What is the Forgotten Coast Cup? Non League America has called it the “realest developing rivalry in American soccer.” Port City FC (formerly “Biloxi City FC”) and AFC Mobile began a somewhat neighborly but also bitter rivalry in 2017 when PCFC came to Mobile and won 2-1 on a stoppage-time winner by Trevor Aires. That game included three red cards for Port City, a coach ejection, and some bitter play on both sides of the ball. When AFC Mobile traveled to Gulfport later in the season, they pulled out their first and only win of their inaugural season with a 4-2 victory. This weekend, after a delay due to Tropical Storm Alberto, both teams head back to the pitch with new players, one with a new name, and both with one goal for their supporters: beat the other club mercilessly.
CLUB: Port City FC
NICKNAME: The Sounders; PCFC
Port City FC, much like AFC Mobile, is an ambitious club. They were the first non-Louisiana team to join the GCPL and had a decent amount of success in their early years. The club has yet to make the playoffs, but along with Pensacola FC — who they tied earlier this season — PCFC is considered one of the favorites to make the playoffs in a stacked GCPL Eastern Conference. Currently in third place in the East, and only by the third tie-breaker of goals scored, Port City will be looking to get a win over their bitter Mobilian rivals, which would also potentially push them over Pensacola and the Rangers to the top of the Eastern Conference table.
PLAYERS TO WATCH: For Port City, Patrick Harrison has been a stalwart. One of the best and most consistent players in GCPL for the better part of three seasons, Harrison has made the All-GCPL team in successive years. With the Gulfport club, his importance cannot be measured on the scorecard alone. This year, however, the player most people will become most aware of is Jordan Hall. A left-footed striker from Manchester, England, Hall spent last season playing for Mississippi Gulf Coast Community College where he was named an NSCAA All-American for his 28 goals and 12 assists over 18 games for MGCCC. This fall, Hall will be heading off to Rutgers to play NCAA D1 soccer. As of this moment, Hall is sitting on four goals and five assists for the Sounders and will be looking to continue this form on the left side of the attack. But Port City’s plethora of playmakers is not finished with there, they also feature the GCPL’s third all-time leading goal scorer in Michael Cooper. Cooper, who scored the decisive goal in the GCPL Cup Final for Gaffa FC last season, has returned to Gulfport and will be looking to further add to his already impressive GCPL goal tally.
The club can be found on Facebook and Twitter at @PortCityFC and its website, www.portcityfc.com.