The season is going down to the wire in Brazil, where Boston City FC’s academy and professional teams are on the verge of winning multiple promotions to cap an incredibly successful and memorable first campaign.
The Lions’ Under-15 and Under-17 teams will each play their last game of the season on Saturday, needing one point to guarantee promotion to the State First Division next year, where they would play alongside the youth teams of such famous Brazilian clubs as Cruzeiro Esporte Clube, Clube América Futebol Clube and Clube Atlético Mineiro. The Under 15s can even afford to slip to a rare defeat provided they do not concede more than two goals and will still win the Second Division title.
More than 2,000 fans crammed into the JK Stadium in Manhuaçu last weekend, to witness both teams set up a thrilling end to the season and come within touching distance of promotion, despite torrential rain, which caused flooding on parts of the pitch.
The Boston City Under 20s team, which entered the professional ranks this fall, has already guaranteed promotion to the first division for next year.
“We hope to get the promotions and lift a trophy on Saturday,” said Boston City FC owner Renato Valentim, who will return to his hometown from Massachusetts to watch the nerve-wracking matches. “We were able to meet our objectives in our first year. We have played against clubs that are 30, 40 and 50 years old and despite our relative inexperience, we could be promoted in our first season.”
The Boston City FC academy in Manhuaçu includes Framingham-born midfielder Mark Jacob, who is currently playing with the Under 14s squad and will move up to join the Under 15s next season.
Former Boston City goalkeeper Vitor Euler, who played with the first-ever 2015 Lions team in a tournament in Brazil, is now a member of the famed Cruzeiro club, where Boston City FC president and coach on the American NPSL team Palhinha enjoyed a successful part of his career. Euler has already won the prestigious Copa do Brasil Campeonato Mineiro and turned professional with Cruzeiro as a member of their first division squad.
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