Western Mass Pioneers

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Western Mass Pioneers
Full name Western Mass Pioneers
Nickname(s) Pioneers
Founded 1998; 19 years ago (1998)
Stadium Lusitano Stadium
Ludlow, Massachusetts
Ground Capacity 3,000
Owner Celso Correia
Head Coach Federico Molinari
League Premier Development League
2017 3rd, Northeast Division
Playoffs: DNQ
Website Club home page

Western Mass Pioneers is an American soccer team based in Ludlow, Massachusetts, United States. Founded in 1998, the team plays in the Premier Development League (PDL), the fourth tier of the American Soccer Pyramid, in the Northeast Division of the Eastern Conference.

The team plays its home games at Lusitano Stadium, where they have played since 1998. The team's colors are red, black and white.


In August 1997, the USISL announced it had awarded an expansion franchise to Gremio Lusitano, an amateur soccer club based in Ludlow, Massachusetts. The USISL had set a condition for new teams which prohibited ethnic team names which prevented the club from using the name Gremio or Lusitano. Therefore, the region's newspaper, the Springfield Union-News, held a week-long "name the team" contest which resulted in the selection of Pioneers.[1] In October 1997, general manager Rick Andre named Leszek Wrona, who had both played for and coached Gremio Lusitan, as head coach of the Pioneers.[2] In September 1999, the Pioneers expressed an interest in moving up to the A-League after winning the USL D-3 Pro League.[3] However, the team elected to remain in the D-3 Pro League. In 2001, John Voight replaced Wrona has head coach. Wrona would return in 2005, leave in 2007 and return again in 2008. By 2003, the team was fielding ten Junior Pioneer youth teams which competed in the Super Y-League.[4] Through all these years, the team has remained under the ownership of Gremio Lusitano.

On December 22, 2009, following the exodus of teams from the USL to the new North American Soccer League, the Pioneers announced that they would self-relegate, and play in the USL Premier Development League in 2010.[5]


Current roster[edit]

As of October 29, 2013.[6]

Note: Flags indicate national team as defined under FIFA eligibility rules. Players may hold more than one non-FIFA nationality.

No. Position Player
0 United States GK José Silva[7]
1 Spain GK Borja Angoitia[8]
2 United States DF Jayme Kapinos
3 United States MF Jay Willis (team captain)
4 United States MF Tommaso D'Agostino
5 United States DF Wilder Arboleda[9]
6 United States MF Pat Ryan
7 United States MF Ronaldo Vieira[10]
8 United States MF Evan Burokas
9 Uruguay MF Maximiliano Vieira[11]
10 United States MF DJ Pereira
11 United States DF Drou Goff
12 United States MF Matt Barry[12]
13 United States DF Blake Jones[13]
14 Jamaica MF Rohan Royle[14]
15 United States DF Tim Whalen[15]
16 United States FW Voltaire Escalona[16]
No. Position Player
17 United States MF Jeff Kilday[17]
18 Jamaica FW Javoni Simms[18]
19 Colombia MF Kevin Zapata[19]
20 Venezuela MF Jorge Guinovart
21 United States DF Trey Jasenski[20]
23 United States MF Mike Fisher[21]
24 El Salvador DF César López[22]
25 Brazil FW Alencar Junior
27 United States MF Miguel Carneiro[23]
28 United States DF Matthew Rothbart[24]
29 United States DF Julien Aoyama[25]
30 United States DF George Hodge[26]
31 United States MF Brandon McCarthy
32 United States DF Nathan McCann[27]
99 United States DF Warren Gross[28]
United States DF Mike Choquette[29]
United States FW William Daniels
Brazil MF Paulinton Johnson
United States GK Joseph Kapinos
United States DF Jesse Pereira

Notable former players[edit]

This list of notable former players comprises players who went on to play professional soccer after playing for the team in the Premier Development League, or those who previously played professionally before joining the team.


