Pirates Headed To Playoffs

The Panama City Beach Pirates cemented their place in the PDL Playoffs last Saturday in a 2-0 home win over Schulz Academy. In just their second year as members of the league, the Pirates 28 points has them seated second in the Southeast Division with two games remaining until the postseason. With a record of 9-2-1, Panama City Beach has only fallen to conference rival Ocala, and is a team growing in confidence.

The Pirates’ success has undoubtedly come from the team’s defensive ability. Allowing only nine goals this season, Panama City Beach is just one of seven teams left with less than 10 goals against. Led by returning center backs, Taian Souza and Drew Russell, the Pirates’ back four has only grown more solid as the season passed on, posting huge away shutouts against Orlando City and the Mississippi Brilla. A key to their success however, was the man in between the sticks, keeper Sean Lewis. Putting in repeated consistent performances, where 1-on-1 saves became a regular, Lewis owned his penalty box and all opponents who ventured in it.

It’s not just defending that propelled the Pirates to their series of close victories, but goals from all sources. The surprise leader of the team in scoring with just three goals, captain Taian Souza tallies directed won two games. Of the 17 goals Panama City Beach have scored on the season, 10 different players have hit the back of the net, leaving opponents with no grasp of where the next goal might come from. An unspoken yet understood desire to succeed from each player on the Pirates has paid off in goals when needed, from any and all sources.

With seven of their nine wins coming by a single goal, the Pirates have made their season off close calls. A combination of “Catenaccio” defending and the “Fergie time” play of Manchester United, Panama City Beach has developed an ability to grind out victories, pushing out repeated clutch performances. In their seven single-goal victories, five game-winners have come in the final 10 minutes of play. Leaving fans on the edge of their seat, however, seems to be a formula for their amazing success. The Pirates not only have firmly taken their postseason spot, but also battled to a top 15 spot in the nation.

Head Coach Greg Devito saw the Pirates’ triumphs as a result of hard work, saying, “For the playoffs this year it took a lot of discipline, a good training mentality, a lot of organization on the field, and everybody’s collective effort in matches was the only way to get it done.”
Devito sees a common theme between his players, attributing it as their recipe for success.

“One of the key ingredients was everyone’s desire to achieve a goal, and that was a result, three points, from the beginning of the game all the way to the final whistle,” he said. “Whether it be in the 94th minute or 10 minutes from time, or whatever, everyone was going to work towards one conceivable goal, which was a win and that’s what made it special. Whether or not we’re better individually in certain areas of the field is questionable, but I think as a group we’re the best team in conference and hopefully more.”

While many may find the Pirates set of narrow victories as a form of destiny, the team warrants a closer look. Built on self-belief and dogged determination, Panama City Beach has earned their place and is a difficult team for any to handle in the upcoming playoffs. The Pirates set off on their final regular season road trip this weekend, facing off against IMG Bradenton (July 19th) and VSI Tampa (July 21st), hoping to end on a high note before heading to Austin, Texas for the regional finals July 24th and 25th. For more information on the Pirates, go to www.panamacitybeachpirates.com or like us on Facebook at www.facebook.com/PanamaCityBeachPirates.

Stampede sink Pirates 2-0

Monday, June 3, 2013

PANAMA CITY BEACH, Fla. — The Panama City Beach Pirates fell 2-0 to the Ocala Stampede, taking their first loss of the season Sunday night at Mike Gavlak Stadium. After an aggressive start to the game, the Pirates found themselves a goal down against the run of play just 11 minutes in, with Ocala tacking on a second goal in the 58th minute to double their advantage.

The Pirates appeared the aggressor of the two teams early on, weaving the ball through the midfield and creating several half chances. In the seventh minute, the Pirates worked the ball wide where some quick feet from forward Nasser Chariff saw him drive to the goal line before whipping in a cross. Ocala’s goalkeeper LexCraggs easily handled the cross and danger was cleared.

In the 11th minute, a simple play through the Stampede’s midfield resulted in a cross from the right flank. A floated ball found its way back post where it fell to a wide open Jack Bailey. The Ocala forward calmly took a touch and slid the ball past a defenseless Sean Lewis in goal, giving an early 1-0 advantage to the Stampede.

