New England Soccer Today

Junior Hopes to Re-Join Pioneers

Photo credit: David Henry/

Photo credit: David Henry/

Could one of the PDL’s most prolific strikers be targeting a return to a certain New England soccer hotbed?

Alencar Junior, who’s scored 32 goals in 25 PDL matches since 2012, told recently that he’s interested in re-joining the Western Mass Pioneers, a club he played for during the 2013 and 2014 seasons.

“I already got in contact with (coach) Federico (Molinari),” Junior said, “and that’s good, because I feel good playing over there. I feel like it’s home over there because of the crowds, the people, everybody, everyone there treats you so good.”

The Pioneers, who recently re-introduced Molinari as their head coach after he guided the organization’s ASL outfit to a regular season title in 2014-15, issued a release to that any notion of Junior returning to the Ludlow, Mass.-based club is premature at this point.

“We cannot comment on players not under contract,” read the release. “But we are constantly searching for quality talent that can help us win games.”

Junior initially joined the Pioneers mid-way through the 2013 season, and went on to score nine goals in the club’s final six games. In 2014, he scored 13 goals in nine games for the Pioneers, earning a spot in the All-PDL Team at the end of the season.

In both of Junior’s seasons in Ludlow, the Pioneers qualified for the U.S. Open Cup tournament.

The Brazilian-born goalscorer was invited by Molinari to join Western Mass Pro Soccer for the inaugural 2014-15 ASL season, but Junior declined.

Over a year removed from that decision, it appears that Junior is intent to return to Lusitano Stadium, which boasts one of the most enthusiastic fanbases in the PDL.

“When you feel good about where you play, it’s always great,” Junior said.

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