New England Soccer Today

PDL: Molinari Looking for More Success

Photo credit: David Henry/

After leading his squad to an improbable second-place finish in 2016, coach Federico Molinari will return to Ludlow for a fifth season at the helm of the Western Mass Pioneers.

Moinari, who guided the Pioneers to a 21-point turnaround last year following a last-place finish in 2015, is eyeing more success for the club in 2017.

“I’m so happy to come back to the Pioneers,” Molinari told “Our goal this year is to qualify for the playoffs. Dennis Gomes and Jay Willis are returning and I am very excited to work with them again.”

The Pioneers finished the 2016 season on 25 points with a 7-3-4 record, a campaign that included an eight-game unbeaten streak. The club qualified for the PDL playoffs, which will likely secure them a spot in the 2017 U.S. Open Cup tournament.

While the PDL season-opener is still four months away, Molinari, who also suited up for the squad as a player in 2003 and from 2006-10, is anxious to start construction on the roster. The club is set to conduct tryouts on January 21 in Wilbraham, Mass., and the Pioneer boss believes he and his staff will be able to find even more talent.

“We are all former Pioneers players in this coaching staff,” Molinari said, “and this helps new players to understand the philosophy of our club.”

The Pioneers will kick off their 20th season in May.

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