The Seacoast United Phantoms take to the field for their 17th season in USL’s Premier Development League (PDL) this Saturday when they travel to central Massachusetts to take on the Worcester Hydra in their 2012 opener.
Iain Scott, Seacoast United’s Director of Coaching, will begin his 2nd year as Phantoms’ head coach after leading the team to the Northeast Division title and Eastern Conference semi-finals in 2011.
The 2012 roster lists 13 returning players from the 2011 squad, including strikers Dylan George and Steven Palumbo, and midfielders Eric Masi, Jesse Schram, Joey Barima, George Delano, and Robert Palumbo. Plus, the Phantoms retain the core of the defensive unit in James Goodwin, Jordan Thomas (University of New Hampshire), Brad Hilton, Ryan Dunn (Boston College/Hampton NH) and goalkeeper Jon Dawson (Butler University).
Masi, Schram, Barima, Goodwin, and Cody Schram all coach within Seacoast United’s youth programs, while Dunn, and the Palumbo brothers all graduated from Seacoast United’s U.S. Development Academy system.
New to the team this year are Austin Britt, Miguel Carneiro, Yannick Kabala, Scott Rowling, Mohamed Toufik, Kenny Doublet, and goalkeeper Colin O’Donnell (UNH).
Scott is looking forward to the season, however his concerns involve the loss of two key players from last year. Striker and leading scorer Chris Tsonis has departed to explore a new opportunity after receiving an invitation from a club on the west coast. Midfielder Rob MacLarney is sidelined due to injury and is not expected back until mid June.
“The goal for the new season is to be competitive yet again and we will see where that takes us,” commented Scott. “We will go about our work in a quiet and professional manner.”
Opening weekend at home for the Seacoast United Phantoms is May 12th and 13th, with games being hosted at Portsmouth High School. On Saturday May 12th, the Phantoms NPSL squad will face FC New York, while the PDL team opens its home schedule on Sunday, May 13th vs. CFC Azul. Both games are scheduled for a 7pm kickoff.
The Seacoast United Phantoms women’s team opens its 2012 season on Wednesday May 23rd when it plays host to the Seacoast United Mariners in WPSL East-Northeast Division action.
Information on all of the Seacoast United Phantoms teams including news, schedules and tickets can be found online at www.seacoastunited.com/phantoms.