We would like to thank all those players who came out to showcase their skills, all the coaches and managers for attending, and the Mill Works staff for all their help running the Combine.
We hope everyone enjoyed a fun afternoon of soccer.
If you are player and need further help finding a team in your area, please feel free to email us.
U.S. Open Cup: Back-to-back “cupsets” sees GPS Omens in 3rd round of the U.S. Open Cup.
The 104th edition of the Lamar Hunt U.S. Open Cup is underway with a record 99 teams competing for the coveted Sir Thomas Dewar Cup. These teams represent all levels of the game, from the local so-called “pub leagues” to the heights of Major League Soccer. What’s so special about this competition is that it allows amateur dreamers, like Mass Soccer’s GPS Omens, to go up against semi-pros and pros from MLS, USL, NASL, PDL and NPSL. In the a single-elimination format, it’s a matter of win or go home. Although no non-Major League Soccer Club has won the Cup since 1999 when USL’s Rochester Rhinos lifted the Cup, anything is possible. The first tournament was played in 1914, making it the oldest soccer cup competition in the United States. It’s also the country’s oldest annual tournament for team sports.
In Round 1 played on May 10, Bay State Soccer League’s GPS Omens pulled off a 2-0 upset road victory over their semi-pro PDL opponent GPS Portland Phoenix. Two early first half goals in Portland, Maine from Jake Johnson (2') and Ben Shuleva (25') was all that was needed to advance to Round 2. It was just the fifth time in the tournament’s history that an Open Cup game took place in the state of Maine. With the victory, Omens advanced to Round 2 where they faced NPSL’s Boston City FC who were fresh off a dramatic win in penalties that saw four players red carded. Entering the second round, Omens were again labeled “amateur underdogs” but that didn’t stop them from earning another shock win, this time a 2-1 victory at Harry Della Russo Stadium in Revere, MA. Keith Caldwell and Scott Prozeller netted on each side of the break to help propel their team to victory. A late goal from Boston made things interesting but the Mass Soccer amatuers killed off the game and keep their dream alive.
“We have a group tight-knit of great guys and everyone is all about the team and I think that showed tonight,” said goal scorer Keith Caldwell after the match. “Boston City was a great side and we were struggling to keep the ball, so in the second half we played a little more direct to put them under pressure.”
Omens entered the U.S. Open Cup as the reigning BSSL champions after pulling off the first undefeated record in league history (16-0-2). This is the second year in a row where Mass Soccer has had an amateur club advance past the first round of the historic U.S. Open Cup as Southie FC upset Seacoast United Phantoms (PDL) 2-0 in last year's tournament before falling in the second round to USL's Rochester Rhinos. GPS Omens will now face the pros of Rochester on Wednesday, May 31 in New York. The Rhinos punched their third round ticket by beating FC Motown of the Garden State Soccer League by the score of 3-0 on Wednesday. The Rhinos took care of business early, with goals from Sofaine Tergou and Jochen Graf within the first 8 minutes of the game. Rayane Boukemia added a tally in the 85th minute for good measure.
The U.S. Open Cup is contested by clubs from the three professional leagues sanctioned by the United States Soccer Federation: Major League Soccer (MLS), the North American Soccer League (NASL) and the United Soccer League (USL), and also by 56 amateur clubs in the earlier rounds of the tournament. The overall champion earns a total of $250,000 in prize money, while the runner-up receives $60,000, and the furthest-advancing team from each lower division league receives $15,000. In addition, the tournament winner qualifies for the group stage of the CONCACAF Champions League. FC Dallas are the reigning title holders having topped the New England Revolution in last September's final.
EMWSL: Newly elected president, Deirdre Wooley, has exciting vision for Eastern Mass Woman's Soccer League
Newly elected Eastern Mass Woman's Soccer League president, Deirdre "Dee" Woolley, has an exciting vision for the EMWSL and is excited to bring her passion for the sport to the Mass Soccer woman's scene. Dee grew up in Scituate, MA and after many years playing the forward position she transitioned to goalkeeper. She fell in love with the position and played at Boston University where she continues to be the President of their Alumni Association. Her Mass Soccer experience is arguably second to none having played in the EMWSL since 1987 and having managed first division team "Ultra" for the past 20 years. Her vision for the EMWSL is three-fold:
Mass Soccer is excited to have Dee lead the EMWSL into a new era and we encourage all woman players to join a team, start a club and invite their friends and past teammates to get involved in the game they love. Dee's past EMWSL positions include New Player Coordinator, Competition Committee chair and special assistant to the President. She competed with Mass Spirit O40's in the Veteran's Cup when it was held in Massachusetts a few years ago and will also be playing for the Spirit over 50 team in Nashville, T.N. this summer. Speaking with Mass Soccer Dee stated, "My two biggest supporters are my husband Doug and son Donovan (pictured) and I could not have accepted this position without their support."
