Category: Press Release

AFC Mobile Breaks GCPL Attendance Record in 2-0 Loss to Gulf Coast Rangers FC

AFC Mobile broke its own Gulf Coast Premier League attendance record Saturday night as a crowd of 1,465 watched the Azaleas suffer a narrow loss to Gulf Coast Rangers FC 2-0. The atmosphere for the first-ever matchup between local rivals featured a flyover by the US Coast Guard Aviation Training Center in a Search and Rescue MH-65 Dolphin helicopter on the club’s second ever Military Appreciation Night. The visitors from across the Bay were also welcomed by 10 of Mobile’s world-famous Azalea Trail Maids. 

AFC Mobile now owns the top eight spots in the GCPL record books — one for each home league match in the club’s history.

“To our fans, y’all were great. We want to apologize for not getting the victory tonight, but I thought you would like the performance the guys put in,” AFC Mobile coach Nate Nicholas said. “We loved every second of having you guys here, we want to keep these numbers going up and up and up. We have a couple more home games and we need your support.” 

The Azaleas had a bright start to the game. AFC Mobile’s leading goalscorer Chisom Obgonna ripped a shot from outside of the box that went wide left of the goal. Minutes later the ball was played back to Ogbonna in the box, but he was bogged down by the Ranger defense. The ball found its way to Erik Aispuro outside of the box, who tried to play it back to Ogbonna, but his pass floated back into the hands of Rangers keeper Xavier Audergon. 

Mobile nearly took the lead in the 17th minute after a David Valverde free kick found Aispuro who headed the ball onto a streaking Matt Merrill, but Merrill’s left-footed shot was pushed wide by Audergon. 

The first half was an even affair with good chances for both sides. In the 27th minute, Mobile keeper Elijah Gibson played the ball out of his box and was picked up by the Rangers’ Yan Livenu whose shot sailed over the crossbar. 

In the 33rd minute, Valverde was taken down by a crunching tackle after a nice piece of footwork. He was replaced by Greg Hosford, who started for AFC Mobile’s reserve team in their 3-0 win over the Rangers reserves in midweek. 

The Rangers’ best chances came toward the end of the first half. In the 43rd minute, former AFC Mobile player Moses Muhubao’s shot was saved by Gibson. Gibson came up with another big save one minute later off of the ensuing corner. But the tide turned in first-half stoppage time when defender Matthew Jakubik floated in a header over Gibson off of a Rangers free kick. The Azaleas went into halftime trailing Rangers 1-0. 

“I think that goal was a momentum killer. It was an even game,” Nicholas said. “I don’t know that one team deserved to be ahead of the other at the time. But the guy went in unmarked but we had a little confusion in the back post. But to be honest with you he wasn’t even shooting the ball; he was heading it across and Elijah just couldn’t get to it.”

Rangers would start the second half on the front foot. Rangers’ Andrew McInnis sent a shot just wide after tight pressure from Brantton “Sunshine” Greene. 

In the 60th minute, Rangers’ Alex Wichmann was shown a yellow card. Seconds later, Audergon came up big with another great save off of a header on an AFC Mobile free kick. 

Two more yellow cards were shown in the 74th and 76th minutes to Rangers’ Sergi Cebrian and Mobile’s Guillermo Lumbreras, Jr. 

The record crowd thought the Azaleas had equalized in the 85th minute after Abdal Almutairi pressured Audergon to win the ball. Audergon appeared to lose his footing after initially avoiding Almutairi’s approach, and Almutairi took advantage, tracking back to the loose ball and slotting it home into the open net while Audergon lay on the ground. Two minutes later, after Mobile had finished celebrating and had set up to resume play from the center circle, Audergon remained down and the official reversed his initial award of the goal, claiming Almutairi had fouled Audergon. Audergon would finish the game, including a total of 8 minutes of stoppage time, in goal for the Rangers. 

“I didn’t argue too much that it got called back,” Nicholas said.  “I just thought it was a little wishy-washy for [the official] to let everybody come back and celebrate and he’s already running back to midfield and he thinks about it…and their goalkeeper lays on the ground. I thought, for him, it was a pretty poor performance. If that’s a foul then you’re literally right there. He was within 15 yards of the play. If it’s a foul he should’ve called it a lot earlier, rather than let both teams get back in midfield and set up for it. That’s just my view. I thought it was poorly done.” 