With both teams playing in their second game in 48 hours, weary legs led to some sloppy passing in the midfield from each side. In the 33rd minute, a long ball from Ocala put Pirates right back Ryan Rogers on his heels. Running with his back to goal, Rogers could only manage a toe on the ball pushing it toward Lewis in the Ocala goal. Assuming the ball had been deflected, Lewis picked up the ball to play, and a whistle blew as the referee awarded an indirect kick just 14 yards out. Ocala couldn’t capitalize on the chance as the kick was rocketed well over the crossbar, leaving the ‘keeper untested.

A slip up from the Pirates backline put a dash on their hopes of a second-half comeback. After starting off the half strong, a weak pass across the back line was picked off by Ocala’s Kyle Brietmayer, who took advantage of the mistake, driving his way into the penalty area where he smartly finished with his left foot, doubling Ocala’s lead in the 58th minute.

The Pirates attempted to battle their way back into the game, however play became frantic and the game was truly stretched. Direct play resulted in the Pirates’ best chance of the game. Following a cleared free kick, Panama City Beach left back Andrew Beasley sent a hopeful ball to the edge of the penalty area. A flicked header fell to Taian de Souza, who set the ball for an on-running Calvin Maques 12 yards out. Marques couldn’t keep the shot on target and the 88th-minute miss was the Pirate’s last hope.

The Pirates now must look to bounce back from their season’s first defeat, facing their next opponent IMG Bradenton Academy. Kickoff is set for Saturday at 7:15 p.m. CT at Mike Gavlak Stadium in Panama City Beach, Fla. For more information go to www.panamacitybeachpirates.com or like us on Facebook at www.facebook.com/PanamaCityBeachPirates.

Pirates grab late victory with Marques

Pirates vs Bradenton

Marques nets winner in stoppage time

PANAMA CITY BEACH, Fla. — The Panama City Beach Pirates took a 1-0 win against IMG Bradenton Academics in a late thriller Friday night at Mike Gavlak Stadium. Calvin Marques scored the game-winning goal in the final minute of stoppage time, moving the Pirates into a tie for first place in the Southeast Division.

After a scoreless opening 80 minutes, the final 10 minutes of the game proved thrilling, with neither team content to finish tied. The breakthrough finally came in stoppage time as the Pirates put in one last effort for victory. Robert Russell pushed his way up the left before finding Taian de Souza in the center of the park. De Souza in turn sent a pass into the feet of Seth Prieto on the edge of the penalty area, and he stretched to control but could only toe-poke a pass on to an onrushing Marques. The midfielder’s effort deflected and looped toward goal, over a backpeddling goalkeeper and into the net. With just seconds left Bradenton couldn’t muster a response as the Pirates secured all three points.

Panama City Beach (3-1-0) had come out the aggressors of the two teams early on. Within the first 15 minutes the Pirates were finding half-chances, but the opportunities went begging. In the 11th minute, forward Nasser Chariff cleverly wove his way into a dangerous position just outside the penalty area where his snap shot ballooned high and wide of the Bradenton goal. A second chance fell to Andrew Beasley a minute later. After combining well with Matt Raines, Beasley was played in on goal, but a poor first touch left him scrambling for the ball from which he could only manage to earn a corner kick. The remainder held little excitement as both teams struggled to figure each other out, leaving the game scoreless.


The second half was more open, as Bradenton (1-3-0) pushed to earn a full three points. Finding a rhythm in the game, IMG began creating chances and earned a free kick 35 yards out on the left in the 64th minute. The ball was whipped in with pace and caught out the Pirates’ defense, but an offside flag ruled out a beautiful near-post flick guided into the top-right corner, keeping the score level.

In the 80th minute, Bradenton had its best chance of the game fall to forward Diego Medina-Mendez in a one-on-one opportunity against Pirates goalkeeper Sean Lewis. A turnover in the midfield resulted in a lightning-quick counter from IMG, sending Medina-Mendez in on goal. Lewis sprinted out of his net, rapidly closing down Medina-Mendez’s angle and smothering his shot as he tried to flick a finish home. The save proved key as Marques’ late finish earned victory for the Pirates.


The Panama City Beach Pirates will now hope to ride the momentum of a last second victory in their upcoming game against the SW Florida Adrenaline. Kickoff is set for Saturday, May 15 at 7:15 p.m. CT at Mike Gavlak Stadium. For more information go to www.panamacitybeachpirates.com or like us on Facebook at www.facebook.comPanamaCityBeachPirates.

Pirates pick up dominant road victory

JACKSONVILLE — The Panama City Beach Pirates put together a dominating collective performance Sunday.

