The iconic green and white jerseys of the club that brought the modern era of soccer into the American mainstream will grace Brother Gilbert Field at Malden Catholic this Sunday, when Boston City FC kicks off the new National Premier Soccer League campaign.
Boston City faces the legendary New York Cosmos at 6pm on Sunday in both clubs’ season opener. The home team Lions are coached by former Sao Paulo, Cruzeiro and Brazil star Palhinha as they target a third straight season of advancing to the NPSL playoffs. Top scorer Isaac Nana Addai, the league’s Golden Ball and Golden Boot winner in 2016, returns to spearhead the Boston City attack alongside his returning teammates and some new faces.
The famed Cosmos era of global superstars, including the likes of Pele, Carlos Alberto and Frank Beckenbauer, has been followed by a rebooted New York club that has won three North American Soccer League championships since 2013. The demise of the NASL means the only Cosmos team in action this season is their NPSL B squad, which will also compete in the U.S. Open Cup and is coached by former NY/NJ Metrostars and NY Red Bulls veteran Carlos Mendes, who captained his team to those recent titles.
“Everyone knows the Cosmos name and they will come to Boston with a very strong professional squad that no doubt has expectations of repeating the NPSL championship they won in 2015,” said Boston City coach Palhinha. “We have strengthened our squad from last season and they have been waiting many weeks for this match. We are excited to be back in action and look forward to local soccer fans coming out enjoy the entertainment.”
The clash is the third season in a row the Lions and Cosmos have met on opening day, the first being a 3-1 win for the visitors in 2016 then a 1-1 draw last year. Boston City won their only away match in New York, 3-2 in 2016 as part of a nine-match unbeaten run to the playoffs.
The Cosmos boast a strong squad of professional players with experience at the highest level. Captain Danny Szetela has represented the U.S. Men’s National team, Chris Wingert is an MLS veteran of more than 300 matches, and midfielder Rafa Garcia is a two-time MLS champion with LA Galaxy.
“Our roster for the NPSL season is just about complete,” said Cosmos head coach, Carlos Mendes. “We’re still looking for one or two attacking options at forward and on the wing, but I like where we are right now. We’ll be ready for this weekend.”
Before kickoff, from 4.30pm, soccer fans across Greater Boston are invited to take part in WeGotSoccer’s largest Panini World Cup 2018 sticker swap event on the North Shore, as part of the pre-match festivities of Boston City.
Every person who attends this high-profile match will be presented with a Panini official licensed sticker album on entry. Fans may then bring or buy Panini stickers at the stadium and swap with fellow collectors celebrating this summer’s tournament in Russia.
Boston City FC partner WeGotSoccer has provided the sticker albums to be distributed to every match attendee as they continue to support Boston City FC’s growth within the community. Along with the Panini Sticker trading tables, WeGotSoccer will bring their prize wheel for fans to win a variety of promotional products. Fans will also have the opportunity to enter a raffle to win a pair of Fresh Foam Zante V4 sneakers from Boston City’s official uniform and apparel supplier New Balance.
Individual tickets as well as season tickets are still available at http://www.bostoncityfc.com/news/tickets/.