The Rangers doubled their tally late in stoppage time after Gibson pushed up into the midfield on an AFC Mobile corner. Former AFC Mobile captain Nathan Gillespie got behind the forward-playing Mobile keeper on a counter-attack and slotted home a garbage-time goal to give the visitors a 2-0 win. The loss leaves AFC Mobile in fourth place, but the Azaleas remain third in points per game, having two games in hand on Pensacola FC and Gulf Coast Rangers. 

Next week, AFC Mobile will travel to Pensacola to take on GCPL Eastern Conference leaders Pensacola FC. Kickoff is at 7 pm at Ashton Brosnaham Stadium. 

The Azaleas will return to The Lip in two weeks to face GCPL out-of-conference opponent Alexandria FC. Kickoff is at 6:00 p.m. on Saturday, June 23rd at the Archbishop Lipscomb Athletic Complex located at 3610 Michael Boulevard in Mobile. Tickets are $5 and children 12 and under are admitted free.

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AFC Mobile’s Saturday Game Against Port City FC Postponed

This Saturday’s contest against Port City FC in Gulfport, Mississippi has been postponed due to inclement weather.

“We were really looking forward to this away trip and the renewal of our rivalry with the boys from Gulfport, but we understand their decision to postpone the game in light of the impending weather,” said AFC Mobile Board Member Patrick Dungan.

According to meteorologists, Gulfport is set to experience heavy rainfall and thunderstorms this Saturday, May 26th.

Due to this postponement, AFC Mobile will provide the fans who purchased tickets for the Gulf Coast Tours Fan Bus to Gulfport the option to receive a full refund or credit towards a future bus trip this season.

“It’s a hazard of the business in this region, unfortunately. We’re obviously disappointed we won’t get to celebrate Memorial Day weekend with a match against our biggest rivals,” AFC Mobile CFO Sean Landry said. “Mostly, we’re disappointed for our fans, many of whom won’t be able to make the trip out for a midweek makeup match, which means this match won’t have the atmosphere it deserves. We’ll work with the good people at Port City FC to select a makeup date that works for both clubs, and we’re looking forward to getting back on the field at The Lip in a week when we host Real United FC for the first time.”

AFC Mobile is currently working with Port City FC to find a makeup date. Those details will be released as soon as a date has been finalized.

AFC Mobile will return to the Archbishop Lipscomb Athletic Complex, located at 3610 Michael Boulevard, for a home game against Moss Point’s Real United FC on Saturday, June 2nd at 7:00 p.m. As always, tickets are only $5 and kids 12 and under will be admitted free of charge.

AFC Mobile to host NPSL’s New Orleans Jesters on May 5th

Mardi Gras 2018 may be over, but the friendly sibling rivalry between Mobile and New Orleans will roll on this summer.

After a parade season filled with teasing and debate over the birthplace of Mardi Gras in the U.S., the two capitals of Carnival will face off on the pitch this season when AFC Mobile hosts the New Orleans Jesters of the National Premier Soccer League (NPSL) at 7:00 p.m. on Saturday, May 5th at the Archbishop Oscar H. Lipscomb Complex (“The Lip”) in Mobile.

“We’ve dreamt of a matchup with the Jesters since day one of this project,” AFC Mobile cofounder Sean Landry said. “New Orleans and Mobile have been neighbors and competitors for 300 years, so this is the natural extension of that history. I’m grateful to Kenny Farrell for his work in finalizing this matchup, and I know we’re both excited to offer The Royal Court, the Causeway Rebellion, and all the fans of both teams an event to remember.”

The match will mark the first ever appearance by an NPSL team in Mobile, and will be the highest level of soccer talent on display in the Port City in at least 20 years. Last season, the Jesters went undefeated to finish in first place in the West Division of the Southeast Conference of the NPSL.

AFC Mobile is Mobile’s minor league soccer team, competing in the Gulf Coast Premier League. Our season begins in April and runs through July. All home games will be played at the Archbishop Oscar H. Lipscomb Complex – “The Lip.”  Tickets begin at just $5, and children 12 and under are free with adult admission. Season tickets are available now at afcmobile.net. Follow AFC Mobile on all your favorite social media platforms to keep up-to-date on additional information about the 2018 season!

AFC Mobile Announces its 2018 GCPL Schedule

The 2018 AFC Mobile schedule is finally here! After months of anticipation, we now know the path the Azaleas will take as they attempt to bring home the Gulf Coast Premier League Cup.

