New England Soccer Today

ASL: Western Mass Withdraws from League

Photo credit: Western Mass Pro Soccer Club

Photo credit: Western Mass Pro Soccer Club

Western Mass Pro Soccer Club, which boasted the best record during the ASL’s inaugural season, will not return for the 2015-16 season after informing the league of its decision to withdraw from the seven-member start-up outfit.

The club notified the league of its intentions in the days leading up to last week’s championship match which, incidentally, pitted them against Jersey-based side Icon FC.

“We appreciate helping the ASL get off the ground with the relaunch of the league,” Western Mass Pro Soccer Club executive director of soccer operations Stephen Scott told “We wish the ASL the best of luck in the future.”

Western Mass – affectionately called the “Lusitanos” – finished the 2014-15 campaign with a league-best 37 points and a 10-1-7 mark. Will Daniels, who scored seven goals during the fall portion of the schedule before transferring to Icelandic side Aegir, and Chris Roswess, who scored eight goals during the spring portion of the schedule were among the team’s top players. Additionally, Pat Boucher played in every match of the 2014-15 campaign.

The squad, led by coach Federico Molinari, was on the verge of claiming the inaugural ASL championship, but fell in controversial fashion during penalties after captain Jay Willis’ effort appeared to cross the line, only to have the referee waive it off.

Western Mass, which played its home matches at venerable Lusitano Field in Ludlow, Mass., was the only team in the league with a soccer-specific stadium. They also enjoyed some of the biggest crowds in the league. The club was backed by the Gremio Lusitano Club, which also oversees the operations of PDL side Western Mass Pioneers.

With Western Mass out for the 2015-16 season, the ASL will field three New England-based sides: Rhode Island Oceaneers, Mass United FC and expansion side Worcester FC. The fall slate is expected to kick off in late-August.

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