|Grant (left) scored his league-leading 13th goal of the season in the 29th minute vs Real Boston Rams on Thursday.|
|Midfielder Abel Perez put the Phantoms in front just before halftime, scoring in the 45th minute.|
PORTSMOUTH, NH - The Phantoms moved one step closer to locking up the Northeast Division title this evening with a 3-1 victory over Real Boston Rams.
Having clinched a playoff berth last Friday with a 1-0 win over the Western Mass Pioneers, the Phantoms entered tonight's game with a record of 9-1-2, and 2nd place CFC Azul right on their heels. Azul was level in points with 29, 9 wins and 2 draws, but 2 losses and only 1 game remaining on the season. A win tonight would greatly help Seacoast avoid tiebreakers should it come down to both teams having identical records after completing all regular season league games.
The home team started the match in unfamiliar territory - having issues organizing and trouble connecting passes. The Rams would take advantage almost immediately when striker Fabio Machado gave the visitors the lead in the 3rd minute.
Finding themselves down 0-1 for the first time since May, the Phantoms still struggled to maintain possession through the opening 25 minutes. It wasn't until striker Anthony Grant broke through on the right side and leveled the score at 1-1 in the 29th minute that momentum would begin to change. The goal would be Grant's 13th on the season.
Just before halftime, the Phantoms would be awarded a free kick from roughly 25 yards out. Midfielder Abel Perez curled a left footed shot over the wall and past a diving Nicholas Thomson into the right side of the Rams goal for the 2-1 lead.
For the majority of the 2nd half, the Phantoms controlled the tempo, squandering any chances that would develop out of the Real Boston midfield. Ugo Uche would get the crowd of 500 on their feet once again with a goal in the 89th minute for the 3-1 win and the team's 10th on the season.
Goalkeeper Dom Dimaggio received PDL Team of the Week honors for recording a league-best 8 shutouts, including 5 in a row. The goal conceded tonight vs. Real Boston was the first allowed by the Phantoms defense in over 480 minutes, who were also the last team to score on the Phantoms just over a month ago on June 14th in a 5-1 Phantoms win.
The Seacoast United Phantoms were proud to present Seacoast United player and 13-yr old Stratham NH resident Behaylu Barry with a jersey autographed by the entire 2014 Phantoms team as he recovers from a bone marrow transplant after being diagnosed with Severe Aplastic Anemia earlier this spring. The Club also made a donation to Annie's Angels Memorial Fund "Spirit of Behaylu" to assist with the family's medical bills.
In their final game of the regular season on Saturday, the Phantoms travel north to face division rival GPS Portland Phoenix. The game kicks off at 2pm at Deering Memorial Field (Portland, ME). United Soccer Leagues will release the playoff schedule early next week as the Phantoms look to continue their run in the Eastern Conference.
About Seacoast United Phantoms
The Seacoast United Phantoms compete in the Premier Development League (PDL), with a roster consisting of collegiate, post-collegiate, and international players looking to further their development during the summer months. For more on the Seacoast United Phantoms teams, please visit www.seacoastunited.com/phantoms.