AFC Mobile will return to the pitch for its second season on April 14th for an away friendly against the Atlanta Silverbacks of the National Premier Soccer League. After shattering Gulf Coast Premier League attendance records last season, the club will return to the Archbishop Lipscomb Athletic Complex (“the Lip”) on April 28th to face GCPL newcomers Northshore United (of Covington, Louisiana) in preseason action. The club will host another preseason friendly at the Lip on the weekend of May 5th. That opponent will be announced in the coming weeks.

“We are looking forward to a more robust schedule of games this year,” stated AFC Mobile Sporting Director Zach Taylor. “There are some great sides in the GCPL, and the non-GCPL friendlies that we will announce later will also give us highly challenging opponents to measure ourselves against. I’m looking forward to seeing how we perform.”

The GCPL regular season begins on May 12th, as the Azaleas welcome Eastern Conference rivals Pensacola FC to the Lip.

The following weekend, the team travels to Lafayette, Louisiana to take on last year’s GCPL Cup Runner-Up Cajun Soccer Club. Cajun’s front line is lead by the 2017 GCPL Golden Boot winner Mickey Ledger.

On May 26th, the club will travel to Gulfport, Mississippi to face newly re-branded Port City FC (formerly known as Biloxi City FC) in the first Forgotten Coast Cup match of the season.

AFC Mobile will return to the Lip for a two-game homestand against Riverhawks FC out of Moss Point, Mississippi on June 2nd and Baldwin County’s GCPL newcomers Rangers FC on June 9th. The team will make the quick trip east on I-10 to Pensacola on June 16th. On June 28th, AFC Mobile will get its second cross-division matchup against Louisiana’s Alexandria FC “Pool Boys.”

The Azaleas will then head to Foley, Alabama on June 30th to play Rangers FC once more. The final road game of the season sees AFC Mobile traveling to Moss Point to play the Riverhawks on July 7th.

AFC Mobile will conclude the 2018 regular season with the second-leg of the Forgotten Coast Cup against Port City FC back home at the Lip on July 14th.

This season, AFC Mobile will compete in the GCPL Eastern Conference which, in addition to AFC Mobile, includes Port City FC (Gulfport, MS), Riverhawks FC (Moss Point, MS), Pensacola FC, and Rangers FC (Foley, AL). The top two clubs from the East will join the top two clubs from the West and Central Conferences in a single-elimination knockout tournament for the GCPL Cup Championship.

Information about season ticket sales coming soon!

PRESEASON

AWAY: April 14 – Atlanta Silverbacks FC
HOME: April 28 – Northshore United
HOME: May 5/6 – TBA

REGULAR SEASON

HOME: May 12 – Pensacola FC
AWAY: May 19 – Cajun Soccer Club (Lafayette, LA)
AWAY: May 26 – Port City FC (Gulfport, MS)
HOME: June 2 – Riverhawks FC
HOME: June 9 – Rangers FC
AWAY: June 16 – Pensacola FC
HOME: June 23 – alexandria fc
AWAY: June 30 – Rangers FC (Foley, AL)
AWAY: July 7 – Riverhawks FC (Moss Point, MS)
HOME: July 14 – Port City FC

AFC Mobile Partners With Youth Soccer Club Mobile United FC

Mobile, Alabama – March 7, 2018 – AFC Mobile is pleased to announce a partnership with Mobile United Futbol Club, the Alabama Gulf Coast’s oldest and most successful competitive youth soccer organization. After continued success, including six 2017 state championships, Mobile United FC will now serve as the youth academy for AFC Mobile.

“We are thrilled to partner with such an accomplished and well-known organization as Mobile United,” said Jeff Garl, AFC Mobile Vice President. “AFC Mobile has always been focused on providing opportunities for the young players in Mobile, and giving them a visible outlet for soccer at a high-level. With this partnership, our team will be able to work directly with Mobile United teams, giving them the chance to work side-by-side with the players they get to watch on Saturday nights.”

While Mobile United FC and AFC Mobile remain separate entities, together they share a common vision: to grow the sport of soccer in the city of Mobile. This partnership will result in  the formation of two new teams. The AFC Mobile United U23 squad, managed by Ruben Risco, will wear the MUFC crest on their AFC Mobile uniform sleeves. Going forward, the Mobile United U19 State League team will be renamed AFC Mobile United U19. The U19s will continue to wear their traditional MUFC uniforms, but will proudly sport the AFC Mobile crest on their sleeves.  These teams will conduct joint training sessions, public events, and benefits.

“This partnership gives us the potential to become one of the premier clubs not just on the Gulf Coast, but in the entire Southeastern U.S, and to give Mobile the stature of club it deserves,” said Wayne Etheridge, Mobile United FC President.

