Dutra continues soccer journey

Filipe Dutra, of Naugatuck, has signed with Boston City FC, a professional soccer club that plays in the National Premier Soccer League. -CHRIS ADUAMA

Former Naugatuck Greyhound Filipe Dutra was looking to play collegiate soccer for Post University but along the way wound up signing a professional contract to play for Boston City FC of the National Premier Soccer League.

Dutra, a former All-NVL defender at Naugatuck High, traveled to Malden, Mass. on the outskirts of Boston last season for a tryout and impressed team officials so much they signed him knowing he wouldn’t be able to play until he turned 18 years old, which was after last season.

Dutra, who has also played for the Connecticut Rush, managed to make his Boston City debut in a friendly match against the New England Revolution but wasn’t able to play for the team competitively.

“I was looking to play in college for Post University,” Dutra said. “Then this opportunity came along when my uncle told me about this tryout. I’m still looking to go to college but for now I’m just excited to be playing for a professional team.”

Dutra re-signed back in December for the 2017 season. He is being looked at as a key figure on a defensive unit that led Boston City (10-5-2) to the playoffs last year and second in the Northeast Atlantic Conference.

Dutra’s defensive abilities were apparent with the Greyhounds as he helped the team to three-straight NVL titles and a 51-4-6 record during his time at Naugatuck on a defense that allowed just 34 goals in 61 games.

“Filipe is one of the most talented young players I have ever seen,” said Boston City head coach Jorge Ferreira da Silva, a former Brazilian professional soccer player commonly known as Palhinha. “We are excited to see him in action for Boston City this season.

“He had to wait to come into our first team because he wasn’t old enough. He will bring even more strength to our defense and at midfield. For such a young player, he is very composed and is now ready to play at this level.”

Boston City plays its home games at Brother Gilbert Stadium on the campus of Malden Catholic High School just outside of Boston. The club drew 927 fans to its season-opener last year. The 16-man roster consists of players from Brazil and Haiti along with several players from the Boston area.

The season begins at the end of April. The league will send out the official schedule for the nine-team circuit at the end of February.

“I’m proud to be coming back and continuing my journey at Boston City,” Dutra said. “I’m looking to come out strong this year with a strong motivational mentality and show that I can become an important player for the team.”

Dutra said playing for former Naugatuck head soccer coach Art Nunes prepared him for this next step on the pitch.

“After playing for coach Nunes I’m more confident in my skills and more knowledgeable about the game itself,” he said. “I’m very fortunate for the opportunity that Boston City has given me and I’m looking forward to being the best I can be.”