Boca Raton FC settling into NPSL groove

After dominating the APSL, the Florida club has quickly adjusted to stiffer competition.
Boca Raton FC

Photo credit: Boca Raton FC

Snagging six points across two matches in the NPSL is hardly child’s play, even on a home stand. And when you’re the new kid on the block in an established league, doing so on the road is damn near cause for celebration.

Boca Raton FC did just that after dropping its first two matches of the season. One-goal losses to Miami United and Kraze United to start its inaugural NPSL campaign left the club feeling competitive and on the verge of turning the corner; it didn’t take long before the team did.

Back-to-back road wins at Beaches FC and Naples United quickly shot Boca Raton up to the middle of the table in the seven-team NPSL South Sunshine Conference Division. With both victories coming by two goals, the performances also improved the club’s goal differential to +2 through four matches.

Boca Raton FC

Image credit: NPSL.com

But Boca Raton’s success shouldn’t come as much of a surprise. The club had already established a winning culture before making the jump to the NPSL. Its past success helped prepare the team for greener pastures.

“Boca Raton and our president Douglas Heizer had a very smart, slow growth plan,” Boca Raton FC director of communication Kartik Krishnaiyer said on the Soc Takes Pod. “Just play at kind of a grassroots level at first. Develop a little bit of a following in 2015. Play in a local league, APSL. We won that league in 2015. We won that league in 2016 (trophy pictured above). Now make the jump to NPSL.”

Athirson, a former Juventus player and head coach of Boca Raton FC, certainly has enough firepower to keep the team playing at a high level. Brazilian forward Bruno Militz, Aussie defender Justin Wilbanks and Colombian midfielder Shadi Harb have helped lead the club so far, with the latter fresh off a brace in the team’s 3-1 win over Naples.

Consider it a jolly coincidence that an international city is stocked with ample international talent.

“Boca Raton is a beautiful city,” Krishnaiyer added. “It’s on the water. It’s about 20 miles north of Ft. Lauderdale International Airport where you get flights from Dubai, London and South America. Emirates flies from Ft. Lauderdale. British Airways flies from Ft. Lauderdale. So we are an international destination.”

Boca Raton FC will look to keep its fine NPSL form alive tonight on the road against the Jacksonville Armada U-23 side. Kickoff is set for 7 p.m. ET at Patton Park Stadium Field and the match can be streamed live via SportsmeshTV.

You can follow Kevin on Twitter @KJboxing.

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