: Zalgiris Bio

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Zalgiris Soccer was founded in 1987 by Albert ( Al ) Grudzinskas Jr., JD.

Coach Grudzinskas resume with soccer in the Northeast region is top notch and includes the following:

  • Selector for the MLS
  • Ast. General Manager for USISL team
  • Ast. Coach USISL team
  • ODP Regional Coach
  • State ODP Coach
  • District Select Coach
  • Nichols College Men’s Coach
  • Oxford High School Varsity Boys Coach

Zalgiris is Lithuanian for "Pine Grove".  Coach Grudzinskas was proud of his Lithuanian heritage thus he chose the name Zalgiris as the teams name, the colors were based on the Lithuanian flag ( red, yellow, green ) and the Lithuanian knight he chose as the teams symbol.

Coach Grudzinskas turned Zalgiris into one of the top Semi-Professional teams in the northeast region. Coach Grudziskas started Zalgiris with many local young players during Zalgiris early years and later blended them with talented international  and/or experienced veteran players from the northeast. The team competed  many years in the M.U.S.L , attended numerous prestigious soccer tournaments, including the US Open Soccer Cup and won many select tournaments throughout the east coast. The team competed in various indoor soccer leagues during the off season and did not lose an indoor game for 222 consecutive games over a 6 year period. Some indoor venues did not allow Zalgiris to return to there league because of there great success on the soccer field.

In 1994 Zalgiris lost in the finals of the North American Indoor Championships only to return a year later in 1995 to be crowned North American Indoor Champions defeating teams from USA, Canada, and Mexico.

Zalgiris disbanded in 1998 after 11 successful years of soccer. Although the team disbanded the former players of Zalgiris continue to contribute to the soccer in the northeast region. As listed below former Zalgiris players have impacted the youth soccer player in many ways as well as achieved great success on there own.

Former Zalgiris soccer players have gone onto accomplish the following:

  • Play professional soccer in the MSL and USISL
  • Coach College and/or High School Varsity teams
  • Become President/Owner of a soccer premier/club
  • Become Director of player development for Premier/Club teams
  • Conduct summer camps, over night camps, and clinics through out New England
  • Win NCAA National Championships
  • Become USSF and NSCAA certified coaches

 Two former players, Markens Benoit and Jason Gaumond, have brought back Zalgiris, with the blessing of Coach Grudzinskas, as Zalgiris Soccer Academy. The new Zalgiris will teach the passion of the game to the youth players as Coach Grudzinskas did.

As for Coach Grudzinskas he is currently UMass Assistant Professor of Psychiatry in Law and Assistant Coordinator of Law and Psychiatry for Legal Studies. His research interests include mental health issues in criminal trial practice, expert testimony, involuntary commitment, and substance abuse. Coach Grudzinskas still has passion for the game  of soccer as well.