Category: Press Release

AFC Mobile to Participate in NPSL Pilot Program

Mobile, Alabama – July 2nd, 2020 – AFC Mobile will participate in the National Premier Soccer League’s U-19 pilot program.

 

“The introduction of a U-19 pilot under the NPSL umbrella represents our commitment to grassroots soccer and supporting our teams’ growth potential.” NPSL Chairman Kenny Farrell said. “This new venture positions our clubs to further refine the local pathway to the top level of soccer in their area. Players from all backgrounds will have access to a highly visible platform to showcase their talent – particularly in geographic areas where opportunities are limited.  By giving players a legitimate local option to advance, it keeps them engaged with soccer at an affordable cost for families. The U-19 pilot will give NPSL teams the chance to develop their own academies or build relationships with existing programs.”

 

The pilot program will fall under the management of the NPSL and will be affiliated with the United States Adult Soccer Association (USASA). The participating teams include AFC Mobile, New Orleans Jesters, Pensacola FC and Port City FC. 

 

The pilot will run from September through November.  Each team will play a total of six games, three home and three away.    

 

The gameday roster will consist of U-17, U-18, and U-19 players along with up to three overage players. The U-19 pilot program will give AFC Mobile Academy members the opportunity to train with the senior team. 

 

“The NPSL U-19 pilot is a perfect representation of what the teams in our conference want from their academies: a direct relationship with a pathway to our senior team,” AFC Mobile co-owner Sean Landry said. “It’s exciting that the NPSL is providing  new and challenging developmental opportunities for the young players in Mobile, on the Gulf Coast, and, hopefully soon, throughout the country.”

 

AFC Mobile’s U-19 team will be managed by first team head coach Steve Wieczorek. Wieczorek led AFC Mobile to the GCPL Cup playoffs in 2019 and has recently been named the Technical Director of the newly formed AFC Mobile Academy. He is also the current head coach at Spring Hill College. 

 

Those interested in playing for AFC Mobile’s U-19 team should contact the club at information@afcmobile.net

 

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AFC Mobile Announces Formation of AFC Mobile Academy

Mobile, Alabama – May 13, 2020 – AFC Mobile, Mobile’s minor league soccer team, will form a youth soccer academy, beginning Fall 2020. The AFC Mobile Academy will develop soccer players of all ages in Mobile and the surrounding areas through a unified system of coaches, teams, and training philosophies. Working with the community of Mobile and utilizing relationships throughout the country, the AFC Mobile Academy will strive to create opportunities for young players, while building a community of passionate and knowledgeable soccer players and people.

“This is a step we’ve been talking about for a few years, but we wanted to make sure we could execute our vision and do things the right way,” said AFC Mobile board member Sean Landry. “The AFC Mobile Academy will enable us to dedicate ourselves to producing the next generation of AFC Mobile players and supporters. We’re committed to producing players who are passionate and knowledgeable about the game and their community. Our academy will be transparent and cohesive, part of one club with one philosophy from our youngest players to our oldest. Today’s announcement is the first step on a long path that we hope will lead to the continued growth of the game in and around Mobile.”

The AFC Mobile Academy intends to field teams in the Fall of 2020 and will be open to both boys and girls. The Academy’s first group of teams will be built with the players and coaches of the former Mobile Texans youth club, a satellite club of the Pensacola-based Gulf Coast Texans.

AFC Mobile head coach Steve Wieczorek will head the project as the academy’s Technical Director. Former Texans director of coaching and Indiana University forward Craig Ginsberg will assist Wieczorek as the academy director in 2020-21.

“I’m certainly excited and eager to expand my role at AFC Mobile as Technical Director of the youth academy,” Wieczorek said, “With the AFC Mobile Academy, the senior club is creating a clear pathway for young players to reach their highest potential and develop a life-long love for the game.” 

Wieczorek has served as the head coach of the AFC Mobile senior team since 2019. In his first season, he led the team to its first-ever GCPL playoff berth and secured the most points in the GCPL eastern conference. In addition to his duties with AFC Mobile, he has been the Spring Hill College men’s soccer coach since 2015. In 2017, his team secured the best finish in program history by finishing 12-3 and 2nd in the Gulf South Conference. In 2018, he bettered that mark by becoming the only team in Gulf South Conference history to go undefeated in conference play, winning both the Regular Season and Gulf South Conference tournament championships. He has won more matches than any head coach in the program’s history. 

