New England Soccer Today

Boston City Set for Season 2

Photo credit: Kari Heistad/capturedimages.biz

After a strong inaugural campaign, expectations are high for Boston City FC, who open their second NPSL season in a highly-anticipated matchup between division rival New York Cosmos B Saturday at Malden Catholic High School.

Boston City FC hosted the Cosmos B in last season’s home opener as well, which resulted in a 3-1 loss for the Lions following a red card, forcing them to go shorthanded against a powerful Cosmos B team. Boston City struck back in New York a few weeks later though, earning a 3-2 victory on the road.

Looking to improve upon their second-place finish, the Lions signed NPSL Golden Boot and Golden Ball winner Isaac “Nana” Addai to bolster their midfield. The former Liberia U-23 player spent 2016 with another of the Lions’ rivals, the Rhode Island Reds, scoring 18 goals in his first NPSL season.

The Lions also added veteran defender Paulo Henrique to strengthen an already strong defensive unit that conceded 22 goals, second fewest in the NPSL Northeast Athletic Conference last season. Henrique spent six seasons in Brazil’s top flight, Serie A, including the 2009-2010 with Santos where he was teammates with Brazilian national Neymar. Most recently Henrique spent last season with Desportiva Juazeirense of Serie D in Brazil.

Addai and Henrique join a deep Boston City deep squad who closed the regular season with an 8-1-1 record over their last ten games in 2016. Among those returning to the Lions include leading scorer Homero Morais (7 goals in 2016), captain Ronaldo Vieira, NPSL second-team goalkeeper Vitor Scariot, and NPSL first-team defender Gabriel De Souza who provide a strong core looking to give the Lions their first division title.

However, New York Cosmos B, the 2015 NPSL National Champions and 2016 Northeast Athletic Conference champions, is looking to spoil the Lions’ hopes and win a third consecutive division title.

The Cosmos B had a busy off-season as well, adding former Puerto Rico FC striker Bljedi Baradic, 2016 National Gatorade Player of the Year Lucas Mendes, cap-tied Columbian attacking midfielder Jose Najera, and former San Jose Earthquakes Superdraft pick winger Christian Thierjung. The Cosmos also return 2016 NPSL Honorable Mention defender Sebastian Capozucchi to their back line, which only conceded 19 goals last season.

Both squads suffered casualties in the offseason, with former Red Bulls draft pick Michael Bustamante leaving the Lions for USL side Charlotte Independence and former Cosmos B striker Ivan Berterame signing with Miami United FC.

However, Boston City coach Pahlina won’t be thinking about what was lost during the offseason come Saturday, but rather, what lies ahead.

“We have such great supporters here and we need to reward them with nothing short of a victory on Saturday,” Palhinha said in a club release. “It will be a tough test as the Cosmos won our division last season and are again among the favorites for the title, but we have improved our squad and we know now what it takes to be successful in the NPSL.”

Boston City’s home matches will be broadcast live through the club’s website www.BostonCityFC.com this season, beginning with Saturday’s home opener.

Soccer fans around the world will be able to watch Coach Palhinha’s team in action, by clicking on a ‘Watch Live Now’ button on the club’s website homepage and are required to register in order to watch.

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