The Pirates scored three goals in a game for the second time this season, and the team’s defense largely shut down the FC Jax Destroyers in a 3-1 road victory in a Premier Development League men’s soccer game.

PCB closed within five points of Southeast Division leader Ocala and improved to 6-3-2 with 20 points. The Pirates also edged past Orlando City U23 into third place in the league. FC Jax slipped to 1-8-3 with six points.

The Pirates hadn’t scored three goals in a game since June 10 when they posted a 3-0 win over VSI Tampa. PCB has allowed a league-low seven goals and has outscored its opponents 16-7 this year.

The Pirates have five games remaining, including a pair of looming contests against Ocala. PCB hosts Orlando in an important showdown this Friday at the Mike Gavlak Sports Complex at 7 p.m.

Original Article Posted on NewsHerald.com:

PCB Pirates try for 3rd straight win

No growing pains here.

With two victories in three games following their reincarnation, the Panama City Beach Pirates are off to a promising start in the Premier Development League and find themselves within striking distance of the top teams in the PDL’s Southeast Division.

The Pirates can record a third straight win Sunday in Jacksonville against the FC Jax Destroyers in a game set to kick off at 3:30 p.m. CDT. PCB is 2-1 with six points overall, and the Destroyers have been held winless and pointless through four games.

PCB defeated each of its previous two opponents via shutout and two-goal margins. The Pirates followed similar paths to victory in each of those games. They got out to slow starts against IMG Bradenton and Fort Lauderdale, but goals tallied late in the first half in those contests paved the way to victory.

Pirates goalkeeper Jeremy Crumpton has stopped 16 shots and allowed just one goal in three games. He was steady in his team’s two victories, netting eight saves against Bradenton and three more against Fort Lauderdale. PCB’s defense was improved against Fort Lauderdale and held the division rival to few scoring opportunities.

PCB currently is tied with Mississippi Brilla for fifth place in the Southeast Division, but Mississippi has needed two additional games to match the Pirates’ six points in the standings. PCB has played fewer games than anyone in the division. Two teams tied for first-place with 11 points, Orlando City U23 and IMG Bradenton, have played five and seven games, respectively.

Credits: Article originally posted on NewsHerald.com

Pirates Feel Good About Start to PDL Season

The area’s P-D-L soccer team, the Panama City Beach Pirates, is off to a pretty strong start this season,

Two wins, a loss and a tie in it’s first four matches, with the two wins both 2-0 victories on the home pitch at Gavlak.

Those victories coming against Bradenton and Fort Lauderdale. The lone loss was the first match on the road in Orlando, then yesterday the team played Jacksonville to a scoreless tie. Monday night I spoke with the team’s coach about this opening four match stretch.

“Yeah yeah, we’re feeling good about things right now.” says Greg DeVito, Pirates head coach. “We definitely responded to the loss in our first match of the season playing a man down for most of that match. Then we recovered well, bounced back with two home wins in a row. The Panama City Beach fans really enjoyed our home performances, leading to good results. The were really the support we need to put us over the hump and receive our first two wins of the season.”

The Pirates are back on the road this weekend for a match at Bradenton Friday, then Tampa Sunday. Then it’s back home to Gavlak for 3 straight on the 15th, 17th and 20th of June.

Bay United Soccer Hosts Cinco de Mayo Tournament & PCB Pirates Come Visit

It was a special day for youth soccer stars at Bay United’s Cinco de Mayo Tournament. The semi-pro soccer team Panama City Beach Pirates played soccer with the kids and signed some autographs. The Pirates play in the United States Soccer League, a development league for the best players in the country.

The guys are from all over the country, and even all over the world. The guys agree working with the kids is one of their favorite things to do.

“I know whenever I was a young little kid, I looked up to some of the players that I met,” says Lance Nelson, who’s originally from Niceville and played collegiate soccer at West Florida. “Some of these guys might go on to big a big star, so you never know who you’re gonna meet if you come to the games.”

“I have younger brothers myself so teaching them new things is really a good feeling in seeing them succeed,” says Kambale Malekani, who is originally from the Democratic Republic of Congo, but has lived in the United States and played soccer for several teams for five years. “We’re just looking forward to that- being a good example for the kids.”

The Pirates first home game of the year is May 27th, and all home games are played at Mike Gavlak Stadium at Arnold High School.

Credits: Article Originally posted on WMBB.com