Prior to moving to Mobile, Wieczorek served as an assistant coach at Siena College, the University of Bridgeport, Duquesne University and Oregon State, during which time he coached and recruited multiple future professional players, including Pac-12 player of the year and MLS No. 2 overall draft pick Khiry Shelton. He holds an NSCAA Premier Diploma and a “C” License from the Football Association of Wales, with plans to complete the UEFA B License in 2021. He is a candidate for a PhD in Sports Management, with a projected completion date of August 2020. 

“From the first day as coach of our senior team, Steve has been unbelievably passionate about our club and its growth. I’ve rarely encountered anyone with the technical and coaching knowledge he has. With that passion, his experience coaching all over the country, his track record of coaching players who have seen success in the highest professional and collegiate ranks in America, our young players will be in good hands,” Landry said. “Throughout the planning process for this launch, he’s shown himself to be absolutely dedicated to the personal development of every player in our academy, on and off the field. He brings a clear vision of how he wants AFC Mobile teams to play, and how to develop players from our junior academy to our oldest teams. We’re thrilled to work with him in this expanded capacity, and I know our academy coaches will be as well.”

More information and a player interest form can be found  http://www.afcmobile.net/academy. Be sure to keep up with the latest developments by following the AFC Mobile Academy on Facebook and on Twitter @AFCMobAcademy. 

AFC Mobile is Mobile’s minor league soccer team, competing in the National Premier Soccer League. The 2020 NPSL Season has been canceled due to the ongoing COVD-19 pandemic. Follow AFC Mobile on all your favorite social media platforms to keep up with the latest news and information about the club.

AFC Mobile COVID-19 Update

AFC Mobile Family, 

AFC Mobile has been closely monitoring the COVID-19 pandemic, its impact on our partner businesses, our players and our community. The National Premier Soccer League board met yesterday, and we expect a final decision regarding the start of our season early next week. As a reminder, our home opener is scheduled for May 23. We are in communication with our staff and players about their health and well-being, and have made the decision to postpone the start of our training. 

Today, we have three asks of you, as supporters of AFC Mobile and members of our community:

1: Support your local community

This pandemic and the resulting necessary measures taken in response will have a dramatic impact on our community – especially the most vulnerable members of our community. We’re asking you to consider making a donation or safely volunteering to support one of the groups helping to care for these members of our community. Some examples:

There are many more organizations and people in our community working to assist their fellow Mobilians. We’ll do our best to keep you updated, and you can find more resources here: https://docs.google.com/document/u/2/d/1JbZaxv8TWtdqf0iawIn3aJs8rJE4I7XtW0Ged7-l5yw/mobilebasic

2: Support your local businesses

We’ve been proud over the last 3-4 years to work directly with some of the most exciting and passionate local businesses in Mobile. They’ve supported us when we desperately needed it, and now they need as much support as possible. If you can, consider picking up a gift card from a local business shut down during the break, or taking advantage of any of the curbside pickup and delivery options available: https://www.mobile.org/about/covid-19-update/local-business-updates/

We’ll also be updating our website at afcmobile.net/covid19 to track any local businesses who are still open and safely operating during this time. If you have a business you’d like shouted-out, just drop us a line at information@afcmobile.net.

Finally, Mobile’s got a fantastic, creative and caring service industry that is the face of our city and culture to so many. Without tips, they’ll be devastated. Thanks to our friend Galen Riley of the Chattahooligans, and members of our own Causeway Rebellion Supporters Group, we’re going to be utilizing the platform at https://serviceindustry.tips/en/al/mobile/ to show our appreciation. We hope you’ll do the same. If you know anyone in the service industry, that website will walk through how to get them listed. If you have any questions, we’ll try to help. 

3. Support your local club. 

Like any other business, AFC Mobile is dealing with the fallout from the pandemic. Our prospective and existing partners are going through a period of great uncertainty, and many are, understandably, reconsidering their ability to sponsor our team over the next few months. The month of March is where we usually see a big increase in merchandise and season ticket sales, which we have not seen this year. We are also dealing with uncertainty in our ability to host players, a severe delay in finding potential host families, delays in getting out-of-area players to Mobile, as well as drastically pushing back our training schedule. Every t-shirt, season ticket or scarf you buy helps us continue our mission of advocating for our city, culture and community while bringing a high level of passionate soccer to Mobile. Additionally, 20% of all shop proceeds will be donated to Feeding the Gulf Coast for the next 30 days. You can find our shop at afcmobile.net/shop. If you prefer we wait to ship your products to you, just leave a note in the order or email us at information@afcmobile.net

During this uncertain time, we value your safety and well-being above all. Each of us at AFC Mobile asks you to practice appropriate social distancing measures, good hygiene, and support local businesses such as restaurants by purchasing meals for take-out. Check out afcmobile.net/covid19 for a running list of local restaurants currently offering take-out and other resources. 

