Boston City FC will play home games at Della Russo Stadium
Revere soccer fans have a new team to call its own.
The Boston City FC, a team made up of current Division 1 college soccer players and other elite players, will play its first home game versus Hartford FC on Saturday, May 4 at Harry Della Russo Stadium on Park Avenue.
Boston City has played its last three seasons at Malden Catholic High School. The team played one game at Della Russo Stadium during the 2017 season.
Michael Preston, communications director for the amateur team, said the organization developed a good working relationship with Mayor Brian Arrigo in its first three seasons.
“We used to train in the preseason on Revere Beach,” said Preston. “We’ve considered moving the team to Revere in the past and after discussions with the city, we decided to do that. Boston FC is now officially a Revere-based club.”
Preston also praised the stadium, calling it one of the premier soccer venues in the region.
“It’s a great facility,” said Preston, adding that the team will also practice four nights a week in Revere.
The stadium was built after the city secured a $2.72 million grant from the Gateway Parks program in 2014 under the leadership of then-Mayor Dan Rizzo.
“In 2011, prior to the 2012 election, I pledged to Revere Pop Warner, Revere High Head Football Coach Lou Cicatelli and his staff, along with others that if elected, I would make this long-overdue stadium facility a reality – and we fulfilled our promise,” said Rizzo.
“To know that teams, players, coaches, and fans from outside Revere recognize this amazing asset as an outstanding facility only further accentuates its value to our own kids, parents, and residents across this community. It was always meant to be something that we all could be proud of, and I believe it has become that.”
Chelsea star Bustamante is new Boston FC coach
Boston FC welcomes a new head coach, Michael Bustamante, a former Chelsea High School and Boston University soccer star who played professionally in the MLS. Bustamante is a Revere resident.
Bustamante has changed the approach of the team, deciding to add several current players from college teams, including BU and Northeastern, to the roster.
Boston FC will compete in an eight-team division in the National Premier Soccer League (NPSL), which is officially the fourth level of soccer in the United States. The MLS is considered No. 1.
“What we’re most proud of is that this is our fourth season and we’re still going strong,” said Preston. “A lot of teams come and go, which harms the sport. Our longevity is really important to us.”
Boston FC is owned by Renato Valentin, who owns and operates several Tavern in the Square Restaurants. The managing director is Craig Tornberg, a Revere resident who is the former general manager of the New England Revolution.
Preston stands for
soccer in Greater Boston
Michael Preston, 50, has become synonymous with soccer excellence in the area, helping elite players realize their dream of playing the game at its highest level.
A former sports journalist in his native England, Preston went on to work in public relations for the National Football League’s office in London. Preston worked at his 20th NFL Super Bowl in Atlanta in February, a game won by the New England Patriots.
Preston moved to the Boston area in 2002. “I came to Boston because my wife is from Massachusetts,” related Preston. He and his wife, Jen, and their four children live in Providence.
Preston also owns a public relations company and works with Global Football, a firm that specializes in transporting Division 3 college teams to Europe for tours and international exhibition games.