African All Stars FC 4 Real Boston FC 2 5/26/13

African All Stars FC 4 Real Boston FC 2  5/26/13

Commish put the Kibosh on this dudes workout.  Note ref waiting for the start of the game.

Game 50 (Game 18 Season 2)

African All Stars FC     4
Real Boston FC           2

D-ONE SOCCER (Unaffiliated) (5th Division)
5/26/13 4:00 PM
MacDonald Stadium, Malden MA
Attendance:  48

I first learned about the D-One Soccer League sometime last year after searching Boston United videos on YouTube.  Naturally, I was intrigued by the presence of a local Boston United, and started researching the league that they play in.  D-One Soccer is an Unaffiliated amateur league, equivalent to the 5th Division, but operating outside of the USSF pyramid structure.  By watching some videos and interviews with the leagues founders I was able to gather that the league started back in 2008 in Cambridge, and has found a home the last few years at Everett Memorial Stadium right on the side of 16 there.  I used to crush tuna subs at that D’angelos on my lunch break when I worked at Clearchannel, but that’s neither here nor there.  The league plays on Saturday and Sundays, with a doubleheader on both days.  The league structure seems to be like a little MLS single-entity thing they got going on there, because none of the clubs play in any leagues outside D-One and officially D-One is a tournament, not a league, and runs from Memorial Day to Labor Day.  This year the Sunday games are going to be held at MacDonald Stadium in Malden, which is a good venue because its right at an Orange Line stop and easy to get to off 93.  So the flagship club, and the ownership, is all Haitians, and the league does a phenomenal job at serving the Haitian community, providing players an opportunity to play at a highly competitive amateur level, and presumably offers other services, especially to recent immigrants in terms of support structures, job opportunities, etc. just like the Irish teams do for their people.  There are definitely non-Haitian clubs, and their used to even be a Vietnamese club, who I was looking to thrown my support behind, but they have not joined back up with the league and are playing an independent schedule.  Luckily I have tracked them down, and there is a HUGE Vietnamese tournament coming up in July, which DITP will be all over, so stay tuned for that!

Flying Challenge

The thing that really sets D-One apart from the other amateur leagues in the area is their business strategy.  This is what I was really looking to find when I started this DITP shit.  Unlike other competing 5th Division leagues like the BSSL, MSSL, LUSA, etc. they do charge admission, but it’s such a good value at 2 games for $5 how could you complain?  Plus they offer entertainment in the form of occasional halftime performances, and a constant hip hop and reggae soundtrack during the games from a nice system they got set up.  A prime example of the attention to detail that the promoters have was an exchange I witnessed between the commissioner and kid who was running laps on the track before the game.  The commissioner approached the kid and was like “Hey man, we have a game going on here, you cant be here, I paid for this stadium.”  I actually really loved that!  Those kind of simple gestures help raise the level of expectations for everybody involved, and avoid these scenes of jobberishness.  (A member of your team, a one Mr. Walter Sobchek, brandished a firearm during league play.)  Apparently the league front office is also nightclub promoters, so they got the whole structure in place.  In addition, to the games and music, they offer a full concession stand, with cheeseburgers for $2, Hot Dogs for $1.50 and a bunch of kids running back and forth through the stands yelling the prices making sure you don’t forget!  (informally) Unfortunately, no liquor license so it falls under the “Discreet, bring your own brown bag” category. It’s a great family atmosphere, and there is nothing exactly like it in the area.  Last year’s league final match in Everett got an attendance of well over 1000 making it by far the largest attended amateur game in New England.  I had been in contact with the league management over the winter and was trying to convince them of the opportunity to enter a few teams in the US Open Cup, so we’ll see if that materializes this fall, stay tuned.

Best dressed man in the pyramid.  Official Coach of DITP.

