HAMPTON, NH – As the club prepares for the 2021 season, the Seacoast United Phantoms have appointed Paul Baber and Alex Ryan as coaches and Andrew Pesci as Goalkeeper coach for the USL 2 Team.
Paul Baber comes to SUSC with a wealth of experience having managed or coached both the Cape Cod Crusaders in the Premier Development League (PDL) from 2003-2008 (2003 National Champions and 2005-2008 Conference Champions) and the GPS Portland Phoenix USL 2 Team from 2010-2019 (Finishing 1st or 2nd in the Division all but 2 seasons). Baber holds his USSF A License and NSCAA Premier Diploma and joined SUSC full-time as of July 2020.
Alex Ryan is very well recognized within the Seacoast Family, having spent over 5 years full time with the club. Prior to that, Ryan played PDL for the Phantoms for three consecutive seasons during his collegiate playing days, and played a pivotal part in the Phantoms division title and playoff run in 2015. Alex then served as Head Coach for the Phantoms in the 2017 NPSL campaign, and also assistant coach for the PDL in 2018. Alex has coached within the Seacoast United academy program for the past 3 years and is currently head coach for U15 and U16 teams in the MLS Next.
Andrew Pesci is currently the Director of Goalkeeping at Seacoast United and works directly with all age group, boys and girls, including the MLS Next and Girls Academy. He was an Ex- Collegiate goalkeeper at the University of New Hampshire (UNH) and holds the school record for most shutouts in a season with 13. He also has won a National Championship with Southern New Hampshire University back in 2013 as a player and also previously played for the Seacoast Phantoms during the time of PDL.
“Alex and I are extremely excited for the upcoming season,” said head coach Paul Baber. "We are looking forward to coaching some of the best players within the New England area, while also bringing in some top college athletes from across the country.”
“One of the first things we spoke about was the integration of the SUSC Academy players and the addition of the USL Academy program. We want our Academy players to be involved in the USL 2 setup and show them a pathway to support their growth” said Baber.
“The addition of the USL Academy program will mean we will play a handful of games this summer against other New England based USL Academy sides. USL Academy League teams are single elite youth teams, geared towards our top players within the U15 to U19 age range, with limits on the number of players allowed in each age band.” added Baber.
““We are very excited about hosting our home games in Epping and utilizing all our fantastic facilities.” noted Ryan “Epping has always been seen as the home of Seacoast United and will allow us to create an exciting game day environment and also engage with our SU families and community. To have our younger players be able to watch the USL team train on a daily basis and idolize them is a fantastic motivator for the kids. We will have a lot of players this year who have come through the Seacoast United system and speaks volumes of the job both former and current coaches have done with the program” said Alex.
The Phantoms will look to contend for the Northeast Division but will have strong competition from AC Connecticut, Black Rock (CT), Western MA Pioneers, Boston Bolts (MA), and newcomers FC Malaga City (NY).
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