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Boston City League boys' soccer preview capsules

Posted by Ryan Butler  September 10, 2013 10:33 AM

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DORCHESTER

Last year’s record: 11-4-1

Coach: Tim Lavin (10th year)

Surface: Turf

Strengths: With a number of returning players, the Bears hope to utilize their experience.

Concerns: The Bears will need to be dedicated to improving their fitness and working together as a team.

Outlook: If the Bears remain focused and dedicated, they could build upon last year's state tournament qualification and challenge for the city championship.

Returning players:

Guy Charlot Destin, senior, defender
Roberson Jacques, senior, midfielder
Heroldens Limage, senior, goalie
Heroldy Limage, senior, defender
Tevin Reid, senior, forward
Jeffery Valbrun, senior, midfielder


O’BRYANT

Last year’s record: 5-7-2

Coach: Ian Doreian (seventh year, 51-37-7)

Surface: Turf

Strengths: The team is very dedicated and selfless with the ball.

Concerns: The team graduated four defenders from last year.

Outlook: O’Bryant is poised to have another solid season fall, led by Doreian. But after graduating those defenders, it will have to rely on younger players to step up.

“We’re going to ride on the success of last year,” Doreian said. “I’m also very excited about the leadership we’re going to have this year with some of the older guys. We’re definitely going to play a very compact style of soccer.”

Returning players:

Anis Medjahed, junior, midfield
David Lopera, junior, midfield
Gregory Morrison, senior, defense
Victor Hernandez, senior, goalie

BRIGHTON

Last year’s record: 11-5

Coach: Hussein Issa (first year)

Surface: Grass

Strengths: An experienced group of midfielders, and defenders who are ready to lead and support a young group of strikers.

Concerns: Brighton needs to identify a starting goalie. Last year’s goalie, and this year’s captain, Jose Mata, may see action on defense and in goal.

Outlook: Said Issa, “The fact that this is a 'rebuilding' year is no excuse for failure. The key to every sports program -- high school, college, and the pros -- is preparation.”

Brighton will need to be flexible and open-minded to meet the challenges presented by the other teams around the city.

Returning players:
Jose Mata, senior, defender
Erik Solis, senior, midfielder
Dennis Membah, senior, defender
Lizandro Nogueira, senior, forward
Ralph Karnuah, senior, midfielder
Wilson Sousa, junior, midfielder
Jairo Gomez, sophomore, midfielder

CASH

Last year’s record: 10-3

Coach: Ian Glaude

Surface: Grass

Strengths: Players are great listeners and want to learn the game.

Concerns: Keeping the players on the field and not distracted.

Outlook: Although CASH went 10-3 last year in league play, Glaude believes this is a building year. But he is excited about the direction his team is heading in after a successful preseason.

“This is going to be a solid building year for us.” Glaude said. “We lost about seven or eight seniors from last year, but we’ve still got a lot of good talent coming through. Always trying to improve on the previous season.”

Returning players:
Not available


EAST BOSTON

Last year’s record: 13-4-1

Coach: Lorenzo DiBenedetto (20 plus years)

Surface: Grass

Strengths: Strong midfielders with experience.

Concerns: Defense and goalie.

Outlook: East Boston is looking to improve on another stellar season behind veteran coach DiBenedetto.

“We started preseason and the young players are working hard,” DiBenedetto said. “Our goal always to win the North Division, and then of course the city championship. I think we can do it if we have a good defense.”

Returning players:
Not available

MADISON PARK

Last year’s record: 16-2

Coach: Joao Gomes

Surface: Grass

Strengths: Strong goalie and defense.

Concerns: Scoring goals. Graduated most of the offensive threats from last season.

Outlook: According to Gomes, Madison Park will be a very defensive-minded team this year. Backed by the support of goalie Jayl Rosa, Gomes hopes to implement a fast-paced style, and he seems confident.

“I think we’ll have enough to compete on the city level this year,” Gomes said. “I’ll be surprised if we don’t make it to the playoffs with the team we’ve got. A lot of hard-working players.”

Returning players:
Not available


SOUTH BOSTON

Last year’s record: 3-11

Coach: Nathaniel Houghton (second year)

Surface: Grass

Strengths: Team speed. Good core of players who play the game well.

Concerns: Numbers and inexperience. Looking for consistency in goal.

Outlook: South Boston expects to do well this year under Houghton.