Yours in community,

The Board of Directors of AFC Mobile

Chisom Ogbonna Named AFC Mobile Captain for 2020 NPSL Season

AFC Mobile’s all-time leading goalscorer, Chisom Ogbonna will take the armband as Club Captain in the team’s first season in the National Premier Soccer League (NPSL).

“I am very proud to name Chisom as our next club captain,” said AFC Mobile head coach Steve Wieczorek. “He has all the qualities that I am looking for in a leader both on and off the field. He is well-liked and respected in the dressing room, a role model for young players and performs at a high level on the field. Most importantly, I can trust him to support me and always act in the best interest of the club.”

Ogbonna previously played in the NPSL in 2015 with FC Wichita. In his time with AFC Mobile, Chisom has scored 20 goals in 18 appearances.

Don’t miss a match with Chisom and his teammates – get season tickets now at afcmobile.net/shop! Starting at $35 for 5 guaranteed regular season games and free admission to any playoff matches hosted by AFC Mobile, Mobile’s locally owned soccer team.

AFC Mobile Releases 2020 Schedule

Mobile, Alabama – February 11, 2020 –AFC Mobile announced its 2020 NPSL schedule on Wednesday, including a highly-anticipated Mobile-New Orleans home-and-home tilt, back-to-back matches against longtime rivals Port City FC, and the second annual Moon Pie Match against Chattanooga FC. 

The season will be the team’s first in the National Premier Soccer League, the top summer soccer league in the country, sanctioned by the US Adult Soccer Association. The 91-team NPSL offers direct qualification to the Lamar Hunt US Open Cup, which pits clubs from every division in American soccer against one another in single-knockout competition. 

“We are certainly excited about the upcoming campaign. We will see some familiar faces and create new rivalries which will be fantastic for our supporters and special for the players,” said AFC Mobile head coach Steve Wieczorek. “The schedule will be tough but I know that we are up for it and ready to give everything for the club and our loyal supporters.”

The Azaleas will open their 2020 campaign on May 7th on the road against the Jacksonville Armada U23s. AFC Mobile will then travel to New Orleans, Louisiana to face the New Orleans Jesters on May 16th. This will be the first meeting between the two sides since 2018 when the Jesters beat the Azaleas 2-1 in a preseason friendly in Mobile. 

AFC Mobile will play its home opener on May 23rd when the Jacksonville Armada U23s travel to the Archbishop Lipscomb Athletic Complex (“The Lip”). Mobile will spend the next two weeks on the road facing familiar opposition in Tallahassee SC and Pensacola FC. Both clubs are joining AFC Mobile in moving from the Gulf Coast Premier League to the Gulf Coast Conference of the NPSL. Mobile will return home on June 6th to host the Jesters, who spent 2019 on hiatus after an NPSL Southeastern Conference Finals appearance in 2018.

The Forgotten Coast Cup will be renewed when Port City FC travels to Mobile on June 13th and AFC Mobile heads to Gulfport the following weekend on June 20th. The Azaleas will play host to Tallahassee SC the following weekend on June 27th. 

On July 1st, AFC Mobile will travel to Chattanooga, Tennessee to take on Chattanooga FC of the National Independent Soccer Association, the third division of American professional soccer, in the second annual Moon Pie Match friendly. 

“Renewing our match against CFC is another important part of the journey forward as an organization. We get to measure ourselves against an established successful club and play in an outstanding environment,” Wieczorek said. 

The Match for the Moon Pie will pit AFC Mobile against a fully professional Chattanooga FC led by former University of Mobile coaching great Peter Fuller. The winner will take home a professional wrestling-style belt adorned with a Moon Pie Championship logo.

“It’s exciting for us to see some familiar faces come back to Finley (Stadium) this summer,” said Jeremey Alumbaugh, Managing Director of Chattanooga FC. “Having AFC Mobile return for the Moon Pie Match will give our fans and supporters a great treat and we are anxious for the 2020 season to begin.” 