Mass Spirit Women’s Soccer looks ahead to July, when they will compete in their 9th consecutive National Veteran’s Cup Tournament, now known as the US Adult Soccer Fest hosted by the United States Adult Soccer Association (USASA). In 2009, local players Kristin Taylor and Stacey Cawley founded Mass Spirit and entered a women’s Over 30 team to compete in their first tournament at The Fields at Progin Park in Lancaster, MA. Since then, the organization has grown to support three teams in the Over 30, Over 40 and Over 50 divisions of the tournament and has taken home 5 national championships.
The women of Mass Spirit live and play soccer in New England throughout the year in various leagues, including the Eastern Massachusetts Women’s League, the Suburban league, and the Old Colony Women’s Soccer League. Each comes from a different background, but all love to play soccer competitively and strive to make a difference in their local communities. Not only are the women talented individual players, but many also serve as coaches and soccer program directors for Mass Youth Soccer as well as High School and College programs.
Mass Spirit is rooted on the principle of giving back and expects players to be involved in their communities and, as such, support local organizations. As a team, they participate in events that support charities in their communities.
This year Mass Spirit will play for two causes that directly impacted their club – Breast Cancer and Tuberous Sclerosis Complex (TSC). All teams are pulling together to rally behind three of the most courageous people they know – Kristin Taylor (KT), young soccer star 10-year-old Riley, and her mom, Melanie Vogel.
In March of 2016, club founder, president, mentor, and goalie, KT was diagnosed with breast cancer. This immediately sidelined her from soccer, so she could focus on taking on a very aggressive treatment plan to beat her cancer. Mass Spirit missed her greatly at the 2016 USASA Veteran’s Cup in Denver, as her O40 squad fell to Virginia in the semifinals and her O30s lost to Dallas in the finals.
Since last spring, KT’s battle included a double mastectomy and rounds of chemotherapy for the last 13 months. Friday, April 28th will mark her last chemo appointment. Anyone who knows KT will attest to her strength, both physically and mentally, in all that she does. As Mass Spirit prepares to recapture USASA titles this summer in Nashville, KT will make her return as goalie. The Mass Spirit teams will wear the breast cancer ribbon on their sleeves to remind them of her fight and the fight that women battling breast cancer face every day.
Riley is the daughter of super mom and Mass Spirit defender, Melanie. Riley is a beautiful, feisty 10 year old girl who started having seizures just before her first birthday and was diagnosed with Tuberous Sclerosis (TSC). TSC is a genetic disorder that causes tumors to form in various organs, primarily the brain, eyes, heart, kidneys, skin and lungs. For her entire life, Riley has worked hard to overcome developmental delays because of seizures. She bravely participated in new drug trials to manage her brain tumors and complications with kidney disease. She underwent brain surgery in the first grade and continues to fight this very aggressive and painful disease. She is currently awaiting brain surgery again. As Riley battles the effects of TSC, her mom, Melanie, raises awareness for the disease and others impacted by it. She founded “Rock4Riley” which hosts annual events that raise significant funds for TSC research and treatments. This summer at the USASA Adult Soccer Fest, all Mass Spirit teams will also play for Melanie and Riley. Riley’s charity “Rock 4 Riley” logo will be printed above the team’s numbers along with Riley’s silhouette.
Mass Spirit feels fortunate to have such strong and intrepid teammates. With such inspirations, they look forward to taking on the toughest competition that USASA Soccer Fest and Veteran’s Cup has to offer. “This year is for you, KT, Mels, and Riley!”
For the second year in a row Southie FC advanced to the annual USASA National Amateur Cup as the Massachusetts state champions and for the second year in a row, they fell on the road to the hands of Region I powerhouse Lansdowne Bhoys out of Yonkers, New York. With only two substitutions, the "Boys in Neon" challenged the cup favorites but two first half goals proved too much of a hurdle. Lansdowne Bhoys advanced to the semifinals 2-0 but "The Boys in Neon" return to Boston with their heads held high having done themselves justice and representing Mass Soccer well on the road. Southie FC defeated Dorchester United, GPS Omens and Boston Olympiakos in the fall to reach the National Cup. The USASA Amateur Cup is a competition open to all amateur teams affiliated with the United States Soccer Federation. Christos FC out of Maryland are the defending national champions. Mass Soccer is proud to have three national champions themselves thanks to the efforts of Battery Park Gunners (2012) and Boston Olympiakos (2010 and 2007).
OTHSL: Kel Kau represent Mass Soccer well in USASA O-30 Cup
In the 2017 Mass Soccer O-30 State Cup, Kel Kau progressed past Safira SC and Warehouse Gunners, both in overtime, to be crowned state O-30 champions and represent Mass Soccer in the quarterfinal rounds of the USASA Region I Gerhard Mengel Cup, AKA the Over-30 Championship. Kel Kau showed very well against Connecticut's Danbury United on April 30 but were ultimately on the wrong side of a 4-2 scoreline. The Over-The-Hill-Soccer-League was represented well by Kel Kau who now look to make noise in their 2017 state campaign.