Stars shine brightly at Eastern Mass. soccer showcase

CONCORD — For the second straight year, coaches and college scouts made the trek with well over 100 athletes to Concord-Carlisle School for the Eastern Mass. Soccer Coaches Association All-Star Games, which has rapidly transformed from a tight-knit showcase into an annual phenomenon.

Rather than one individual contest, the EMSCA opted to again go with a four-game format for parity, with some of the state’s premier talent playing in each direction you looked.

Two players were named US Soccer Coaches Association All-Americans, Concord-Carlisle’s own Brady Poor and Bruno DeSouza of Weymouth.

To his credit, DeSouza netted a pair of goals during the highly-anticipated Lennie Emmons All-Star Game, including the eventual game-clincher as Team Two defeated Team One, 4-2.

“Honestly, it’s amazing,” DeSouza said. “Never thought I would be in this situation. I feel great, had a great season, I’m proud.”

In addition to DeSouza and Poor, six athletes were selected as All-New England Players, with Jake Vana (St. John’s Prep), Brian Jones (Billerica), Erick Nunez (Somerville), Rex Cinelli (Franklin), Matt McAuliffe (Pembroke) and Gino Tripoli (Gloucester) each earning recognition.

For Hingham’s Ken Carlin, Friday morning provided an opportunity to participate in one final match. After managing Team Four to a 2-2 draw with Team Three during the Don Brock All-Star Game, the Harbormen coach was inducted into the EMSCA Hall of Fame along with Wilmington’s Steve Scanlon. The moment capped a career spanning over 25 years, with 323 wins to boot.

“One of my grandsons plays for the number one team in Austin, Texas,” said Carlin. “I have not seen him play, so I have to do that. My wife has been supporting me all these years, and now I’m going to take her and travel around the world. But I’ll still be around, I’m still interested. I leave this with mixed feelings. I know how the seniors feel when they play their last game now.”

After guiding Billerica to an 18-2-1 record and an appearance in the Div. 2 Elite Eight, John Vassallo was named the Massachusetts Coach of the Year (Large School). Ten others were named divisional coaches of the year, including Swampscott’s Adam Bailey, who took home honors for Div. 3. Thanks to goals from Reading’s Patrick Frank and Rockport’s Edward Merz, Bailey was able to coach Team Five to a 2-2 draw with Team Six in the Foster Cass All-Star Game.

“I’ve said this to many people,” said Bailey. “It really should be Team of the Year, because if those guys don’t execute, then what I’m doing doesn’t matter. I had a really good group this season.”

Charlie Curmi of Medfield and Wakefield’s Darragh Casey each tallied a goal and added an assist, leading Team Eight to a 5-4 win over Team Seven in the EMSCA All-Star Game to conclude the day.

EMSCA President Brian Mitchell is hopeful the events can continue in their current format for the foreseeable future.

“I think every year, we try to build upon what we’ve created,” Mitchell said. “With what some of the board members have done, I think we’re continuing to do that. They’ve done a good job. Beautiful day today. Sunny afternoon, and the boys played hard. It was four great games, four competitive games. I think everyone got out of it what they needed to.”

Bruno DeSouza of Weymouth, left, celebrates his goal with Tewksbury’s Ryan Cura during an Eastern Mass. Soccer Coaches Association All-Star game. (Staff Photo/Stuart Cahill/Boston Herald)



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