Mass United’s 2011 and 2012 seasons overlap this weekend as they take on Boston Olympiakos of the Massachusetts State Soccer League in round 1 of the 2012 National Amateur Cup on Saturday and conclude their 2011 Bay State Soccer League season on Sunday against Milford Portuguese Club in a win-to-earn-promotion match. Game time Saturday is 1pm at Manning Field in Lynn (tickets are $8 at the gate only) while Sunday’s contest is at 9am at Memorial Park in East Boston.
It’s hard to imagine a more difficult draw for United than Boston Olympiakos, who won the Amateur Cup in 2007 and 2010. “I think this Saturday’s game should be an interesting matchup,” said Head Coach Jim Antonakas. “Boston Olympiakos is a talented team who has tremendous experience under their belt. What can you say about them? They are two-time US National Amateur Cup Champions and undefeated 2011 MSSL League Champions and MSSL Cup Champions. Our team has tremendous respect for their club. We are a young team for sure but extremely talented as well and we will be ready for the challenge. I believe that no matter what the outcome of the game is, it will make us a better team.”
The long-awaited conclusion to United’s hunt for promotion to Division 1 of the BSSL will also be a stiff test for the Riders. “Well after much sorting out by the league it is best we go out and earn our spot in the first division of the BSSL,” said Coach Antonakas. “I am extremely proud of our team this first year in the BSSL as they have shown tremendous composure and have hung tough all year long while slowly climbing the ladder to the second spot. More importantly, we were able to get better throughout the year and it showed in our game against first-place Middlesex (on October 22nd). The boys are confident in their play and hopefully playing two games in less than 24 hours will prove to be a great experience for them. It will certainly make for a better Thanksgiving while they get rested up for the US Open Cup.”