Josh Partal burst onto the Maine soccer scene last fall.
He had a memorable freshman season for the Bangor High School boys soccer team, scoring 12 goals and earning All-State accolades from the Maine Soccer Coaches Association. He was the only freshman to earn a spot on the Class A North or South team.
He was also a Kennebec Valley Athletic Conference Class A second team selection.
Partal won’t be returning to Bangor this fall, and is instead transferring to Milton Academy in Milton, Massachusetts. He will play for Milton Academy this fall, and then will be joining the New England Revolution’s Under-17 team after the season ends. His goal is to earn a Division I scholarship and eventually play pro soccer.
Milton Academy is just 16 miles from the Major League Soccer team’s academy in Foxborough, Massachusetts.
“This is a really exciting opportunity,” said Partal, who can be an attacking midfielder or a center midfielder.
He said attending a school that offers a great academic regimen as well as high-level sports and being so close to the Revs’ academy is a “perfect fit for me.”
Partal’s relationship with the Revs began in August 2021, when he attended one of their tryout camps.
He was later invited to play in a tournament in California with the Revs’ Under-15 team.
Partal impressed them to the point he joined the academy for the second semester of his freshman year and he did his schooling online while practicing with the team.
Partal said being away from his family forced him to become independent and self-driven, and that was valuable.
“I also learned the importance of building relationships with my teammates and I will continue that at Milton Academy,” Partal said.
The Under-15 team played in a pair of prestigious tournaments in Frisco, Texas, in April and June before he returned home for the month of July.
He trained with the Revs’ Under-17 team last month.
“The level of soccer is really high. It is going to be great to get back there this coming year,” said Partal, who is also looking forward to playing for Milton Academy this fall. He left for Milton on Sunday.
The son of George and Amy Partal played for the Seacoast United club program growing up, and said one of the most valuable mentors behind his development was Pete McDonnell, who has since left to work at MLS team Minnesota United’s academy.
Partal said he wants to become a well-rounded player.
“I want to be comfortable with the ball and I want to keep working on my technical abilities,” he said.
He said there are great coaches at all levels at the Revs’ Academy and he has learned a lot about the game as well as learning what it takes to be a great teammate and leader.
But Partal won’t forget his roots.
He said Bangor was a “great place” for his family to get immersed into the soccer community.
“I feel fortunate to have my family and friends in Bangor support me the whole way through his process,” he said.