AFC Mobile will conclude the regular season the following Saturday on the Fourth of July by hosting Pensacola FC at the Lip. All home matches will kick-off at 7 p.m. at the Archbishop Oscar H. Lipscomb Athletic Complex. Season tickets are on sale now and can be purchased at http://afcmobile.net/shop!

AFC Mobile Captain Guillermo Lumbreras, Jr. Joins AFC Mobile Board

Former AFC Mobile player and captain Guillermo Lumbreras, Jr. is joining the board as the player relations officer.

Lumbreras captained the Azaleas for their first three seasons and has been a leader on and off the pitch. He was awarded the club’s first-ever Spirit of AFC Mobile award last season.

“I have dreamed of this moment since the day I joined the club as a player. My excitement, commitment, and dedication will not change in this new stage as a board member,” Lumbreras said. “I am honored to be able to continue to work with such an amazing group of people and stay close to the amazing fans we have. I cannot wait to hit the ground running to help the club continue to grow.”

“Memo has been everything we’ve wanted out of an AFC Mobile player and captain, and we’re thrilled to add him to our ownership,” said AFC Mobile CFO Sean Landry. “He has always represented us in a first-class way, and his intelligence, community ties, passion, and heart will make him an invaluable asset to this club as we work to solidify our position in the NPSL and build for the future.”

Lumbreras is replacing AFC Mobile co-founder Zach Taylor. Taylor played a vital role in the formation of AFC Mobile, becoming the club’s first player relations officer, aiding in the club’s recruitment of local players, and ensuring the team’s on-field and training needs were provided for. Taylor became a permanent presence on the team’s bench during the club’s inaugural season, handling pre-match and in-match logistics.

“I am proud to have been a part of this club. It was a life-changing experience that I will cherish for as long as I live,” said Taylor. “To see what we built together come this far is a sight to see. I’m saddened to make the decision to step away from the club, but with the distance, my career has put between Mobile and myself, the time has come for the club to move forward.”

Taylor was instrumental in bringing Lumbreras to the AFC Mobile family.

“Guillermo is a close personal friend of mind as well as a leader in the soccer community, and I cannot think of a better individual to take my place. I know he has a vision for how he can contribute, and I know he will be a great addition to AFC Mobile,” Taylor said.

Lumbreras joins the AFC Mobile board with eight other members: president Abram Chamberlain, vice president Jeff Garl, chief financial officer Sean Landry, general counsel Patrick Dungan, director of marketing and game-day operations JT Clark, director of communications Mitchell Kahalley, director of digital communications Dan McMillan, and supporter liaison Michael Lynch.

AFC Mobile Announces Open Tryout for the 2020 Season

Mobile, Alabama – With the 2020 NPSL season approaching, registration for new players wishing to try out for AFC Mobile, the premier soccer team in Mobile, is now open.

“The open tryout is a valuable tool for me and my staff to evaluate the local talent and perhaps unearth the next rising star in the area for our team. I am really looking forward to seeing how we can potentially add to our dynamic and talented returning group,” said AFC Mobile Head Coach Steve Wieczorek.

AFC Mobile’s open tryouts are a major part of player identification for the team. Any player who is no longer high school eligible and is at least 17-years-old may try out for AFC Mobile’s 2019 roster.

This year, there will be two open tryout sessions. The first will be February 1st. The tryouts will take place from 2:00-4:00 p.m. at Herndon/Sage Park in Mobile. Interested players are not required to attend both tryout sessions, but may do so if desired.

Players will have the opportunity to be evaluated by Coach Steve Wieczorek and his staff during tryouts.

There will be a high school identification period at a later date so that players participating in AHSAA high school soccer may stay eligible and have an opportunity to tryout for the coaching staff.

Additional information:

WHEN…

  • Saturday, February 1st, 2020
  • Tryouts will be from 2:00-4:00 p.m. (arrive at least half an hour early to check in and warm up)

WHERE…

  • Herndon (Sage) Park, 2800 Dauphin Street, Mobile, Alabama

 HOW…

  • Pay registration fee.
  • Interested players MUST complete the following forms in order to tryout:
  • If you register online prior to the day of the tryout you attend, the registration fee is $20. Walk-up registration on the day of the tryout is $30.  Online registration will not be available on the day of each tryout.  Players may, but are not required to, attend both tryouts. Players attending both tryout dates only need to complete one set of forms.

