Junior Lone Star FC Announce 2018 NPSL Schedule
Stars to play 10-match NPSL regular-season schedule. Season Opener: May 12; Home Opener: May 26
PHILADELPHIA, Pa. (February 12, 2018) – Junior Lone Star FC, in conjunction with National Premier Soccer League (NPSL), today announced the Northeast Region alignment and the team’s schedule for the 2018 season.
The Northeast Region comprises of the North Atlantic Conference (11 clubs), the Keystone Conference (9 clubs), and the Mid-Atlantic Conference (6 clubs).
Junior Lone Star FC will again compete in the Keystone Conference for its 6th season. The conference will play a 10-game regular season schedule with the Stars playing both Buxmont Torch FC and West Chester United twice but the other six conference opponents only once.
On Saturday, May 12, the Stars begin their 2018 campaign on the road to Buxmont Torch FC at the Pennridge High School in Perkasie, PA.
The Stars are again back on the road the following weekend against one of the conference newcomers Atlantic City Football Club in the inaugural Benjamin Franklin Derby / Liberty Cup at the Stockton University in Galloway, NJ.
The Stars will then host their home opener on Memorial Day weekend (Saturday, May 26) against perennial powerhouse FC Motown Celtics at the Monsignor Bonner High School Stadium.
The next two matches are also at home against fierce local rivals West Chester United in the first leg of the Kildare’s Cup on Saturday, June 2 and then Buxmont Torch FC the following day on Sunday, June 3.
The Stars will be back on the road again on Saturday, June 9 with a long trip away to Electric City Shock in Scranton, PA before coming back home to host the other conference newcomers FC Monmouth on Saturday, June 16.
The Stars will make the short trip to fierce local rivals West Chester United for the second leg of the Kildare’s Cup mid-week on Wednesday, June 20 before taking a 10-day break.
The Stars will return to league action on Saturday, June 30 with a trip to last year conference’s finalists New Jersey Copa FC at the Saint John Vianney High School in Holmdel, NJ.
Junior Lone Star FC will then wrap up its 10-match regular season at home for the second consecutive year, welcoming Hershey FC on Saturday, July 2.
All home games at Monsignor Bonner High School are scheduled for 6 p.m.
As announced last month, the Stars will be led by club legend Fatoma Turay in just his first season as head coach.
Born in Koidu, Sierra Leone, Turay is one of Junior Lone Star FC’s most decorated players after making over 200 appearances for the Stars, including 44 appearances in the NPSL.
The 32-year old has a career with the club spanning 16 years (2002-2018) which included stints with the Academy, the Under-23s, and finally the First Team.
Turay also attended Wilmington University where he played for the Wildcats from 2006-09. During that period, he won several awards including being named on the 1st Team Daktronics All-Region, the 2nd Team NSCAA All-Region, All-American Honorable Mention, and All-CACC 1st Team. He finished his college career with 77 appearances, 20 assists, and a CACC title.
“We all know that the Keystone Conference will once again, arguably be the most competitive conference in the entire NPSL with the additions of newcomers Atlantic City FC and FC Monmouth as well as perennial powerhouses like FC Motown, West Chester United, and New Jersey Copa,” said Turay.
“Every club in our conference has been attracting top quality players from the collegiate and former pro ranks as we can see from all those players signings on social media from the likes of Hershey FC, Electic City Shock, etc so we are expecting to compete in some quality matches in the Keystone Conference once more and we are looking forward to qualifying for the playoffs this time around,” he further stated.
Last year, the Stars had a disappointing season finishing sixth in the eight-team conference with a 4-1-5 (W-D-L) record and missing a conference playoff berth by only two points.
The Stars have never qualified for post-season since they joined the NPSL in 2012; however, they will be looking to change that this season.
Like last year, the top four seeds in the Keystone will qualify for the playoffs. The top four seeds (#4 at #1, #3 at #2) will play on Wednesday, July 11 in the Conference Semifinals. The top remaining seed will host the Conference Final on Saturday, July 14.
The North Atlantic Conference Champions and the Mid-Atlantic Conference Champions along with the Keystone Conference champions and a wild card team will go to the Northeast Regional Semifinals on Wednesday, July 18. The wild card team will be one of the three conference finalists with the highest points per game (PPG) average during regular season. The highest seeds, based on PPG, will host the Northeast Regional Semifinals on Wednesday, July 18, and then the higher seed of the remaining winners will host the Northeast Regional Final on Saturday, July 21.
The Northeast Regional Champions will then advance to the NPSL National Semifinals where they will face one of the other three Regional Champions on Saturday, July 28 with the NPSL National Final slated for Saturday, August 5.
“We are excited about the 2018 NPSL season and the boys can’t wait to start pre-season training next month,” said Junior Lone Star FC President and Executive Director Paul Konneh.
“We had a very disappointing season last year so everyone of us, from the board level to the coaches and to the players, are rearing to start this season and make things right for ourselves and our wonderful fans this time around,” he further added.
First team players will be reporting for pre-season training camp scheduled for Monday, March 12 while pre-season matches will ne announced at a later date.
The full 2018 Junior Lone Star FC’s schedule is below:
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