Lord Jeffs Hone Skills in United Soccer Leagues

Contact: Ben Badua


AMHERST, MA – Several Amherst men’s soccer student-athletes have returned to the pitch this summer, honing their skills in development leagues around the country. James Mooney ’12 (Princeton, NJ), Alejandro Sucre ’13 (Caracas, Venezuela) and Federico Sucre ‘13 (Caracas, Venezuela) are among those back in action, spending the coming months competing as members of the Western Mass Pioneers.

Founded in 1997 in Ludlow, MA and consisting of NCAA Division I, II and III players from around the country, the Western Mass Pioneers are an amateur men’s soccer team that plays in the Premier Developmental League, a division of the United Soccer Leagues (USL) – the largest collection of professional and amateur soccer leagues in the United States.

Mooney is coming off a tremendous junior campaign in which he ranked second on the team in points (21), goals (8) and assists (5) en route to second-team All-NESCAC honors and NSCAA All-New England Region accolades, while Alejandro and Federico Sucre each made the most of their appearances this season, giving the Lord Jeffs a much needed spark off the bench, combining for seven goals and a pair of helpers.

With the trio’s help, Amherst posted a 13-2-4 overall mark in 2010, making its fifth-consecutive (10th overall) appearance in the NCAA Tournament. The Jeffs, who dropped a decision to top-seeded Middlebury in the NESCAC Semifinals, opened NCAA championship play with wins over Plattsburgh St. (2-0) and St. Lawrence (3-2). Amherst would then earn a 1-1 draw with conference rival Bowdoin in the tournament’s third round before eventually falling in penalty-kicks (3-1), finishing the season ranked 10th nationally.

Also on the pitch this summer are Chris Lerner ’13 (Canton, MA), Julien Aoyama ’14 (Narberth, PA) and Chris Nelson ’13 (Roseland, NJ) who will be playing for the MPS Bulldogs, Lower Merion and Ironbound Soccer clubs, respectively, in the USL’s Super Y & Super-20 Leagues. Lerner dished out three assists as a reserve midfielder in 2010, while Aoyama netted six points on two goals and two assists.

Begun in 1999, the Super Y-League is dedicated to the progression of future professional players. Averaging 700 teams since 2004, the Super Y-League has steered the course for development of elite clubs, players and coaches. Affiliated with US Soccer, the Super Y-League ODP Program has opened countless doors for players to be identified for U.S. National Team Programs and contains the youth academies of Major League Soccer clubs, USL PRO clubs, Premier Development League and W-League clubs.