinha – was a star midfielder for São Paulo in the Campeonato Brasileiro during the 1990s. Like many high-profile footballers, Palhinha made a number of connections with clubs and players during his career, something that helped the club assemble a group of players for its initial roster.

“We relied on Palhinha’s vast soccer network when selecting its coaching staff and exhibition players,” Valentim said. “The current coaches are all long-term friends, peers, and associates of Palhinha. The club’s exhibition players consist of Palhinha’s former students and other well-regarded young players.”

Those exhibition players didn’t have to wait long to have their collective mettle tested. During the summer, the team flew down to Brazil for the Belo Horizante Cup tournament, which featured a collection of local sides.

Although success on the scoreboard may have been fleeting for Boston City – which went 1-3-0 during the tournament – Valentim believes the experience the squad gained was invaluable.

“The exhibition games at the Belo Horizonte Cup were great practice for the team,” Valentim said. “The players were able to gain game-time experience, unified as a team. The trip to Brazil also allowed the players and coaching staff to bond. Additionally, Boston City FC was able to develop an international fan base and establish itself within the soccer community.”

While the tournament served as a barometer for the talent at Boston City’s disposal, the club will be hosting tryouts during the winter as it prepares for its debut season in NPSL, a league which Valentim believes is the perfect forum for his club.

“We joined the NPSL because we value the NPSL’s organizational structure, its plans to keep expanding, the number of teams in the league, the way the conferences are divided, and the NPSL’s national reach,” Valentim said. “Additionally, the NPSL’s mission of growing the popularity of soccer in the United States, as well as inspiring players and fans in each team’s community, aligns with the mission of Boston City FC.”

In addition to strengthening his team, Valentim mentioned that he’s also hard at work attempting to secure a home venue for the team – something that he hopes to get done before long.

“We’re in final negotiations for a stadium and plans on signing an official contract prior to end of the year,” Valentim said. “The club will make a formal announcement within the coming weeks. The field will be located in Middlesex County, and will provide plenty of seating for spectators.”

Like any fledgling outfit, there will be plenty of important details for Boston City’s ownership group – which also includes Executive Vice President Cesar Piovezanni and Vice President of Business Development Lélio Ravagnani – to attend to before and during its inaugural season. But Valentim explained that the club’s collective vision remains at the forefront.

“Boston City FC plans on being at the forefront of the league,” Valentim said. “Both in recruiting and by leading the region in wins.”

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