“I think we’ll have enough to be competitive,” Houghton said. “We’ve got some great, quality players who love the game. I’m always hoping to be above .500.”

Last year, Houghton implemented a style that stressed athleticism and speed, and he will definitely keep that tempo this season.

Returning players:
Not available


WEST ROXBURY

Last year’s record: 2-9

Coach: Daniel McDonald (second year)

Surface: Grass

Strengths: Camaraderie. They play as a unit and get along really well.

Concerns: Inexperience.

Outlook: In McDonald’s second season, West Roxbury will shake off the cobwebs in an attempt to hit the ground running.

So far in preseason, McDonald has seen great improvement in some of his younger players. But more importantly, the team is getting along well.

“We’ve got some great guys and there is a lot of camaraderie,” McDonald said. “As a team, we’re trying to build on last year, and hopefully pick up a few more wins. So far we’ve seen some great commitment from our players.”

Returning players:
Emmanuel Jean-Charles, midfielder
Ricarsenes Saint Til, forward
Richter Mirville, forward


LATIN ACADEMY

Last year’s record: 5-7-1

Coach: Dennis Allen (seventh year)

Surface: Grass

Strengths: Balanced team that plays well together.

Concerns: Graduated a lot of players on defense.

Outlook: Allen believes this team can be a contender.

“For the first time in a while, I feel like we’ve got a lot of kids who have what I like to say is 'a good touch for the ball,' ” said Allen. “I think if the kids keep working hard all season, we’ve got some potential to do very well.”

After a subpar season, Latin Academy will look to improve on its defensive scheme along with tightening up the passing.

Returning players:
Matteo Trando, senior, defense
Guam Gomez, senior, midfielder
Nick Duernas, senior, goalie

CHARLESTOWN

Last year’s record: 1-13

Coach: Hal Leiper (first year)

Surface: Grass

Strengths: Communication and leadership.

Concerns: Young and inexperienced team.

Outlook: After a rough season, new coach Leiper hopes to revamp this young team. He believes the preseason went well and he has been stressing the importance of having fun on the field.

“This will be fun,” Leiper said. “We’ve got a lot of young players we’ve been introducing to the game but I think it’s gone pretty well so far.”

Returning players:
Not available

SNOWDEN

Last year’s record: 3-13

Coach: Joao Barros (third year)

Surface: Grass

Strengths: The majority of the team was freshmen and sophomores last year, so Snowden has a lot of returning players.

Concerns: Recruiting for the years to come.

Outlook: Snowden has a ton of returning underclassmen this year, but has had trouble capitalizing on goal opportunities in the past.

“Our goal is to make the state tournament,” Barros said. “I think we can do it, if these young players get accustomed to the league. Which of course takes times. We’ve spent a lot of the preseason camp working on fundamentals, teaching the necessities to the younger guys.”

Returning players:
Gabriel Torter, junior, midfielder
Boubacar Seck, sophomore, midfielder
Richard Lopez, sophomore, defense
David Castro, sophomore, forward
Joseph Escobar, junior, midfielder

BOSTON INTERNATIONAL

Last year’s record: 14-3

Coach: Miguel Cura (first year)

Surface: Grass

Strengths: Strong ball control and good team character.

Concerns: Adjusting to a new strategy with a first-year coach.

Outlook: After losing, 2-1, in the city league championship last season, Boston International brought in a new coach hoping he can guide this team to a title.

Cura hopes to work on the character of his players, making sure they develop as individuals as well as soccer players.

“At the end of the day, they are called student-athletes.” Cura said. “Student comes first, so the main thing is their academics. As far as soccer goes, I aim to teach them discipline, a good concept of the game, and how to work together as a team.”

Returning players:
Not available


Ryan M. Butler covers Boston Public School athletics. He can be reached at butler.globe@gmail.com. Follow him on Twitter @butler_globe or @BPSspts.

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  • Justin A. Rice -- A metro Detroit native, Rice is a Michigan State University (Go Spartans!) and Northeastern University graduate. Rice lives in the South End with his dog and wife, who unfortunately attended the University of Michigan ... his wife, that is. He curates the BPS Sports Blog and is always looking to write about city athletes with great stories. Have an idea? He can be reached at jrice.globe@gmail.com. Follow him on Twitter @GlobeJustinRice or @BPSspts.
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