Decorated Mobile-area coach Ruben Risco will join AFC Mobile as an assistant coach for the 2017 Gulf Coast Premier League summer season.
Risco, a Mobile native, is a staple of the city’s soccer community. He has been Mobile United’s Director of Coaching since December, 2015. Before that, he was successful as McGill-Toolen Catholic High School’s varsity boys head coach and as an assistant with the St. Paul’s Episcopal School varsity boys. Risco also coached in Florida with the FC Dallas Emerald Coast academy and as the Choctawhatchee High School varsity girls coach.
“I’m excited for the city, for the soccer community. and for myself, now being asked to assist Coach Nate,” Risco said. “I couldn’t be more happy and proud for the club and for the city.”
During his playing career, Risco scored a school record 34 goals for McGill-Toolen during the 2001 season. He played college soccer at Spring Hill College from 2001 to 2002 and at the University of Mobile from 2003 to 2006. Risco also played two seasons in the Premier Development League with the Lafayette Swampcats in 2004 and Coco Express in 2006.
“I think as first assistant, and speaking with Nate, he just wants me to be an extra set of eyes for the game and training sessions,” Risco said. “I’ve been coaching now 10 years and at different levels–youth, high school–and as a player in the PDL level and being coached [at that level], it’s really going to help me to help Coach Nate see something else.”
Head coach Nate Nicholas succeeded Risco as the head coach at McGill-Toolen in 2014. The two have also coached together at Mobile United, a local youth club.
“I knew of his player quality and I’ve seen him coach,” Nicholas said. “He does a lot of the things well that are maybe not my strengths. He’s a little bit different, sees things at a different angle, and I think it’s always good to have people with you who can look at a situation a different way.”
Nicholas and Risco will take to the sideline this Sunday night, May 14, as AFC Mobile takes on the Gulf Coast Texans in the club’s first ever competitive match. Kickoff is at 7 p.m. at the Archbishop Lipscomb Athletic Complex. Single games tickets are $5. Season passes and game tickets can be purchased at www.afcmobile.net