LUDLOW, MA - When the New England Mutiny take the field for the 2019 season in the East Conference of United Women's Soccer (UWS), it will mark the 20th season for the club. One of the oldest women's soccer franchises in history will have a new home as the Mutiny will play its matches at the iconic confines of Gremio Lusitano Stadium in Ludlow, Massachusetts. The announcement of the club playing at Lusitano Stadium is the first step in a new partnership between two long-standing organizations in New England: the Western Mass Pioneers of USL League Two and the New England Mutiny of UWS.
The coming together of the groups will elevate the level of women's soccer in the region and provide a pathway to professional soccer for women in the area as the Mutiny and Western United Pioneers FC will operate under the same umbrella.
"We could not be more excited to have the New England Mutiny showcasing pre-professional women's soccer at their new home, the Gremio Lusitano Stadium," said Dennis Fialho, Vice President of Western United Pioneers Futebol Club. "The merger of the Western United Pioneers and Mutiny organizations, and the move to the stadium, further solidifies our commitment to soccer in this region. Best of all, it provides a building block for the community; a location where families come together and enjoy the beautiful game of soccer and each other's company. We have created an environment where boys and girls can watch a higher level of soccer live, meet players, and be motivated to develop through our club player path."
The New England Mutiny compete in the UWS East Conference. UWS is a national pro-am women's soccer league sanctioned by the United States Soccer Federation (USSF) and is the second-tier of women's soccer in the country. Three UWS players were selected in the NWSL professional draft this month and 34 players were signed to professional contracts with teams overseas this off-season. Several UWS players will see action in this year's FIFA Women's World Cup, including two current Mutiny players Allyson Swaby and Chantelle Swaby (Jamaica) and former goalkeeper Stephanie Labbe (Canada).
"I did not need to be sold on Lusitano Stadium as a venue for the New England Mutiny as most of my greatest memories as a player occurred on that field and events at Lusitano provide the greatest atmosphere bar none," said New England Mutiny Managing Director Joe Ferrara, Jr. "However, it was the excitement and passion for the women's team demonstrated by the new administration of the Pioneers that I anticipate will invigorate this franchise. I look forward to working with this administration to provide a team that girls in the area can aspire to play for in years to come."
"I am excited to bring women's soccer back to Gremio Lusitano Stadium," said Western Mass Pioneers President Celso Correia. "The Mutiny has always been one of the best teams in the nation and it will have the full support of our club."
The Mutiny season will begin in May and the team will share the 3,000-seat venue with the Western Mass Pioneers USL League Two men's team, which will begin its 21st season this Spring. Schedules for the upcoming season will be released next month at mutinysoccer.com, westernunitedpioneers.org and wmpioneers.com!