So that’s the backstory, and how I found myself at MacDonald Stadium in Malden last Sunday for the season opener between Real Boston FC and African All Stars FC.  The names of the clubs in this league run the gamut from the ludicrous to the sublime.  Real Boston FC is NOT the Real Boston Rams, and as mentioned earlier, Boston United does not play in the Blue Square Bet North from Lincolnshire, UK.  These two teams are apparently both new editions to the league, and even if the play proved to be somewhat less than stellar (which it most assuredly was!) at least they could say they looked great doing it.  Real Boston was sporting an aqua Lotto uniform with red trim and the Africans were in all white.  As good as both teams looked, no one could top the sartorial splendor of the Real Boston FC coach in his navy blue leisure suit, white shirt with contrasting sky blue collar trim, white patent leather shoes and white kangol.  Well done, sir, you have captured the essence of the game and will heretofore be dubbed the official coach of DITP, and I’m coming at ya next time for some video drops!

Wave Caps and Do-Rags totally OK in D-One.  I heard that was “the hill they would die on” in USSF negotiations.

The game kicked off, after a good 20 some minute delay as the organizers were apparently waiting for some more fans to show up.  They did eventually, but not until the second half of the first game leading into the second.  I counted the official attendance for the first game at 48.  Let the record show that I made repeated attempts to get official attendance figures from the league but was repeatedly rebuffed, so if there is any dispute as to the attendances of these games, feel free to supply me with your official figures, in the meantime I am an expert hand counter and I give the people the real!  The Africans started off very lackadaisical, particularly in the back and half assed back passes to the keeper resulted in 2 Real Boston goals in the first 10 minutes of the game, with the first one coming within the first 2 minutes.  It was a bad look.  Unfortunately for Real Boston, the only offense they could conjure up came off those two goals, and by the half they had let the Africans back in the game at 2-2.  The flow of the game was choppy the whole way, and there were long stretches where the sides appeared to be playing kickball, not soccer, especially the Africans who favored the long ball approach, which ended up paying dividends in the form of repeated free kicks.  Both second half Africans goals came off long balls or set pieces set up from long balls, and they ended up winning 4-2 in a game that hopefully was more an indication of the rust of the players than the quality of the league.

Some in the stands, more down by the DJ.

Wait, the Cheeseburgers $2, but the combo is $5? So the little Lays and Coke are  $3, wait, thats not a deal! Support Local Soccer.  Ahem

6 Comments
  1. Another league worth checking out is USAfrica. They are an affiliated league that plays out of Ceylon Park in Dorchester on Sundays. They have a facebook page and website which are kept up-to-date. Their website can be found here: http://www.usafricasoccer.com/

  2. Great article, but Lusitano Stadium in Ludlow, MA also has had crowds this year over 1000, so I would not call this game “by far the largest attended amateur game in New England”. New England soccer does not end east side of 495!

  3. Point Taken, I should have clarified when I said amateur game, I meant 5th Division, USASA or unsanctioned. I tend to view the PDL and NPSL as separate, 4th Divisions, even though you are correct everything under USL Pro is technically amateur. It was not an intended slight to Western Mass, more of a separation of the divisions in my mind. BTW, I went to a game out there last year and was extremely impressed! The writeup from that experience is here: http://deepinthepyramid.blogspot.com/2012/05/seacoast-united-phantoms-2-western-mass.html Also Brandon, I am from Worcester County, so I too dwell outside 495. I heard Lusitano Gremio is coming back? That’s exciting news, and definitely on my list as I relaunch this site after a little break. Thanks for reading.

  4. Thanks for the info Anon, I’ll have to check them out.

  5. Yes, that was another great article. The PDL team gets excellent attendance, but Lusitano Stadium is also home to three teams, the Whites, the Reds, and the Women who play in the Pioneer Valley Summer Soccer League (PVSSL). This league, which just wrapped up, is highly competitive and enjoyable soccer is played. When the Whites play the Reds, the crowds can equal a Pioneers game, and if one of the squads reaches the playoffs or final, the crowd exceeds Pioneers games. Gremio Lusitano will be reentering the CT soccer league, starting this fall. Keep an eye out for the schedule that will be on http://www.lusitanostadium.com, and hope to see you there!

  6. Gremio Lusitano has been playing for the Connecticut Soccer League. The website can be found here, including schedules and team info: http://www.ctsoccerleague.com/.

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