Boston City FC… of the people, by the people, for the people
Boston City FC was founded in April 2015, by Renato Valentim, a successful real estate entrepreneur and owner of the Tavern in the Square restaurants. Valentim, a soccer fan since childhood, wanted to create an organization that would educate and develop the soccer, teamwork, and leadership skills in youth, while providing affordable entertainment to the public, and strengthen Boston’s love for soccer.
Boston is a sports city, having many inhabitants who are passionate about sports. It is also an educational capital, home to numerous colleges and universities that attract students from all over the world. Boston is known for its rich immigration history as well. Many immigrants have come to Boston from England, Ireland, Italy, Portugal, Brazil and other countries where soccer is an integral part of culture. Valentim decided to locate his team in the greater Boston area due to the city’s passion for athletics, high student population, and immigration roots. By creating Boston City FC, Valentim hopes to help mainstream soccer in the Boston community.
Boston City finished the club’s historic inaugural 2016 National Premier Soccer League season in second place in the Northeast Atlantic Conference, advancing to the playoffs, which was quite an achievement for a first-year club.
It took a three-hour lightning delay, extra time and a penalty shootout to dislodge the Lions from the NPSL post season in a heartbreaking loss away to Legacy 76 of Williamsburg, VA, as a successful first campaign came to an end.
Boston City played 17 matches in 2016, winning 10, drawing 2 and losing 5 to finish behind reigning NPSL champion New York Cosmos B in one of the league’s toughest conferences. Playing home matches at Malden Catholic High School, which included a crowd of 927 fans for the season opener on May 1, central defender Gabriel De Souza, midfielder Michael Bustamante and goalkeeper Vitor Scariot all won individual NPSL all-star honors.
In 2017, the Lions qualified for the prestigious Lamar Hunt U.S. Open Cup for the first time and won away from home in the first round, beating Western Mass Pioneers 5-4 on penalties following a 2-2 draw. Boston City suffered a 2-1 home loss to GPS Omens in the second round.
Boston City played 12 regular season matches in 2017, winning 6, drawing 3 and losing 3 to finish second in the realigned Northeast Conference Atlantic Division White and again advanced to the playoffs. The Lions again fell at the first playoff hurdle, losing 2-1 at home to Hartford City.
Top scorer Isaac Nana Addai, who found the net 13 times and also supplied 7 assists and won a Mitre Nattional NPSL Player of the Week award, was loaned at the end of the season to Brazilian Campeonato Paulista first division club Ferroviaria with a view to earning a permanent transfer.
Boston City launched its Youth Soccer Partner Program in March 2017, forming alliances with local town soccer programs, and also partnered with the Sports Museum of New England, which now includes the club’s artifacts among its exhibits.
Boston City FC Brasil was formed in 2017, with the sister club and academy opening in the city of Manhuaçu in the state of Minas Gerais in September. The club’s Under 20 pro team and Under 17s and Under 15s all achieved promotion to the first division in their inaugural season.
In 2018, Boston City FC had a disappointing third season in the NPSL, with a 2-5-3 record in the NPSL and a disappointing ninth-place finish, which led to the club’s first head coach Palhinha stepping down. His record with Boston City in competitive matches through three NPSL seasons and two U.S. Open Cup campaigns was 20-16-8.
The club formed a second team – Boston City FC II – which narrowly failed to gain promotion during its first season in the Bay State Soccer League, while also participating in the U.S. Open Cup qualifying rounds.
In 2019, under new head coach Michael Bustamante, the Lions drew two and lost three of their opening NPSL matches, winning at the sixth attempt. The club’s former midfielder, who had returned to the pitch as player/coach, was replaced after seven matches by assistant coaches Roberto Mazzinghy and Cesar Deossa. The Lions finished with a won 2, drew 3, lost 9 record.