Boca Raton FC begins its first ever NPSL Sunshine Conference campaign in a showdown against reigning champions Miami United FC at Ted Hendricks Stadium on Sunday at 7:30pm ET. Boca Raton has won four trophies in APSL over the course of the last two years.
This week, Boca Raton FC named Athirson, a longtime star of Brazilian football as the club’s newest Head Coach. Following his illustrious playing career, Athirson has also been a head coach in Brazil, managing clubs like São Cristóvão, Flamengo-PI, and Tocantins over the course of the past three seasons.
Boca Raton FC has played often in a 3-5-2 formation during the run up to the NPSL opener with Justin Wilbanks and Jason Fitzgerald featuring as wing backs. But Boca Raton can play in a more conventional 4-man back line if needed, giving new Head Coach Athirson lots of flexibility and tactical options. Bruno Militz remains a threat going forward for Boca Raton and he has developed an outstanding partnership with Wilbanks on the right flank.
The signing of Ukrainian International Edmar has made Boca Raton a more lively and potent side going forward.
The 36 year-old featured regularly for Ukraine’s National Team in qualifying for the 2014 World Cup and provided an assist for Ukraine’s opening goal in the first leg of the UEFA qualifying playoff against France in November 2013. Edmar who was born in Brazil, made over 300 Ukrainian Premier League appearances in fourteen seasons. He ranks as one of the all-time leaders in appearances in a league regularly ranked among the top eight by UEFA in Europe. Edmar is best known for his eight seasons with Metalist Kharkiv for whom he made over 200 first team appearances. He signed with Boca Raton in February
Boca Raton’s first opponent of the NPSL campaign. Miami United FC will be starting their 5th official season since beginning play in 2013. The side coached by Stefano Agresti are the Sunshine Conference defending champions and have won two of the last four titles in the conference.
Last season, Miami United FC won nine of their ten conference games with their only defeat coming on opening day against Miami Fusion FC. Their offense was the best in the Sunshine Conference with 28 total goals and the team only conceded 13 with four clean sheets.
During the offseason, Miami United lost their leading goal scorer from last season with eight goals, Julio Cesar Rambo de Leon, who was also an international player for the Honduran national team. However, they still have Nacho Calcagno in attack, who was the club’s second leading goal scorer with seven goals, and Bruno Camacho returning to continue leading Miami United’s strong defense.
Boca Raton’s first NPSL Sunshine Conference home game is against Kraze United on May 12 at the Shipyard. Tickets are available here.