The Boston City FC build up to the new National Premier Soccer League season kickoff has been deliberately low key in terms of preseason matches.
The Lions train three times per week, sometimes four, and the club’s development team Boston City FC II is three matches into the Bay State Soccer League season. Those factors have allowed new head coach Michael Bustamante an opportunity to see his players in competitive action, be it during inter-squad scrimmages, or BSSL outings where players on the cusp of the first team are staking a claim for a call up. The young Lions have won every match this season, averaging five goals per league match.
On Wednesday night, in place of a scheduled training session, the Harry Della Russo Stadium that will welcome the first Boston City home NPSL match of 2019 on Saturday, May 4, hosted a closed-door preseason match against Juve Pro Soccer. The UPSL club had faced BCFC II in U.S. Open Cup action back in the fall of 2018, with the Lions winning 2-1.
The starting XI included keeper Jake Wagmeister, strikers Rigoberto Jimenez and Jhonata Batista and defender Ralph Angrand, who all have NPSL experience, then after an hour of play, ten outfield changes were made. Goalkeepers Jason Katz and Sandro van Kuijck shared playing time with Wagmeister with each spending 30 minutes between the posts.
The outcome was a 1-0 Boston City win as Jhonata Batista tucked away a 15th minute penalty after John Dumbuya had been felled just inside the 18-yard box. The Lions dictated much of the play and Batista, Jimenez, Dumbuya, Samuel Deossa and Reko Wesad Al-Saadi all came close to increasing the score.
“I think what we accomplished today was guys getting into a good groove so that they fit in well going into Saturday’s match,” said coach Bustamante. “A lot of times we weren’t tested like we will be on Saturday but its definitely good to see guys following direction and being a little bit more organized the way we build out and the way we attack. There was good communication between players, which was good to see. There’s a lot of positives and a few things that we will correct before we go to Hartford.”
The team will fine-tune once more in training this week ahead of Saturday’s season opener at the Al-Marzook Field at the University of Hartford (200 Bloomfield Ave, West Hartford, CT, 06117), kickoff 7pm.