PLEASE BRING…

  • Water will be provided, but bring a reusable water bottle and any snacks or gear that you’ll need
  • Completed forms
  • A size 5 soccer ball, properly inflated
  • Shin guards, cleats, socks, black shorts, and white shirt

REGISTER HERE: [link to registration portal]

Become an AFC Mobile Host Family!

Having a host family is potentially one of the biggest and most influential aspects of a player’s AFC Mobile experience. The majority of our players are from the Mobile Bay area, but some are not.

Mobile will be a new place for them – away from their family, home, and school.

A host family will help give players who are moving into a new environment a safe and stable atmosphere in which to live over the summer.

The host family program also helps foster a relationship between the Mobile Bay community and players who will be living in the Mobile area for the first time. AFC Mobile believes that relationships formed between host families and players will last a lifetime. This is one of the most ideal ways to help the club and its players.

If you are interested in more information on becoming an AFC Mobile Host Family, click on the link here for more information.

AFC Mobile 2020 NPSL Season Passes On Sale

Season tickets for AFC Mobile’s 2020 National Premier Soccer League season are now on sale. Fans can purchase a season ticket wristband for $35. The wristband will admit entrance into all National Premier Soccer League home games as well as any home post-season games.

Fans can also purchase a wristband and t-shirt or scarf package for $55. This package comes with a season ticket wristband and your choice of either an official 2020 AFC Mobile scarf or the new 2020 AFC Mobile t-shirt.

There is also the opportunity for fans to purchase a wristband, a t-shirt, and a scarf for $80! This package comes with the 2020 scarf and the 2020 t-shirt as well!

Single-game tickets are $10 and as always tickets for fans 12 and under will remain free.

AFC Mobile to join National Premier Soccer League

AFC Mobile

Mitchell Kahalley 

251-421-4819

mkahalley@afcmobile.net

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE 

Mobile, Alabama – After three seasons of competing in the Gulf Coast Premier League (GCPL), AFC Mobile will join the National Premier Soccer League (NPSL) for the 2020 season. The NPSL is one of the largest men’s leagues in the United States, with over 90 teams competing in multiple conferences throughout the country. The NPSL is affiliated with the United States Adult Soccer Association and the United States Soccer Federation, and offers direct access for its top teams to the US Open Cup, the oldest soccer competition in the US.

“It’s an exciting step for the club. Joining the NPSL gives us the opportunity to compete on the national stage and raises the profile of soccer in this area,” said AFC Mobile head coach Steve Wieczorek. 

AFC Mobile will anchor a new NPSL conference alongside former GCPL rivals Tallahassee SC, Pensacola FC and Port City FC (Gulfport, Miss.) The new conference will be rounded out by NPSL stalwarts New Orleans Jesters and former North American Soccer League side Jacksonville Armada. 

“With a fully professional league office, a national footprint, a direct pipeline to competing against USL and MLS clubs in the US Open Cup, and the ability to keep our rivalries against Port City FC, Pensacola FC and Tallahassee SC intact, NPSL offers us a great platform to continue to advocate for the people and culture of Mobile through our club,” AFC Mobile CFO Sean Landry said. “We’re eternally grateful to the GCPL for their support over the last three years, and we look forward to working with them as we continue to build our club and soccer on the Gulf Coast.” 

AFC Mobile will compete in the NPSL’s summer season, which runs from May to August. The season will consist of home-and-away matches against each team in the Gulf Coast Conference, and will culminate in a Conference playoff between the two highest-ranked teams in the Conference. The Conference champion will progress to a regional playoff, and, if successful, a national championship match. At the end of each season, the NPSL places its conference champions and other top-ranked teams into the US Open Cup, based on spots allocated to them by U.S. Soccer.

As a thank you to the fans who have brought us to this stage, we’re offering a limited time sale – 30% off everything in our store with the code ‘NPSL30’!

About AFC Mobile 

AFC Mobile is Mobile’s minor league soccer team. Founded in 2015, AFC Mobile is a locally owned organization with a mission to advocate for the growth and development of the City of Mobile through soccer, and to develop a vibrant, intelligent and passionate soccer community. The club partners with locally-focused organizations, from small businesses to global large-scale employers, and offers a variety of soccer-based community initiatives, while competing in the National Premier Soccer League.