The Mack Report

Evan Burokas Signs With Western Mass. Pioneers

Former men’s soccer midfielder Evan Burokas (Auburn, Mass.) is returning to the professional soccer ranks after inking a three-year contract with the Western Massachusetts Pioneers Professional Soccer Club.

A 2012 alum, Burokas will be joining his third professional team since graduating in 2012 from Merrimack. His addition to the Pioneers comes during the franchise’s first season in the American Soccer League (ASL), which will debut later this month as a USASA sanctioned league.

“I am humbled and delighted to finally make my life-long dream a reality,” Burokas remarked. “I have my family and many friends to thank, most importantly Tony Martone and the Merrimack College Men’s Soccer program for contributing to my progression throughout my career.”

His signing with Western Mass. is yet another stop on what has been a whirlwind of a young professional playing career. After graduating in 2012, Burokas was offered a spot with the Worcester Hydra, a semi-pro team based in Worcester, Massachusetts, and also had an opportunity to play abroad in England the upcoming fall in Leeds, England.

After five games with the Hydra, he suffered a season-ending knee injury and missed out on the chance to play across the pond. Upon recovery he signed for the semi-pro Western Mass. Pioneers based in Ludlow, Massachusetts, and has played there for two seasons. Despite suffering another injury this summer, Burokas has spent time rehabbing and plans to make his debut with the Pioneers when they debut in the ASL this year.

The Pioneers play in Lusitano Stadium in Ludlow, a 3000-seat stadium built in 1918, and they were founded in 1997. In 2005, they claimed the regular season title, were USL Second Division finalists, and hosted the National Championship match. In 2010 they joined the PDL, to focus on developing future professional soccer players. In 2011, the Pioneers created an U-20 team, which was designated to play in the Super-20 League. And finally, in 2014 the Pioneers launched a professional soccer team to compete in the American Soccer League (ASL). The Pioneers also operate numerous youth camps throughout western Massachusetts.