New England Soccer Today

USOC: Pioneers-Boston City Paired for 1st-Rd Matchup

Photo credit: David Henry/

Two of the region’s most popular clubs will face off in the 2017 U.S. Open Cup tournament as the Western Mass Pioneers (PDL) and Boston City FC (NPSL) were pitted against each other in the first round during Wednesday’s draw.

The Pioneers and Lions will meet at 7:00pm on May 10 at Lusitano Stadium in Ludlow, Mass., marking the first meeting between the fourth-division squads. The Pioneers have played in a number of tournament ties during their 20 seasons while next month’s matchup will be first taste of Open Cup action for the Lions, who began play in 2016.

“To say there is a buzz of excitement around the team at participating in the U.S. Open Cup would be an understatement,” said Boston City coach Palhinha in a club release on Wednesday. “We face a tough opponent in Western Mass, but we have aspirations to go on an exciting cup run this season. I won the Copa Libertadores three times in South America and the thrill of winning through knockout stages of a competition is very special.”

Both sides earned their berths as runner-ups in their respective divisions. The Pioneers finished second in the PDL’s Northeast Division while the Lions finished second in the NPSL’s Atlantic Division.

In addition to Western Mass and Boston City, the first round will pit GPS Portland Phoenix (PDL) and GPS Omens (BSSL) against each other at 7:00pm on May 10 at Memorial Field in Portland, Me. The Phoenix booked their spot as a result of their first-place finish in the PDL’s Northeast Division while Omens punched their ticket by winning the league.

The winner of the Western Mass-Boston City clash will face the winner of the Phoenix-Omens match in the second round on May 17 in either Ludlow or Malden, Mass.

This year’s winning team will receive $250,000, a berth in the 2019 CONCACAF Champions’ League and have its name engraved on the historic Dewar Challenge Trophy, one of the oldest nationally contested trophies in American team sports. The runner-up will earn $60,000, while the team that advances the furthest from each lower division will take home a $15,000 cash prize.

FC Dallas is the defending U.S. Open Cup champion, having earned the club’s second tournament title thanks to a 4-2 victory against the New England Revolution on Sept. 13, 2016, at a sold-out Toyota Stadium in Frisco, Texas.

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