Year Division League Reg. Season Playoffs Open Cup
1998 3 USISL D-3 Pro League 3rd, Northeast Division Semifinals 2nd Round
1999 3 USL D-3 Pro League 1st, Northern Champion Did not qualify
2000 3 USL D-3 Pro League 5th, Northern Conference Finals Did not qualify
2001 3 USL D-3 Pro League 7th, Northern Did not qualify Did not qualify
2002 3 USL D-3 Pro League 1st, Northern Quarterfinals Did not qualify
2003 3 USL Pro Select League 3rd, Northern Did not qualify Did not qualify
2004 3 USL Pro Soccer League 3rd, Northern Did not qualify 2nd Round
2005 3 USL Second Division 1st Final 3rd Round
2006 3 USL Second Division 6th Did not qualify Did not qualify
2007 3 USL Second Division 6th Did not qualify 2nd Round
2008 3 USL Second Division 6th Quarterfinals 2nd Round
2009 3 USL Second Division 7th Did not qualify 2nd Round
2010 4 USL PDL 6th, Northeast Did not qualify Did not qualify
2011 4 USL PDL 3rd, Northeast Did not qualify 1st Round
2012 4 USL PDL 3rd, Northeast Did not qualify Did not qualify
2013 4 USL PDL 4th, Northeast Did not qualify Did not qualify
2014 4 USL PDL 3rd, Northeast Did not qualify 2nd Round
2015 4 USL PDL 5th, Northeast Did not qualify 1st Round
2016 4 USL PDL 2nd, Northeast Divisional Playoff Did not qualify
2017 4 USL PDL 3rd, Northeast Did not qualify 1st Round


  • USL Second Division Regular Season Champions 2005
  • USL D-3 Pro League Northern Division Champions 2002
  • USL D-3 Pro League Champions 1999
  • USL D-3 Pro League Northern Division Champions 1999

Head coaches[edit]


Average attendance[edit]

Attendance stats are calculated by averaging each team's self-reported home attendances from the historical match archive at http://www.uslsoccer.com/history/index_E.html.

  • 2009: not yet available
  • 2010: 669


  1. ^ Soccer invades WMass Union-News (Springfield, MA) – Tuesday, August 12, 1997
  2. ^ Wrona will coach Pioneers Union-News (Springfield, MA) – Tuesday, October 14, 1997
  3. ^ Pioneers explore new route Union-News (Springfield, MA) – Friday, September 17, 1999
  4. ^ Pioneers notebook – Andre to head soccer operation Union-News (Springfield, MA) – Wednesday, February 19, 2003
  5. ^ Pioneers head to PDL in 2010
  6. ^ http://www.uslsoccer.com/teams/2010/22401.html#ROSTER
  7. ^ http://www.merrimackathletics.com/sports/msoc/2013-14/bios/silva_jose_ld5a
  8. ^ http://www.quinnipiacbobcats.com/sports/msoc/2013-14/bios/angoitia_borja_pl77
  9. ^ http://www.friars.com/sports/m-soccer/mtt/wilder_arboleda_447117.html
  10. ^ http://www.sacredheartpioneers.com/sports/m-soccer/2012-13/bios/vieira%20ronaldo%20njbq
  11. ^ http://www.rioredstorm.com/roster/12/3/1525.php
  12. ^ http://www.hartfordhawks.com/roster.aspx?rp_id=2848
  13. ^ http://www.hartfordhawks.com/roster.aspx?rp_id=2833
  14. ^ http://www.hartfordhawks.com/roster.aspx?rp_id=2837
  15. ^ http://www.brownbears.com/sports/m-soccer/2012-13/bios/Whalen_Timothy
  16. ^ http://www.brownbears.com/sports/m-soccer/2013-14/bios/escalona_voltaire_8brl
  17. ^ http://www.friars.com/sports/m-soccer/mtt/kilday_jeff00.html
  18. ^ http://www.hartfordhawks.com/roster.aspx?rp_id=2839
  19. ^ http://www.goriverhawks.com/roster.aspx?rp_id=2584&path=msoc
  20. ^ http://www.bubearcats.com/index.php/athlete/trey_jasenski
  21. ^ http://www.babsonathletics.com/sports/m-soccer/2013-14/bios/fisher_mike_0ll8
  22. ^ http://www.rioredstorm.com/roster/12/3/1526.php
  23. ^ http://www.snhupenmen.com/sports/msoc/2013-14/bios/carneiro_miguel_meac
  24. ^ http://www.quinnipiacbobcats.com/sports/msoc/2011-12/bios/rothbart_matthew_t6rr
  25. ^ https://www.amherst.edu/athletics/teams/fall/soccer-m/roster/bio/aoyama
  26. ^ http://www.friars.com/sports/m-soccer/mtt/hodge_george00.html
  27. ^ http://www.goduquesne.com/sports/m-soccer/mtt/mccann_nathan00.html
  28. ^ http://www.gopsusports.com/sports/m-soccer/mtt/gross_warren01.html
  29. ^ http://athletics.uchicago.edu/menssoccer/msc-bios-2011/msc-bio-2011-choquette.html

External links[edit]