New England Soccer Today

PDL: Molinari Re-Takes Reins for Pioneers

Photo credit: Western Mass Pioneers

Photo credit: Western Mass Pioneers

A familiar face will be back in the technical area for the Western Mass Pioneers once the 2016 PDL season kicks off in May.

Federico Molinari, who coached the Pioneers from 2012-2014, is returning to the helm after guiding former ASL outfit Western Mass Pro Soccer to the title game in 2015.

Molinari succeeds former Pioneers head coach and longtime assistant Dennis Gomes, who will remain on Molinari’s staff.

“I’m very excited to rejoin the Pioneers,” Molinari said in a club release on Wednesday. “We have a lot of work to do to bring in players that want to improve their game and get results on the field.”

Gomes, who’s served as Molinari’s top lieutenant for a number of years, is supportive of the move.

“I look forward to help develop future professional soccer players this season with Federico,” Gomes said in a club release on Wednesday.

Molinari, who also played for the Pioneers in 2003, as well as 2006 through 2010, will be tasked with turning around a young team that finished at the bottom of the PDL’s Northeast Division in 2015.

With a number of new faces on the roster, the 2015 Pioneers ended the season on five points with a 1-11-2 record. Their fifth place finish precluded them from entering the 2016 U.S. Open Cup tournament.

Nevertheless, Molinari is eager to make improvements. The club will be holding tryouts on Jan. 9 at Soccer City in Wilbraham, Mass. in the hopes of bolstering its squad for the upcoming season.

“We are hoping to get a good turnout and maybe identify some guys that can help us this year,” Pioneers general manager Greg Kolodziey said in a club release on Wednesday. “We just got back from the USL league meetings finalizing the schedule and getting ready for the 2016 season. We need to have a good team this year.”

Similarly, Molinari is aiming high when it comes to his expectations for the upcoming PDL season.

“Our goal is to make the playoffs,” Molinari said, “and to qualify for the 2017 U.S. Open Cup.”

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