New England Soccer Today

USOC: Southie Set for Tourney Debut

Photo credit: Southie FC

Photo credit: Southie FC

In 140 Characters or Less: Southie FC makes its Open Cup debut in Wednesday’s 1st round tie vs. PDL’s Seacoast United Phantoms at Della Russo Field at 8pm in Revere, Mass.

How they got here: Southie, which is based out of Boston and competes in the Bay State Soccer League, earned its tournament ticket via Open Division qualifying, which began last fall. Seacoast, which calls Portsmouth, N.H. its home, earned the first-round spot by virtue of its second-place finish (9-3-2, 29 points) in the PDL’s Northeast Division.

About Southie: Roy Sandeman and Brian Grissel are among the squad’s best players on the attack. The Boston-based outfit boasts a number of former Providence College players, and that cohesion has certainly allowed them to make strides in both BSSL competition and National Amateur Cup action. The Boys in Neon won the MSSL North Division in 2015.

About Seacoast: The club acquired one of the region’s best scorers in Alencar Junior prior to the PDL season, and the Brazilian wasted no time opening his account in a 1-1 draw to Western Mass Pioneers over the weekend. With a division-best plus-16 goal differential in 2015, the Phantoms were one of the most balanced squads in PDL last year.

What it’ll take for an upset: Simply put, the Southie defense has to figure out a way to contain Junior, who’s made it his business to embarrass opposing backlines over the years. If the Boys and Neon can do that and find the back of the net a few times, they could very well book their ticket to the second round.

What’s next: The winner of Wednesday’s match will face the USL’s Rochester Rhinos in the second round on May 18 in Rochester, N.Y.

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