The Madison Park boys' soccer team (15-3) can hardly wait for the MIAA state tournament semifinal match against Somerville (18-0-2) Thursday; especially senior forward Edmilson Barros.
Because of a red card in the Cardinals' city league championship win against Boston International, the talented player had to sit out the first round and the quarterfinal. Thursday, he’s off the bench and back in the game.
Barros has his team to thank after it secured an exhilarating win Tuesday against Methuen. The Cardinals were down by one in the first half but pulled it together and scored five in the second, resulting in a 5-1 victory.
Barros joined his teammates in celebration at the end of the game with the assurance that he finally had the opportunity to play in the tournament.
“It is definitely exciting to have Edmilson back,” Madison Park coach Joao Gomes said. “He is a good player and a great young man. He was supportive of his teammates and they played hard when he was out which shows tremendous character of his team.”
Gomes said the game against second place in the state Somerville wont be easy, especially since the Cardinals suffered a 6-2 loss the last time they played the Highlanders. Madison Park has faced Somerville three times within the last year and has yet to pull off a win.
“They can score on you in the blink of an eye especially if you give them space,” Gomes said. “They are strong, physical and quick. However, we also know we can score on them.
“This will not be an easy game but we are ready to give it out best shot.”
Gomes naturally declined to share the Cardinals' game plan, but hinted it will be different from the last time they faced the Highlanders. One thing Somerville can expect is Madison’s secret weapon – Barros.
“We are not timid to play anybody,” Gomes said. “I trust my players and have confidence in their ability.”
“We are ready to upset Somerville.”
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