Founded in 2010, Mobile United FC is the area’s leader in youth soccer, offering programs from ages three to adult. With more than 20 players from Fall 2016 alone playing collegiate soccer, MUFC concentrates on player development and competitive play.  Tryout times and dates for Fall 2018 will be released soon. For more information on MUFC go to mobileunitedfc.com.

AFC Mobile is Mobile’s minor league soccer team, competing in the Gulf Coast Premier League. The 2018 season begins in May and runs through July. All home games will be played at the Archbishop Oscar H. Lipscomb Complex – “The Lip.”  Tickets begin at just $5, and children 12 and under are free with adult admission. A full schedule and information about season tickets will be available soon. Select merchandise is available now at afcmobile.net and The Trading Post at 7985 Tanner Williams Road.  Follow AFC Mobile on all your favorite social media platforms to keep up-to-date on additional information about the 2018 season!

 

Ruben Risco to lead AFC Mobile United reserves for 2018 season

AFC Mobile will field a reserve side during its 2018 Gulf Coast Premier League season.

The reserve side, known as AFC Mobile United U23, will feature a mixture of both up-and-coming youth players and first-team players that are either coming back from injury or are not included on the first team game-day roster. AFC Mobile United U23 will play competitive fixtures against other teams along the Gulf Coast including reserve sides from Gulf Coast Premier League clubs including Pensacola FC and Port City FC.

“It’s about having one foot in the present, and the other in the future,” says Ruben Risco. Risco serves as the assistant coach for AFC Mobile and will take on the game day coaching duties for AFC Mobile United U23. “We are ensuring that we maintain a large competitive pool of players for the present, while creating an environment for the younger players to continue developing and displaying their abilities with proper training and real game experience for the future.”

This reserve side will be used by head coach Nate Nicholas and his staff to evaluate and develop players in game day competition and give them the opportunity to compete for minutes with the first team.

AFC Mobile center back Guillermo Lumbreras, Jr. will assist Risco in his coaching duties with the U23s.

AFC Mobile is Mobile’s minor league soccer team, competing in the Gulf Coast Premier League. Our season begins in May and runs through July. All home games will be played at the Archbishop Oscar H. Lipscomb Complex – “The Lip.”  Tickets begin at just $5, and children 12 and under are free with adult admission. A full schedule and information about season tickets will be available soon. Select merchandise is available now at afcmobile.net.  Follow AFC Mobile on all your favorite social media platforms to keep up-to-date on additional information about the 2018 season!

Updated on March 8, 2018, to reflect partnership with Mobile United Futbol Club.

AFC Mobile adds U-Mobile standout Cam Cranton

MOBILE – AFC Mobile is proud to add University of Mobile midfielder Cameron Cranton to its roster for the 2018 Gulf Coast Premier League Season.

As a Baker High School standout, Cranton was the Mobile-area High School Player of the Year, and was named the Gulf Coast Rangers U-18 Player of the Year in 2015.

“I grew up in Mobile, played here, and I’m excited to get to represent my city at the next level,” Cranton said.

Cranton is a versatile player who can play in multiple attacking positions. He appeared in 11 matches for the Rams in their run to an NAIA quarterfinal berth and earned Southern State Athletics Conference All-Freshman honors. Cranton will bring a creative spark to an AFC Mobile team that averaged 1.5 goals per match in the GCPL Eastern Conference last season.

AFC Mobile is Mobile’s minor league soccer team, competing in the Gulf Coast Premier League. Our season begins in May and runs through July. All home games will be played at the Archbishop Oscar H. Lipscomb Complex – “The Lip.”  Tickets begin at just $5, and children 12 and under are free with adult admission. A full schedule and information about season tickets will be available soon. Select merchandise is available now at afcmobile.net.  Follow AFC Mobile on all your favorite social media platforms to keep up-to-date on additional information about the 2018 season.

Contact: Sean Landry

(251) 635-7473

AFC Mobile adds Spring Hill College midfielder Ibrahima Ndaw

MOBILE- AFC Mobile has added Spring Hill College midfielder/forward Ibrahima Ndaw to its roster for the 2018 Gulf Coast Premier League Season.

Ndaw, whose brother was a goalkeeper for AFC Mobile last year, is a former prep standout at St. Paul’s Episcopal High School in Mobile. Ndaw led the St. Paul’s Episcopal Boys Soccer Team to the 2012 Class 5A State Semifinals during his junior year. As a senior at St. Paul’s, he was named to the Mobile Press-Register’s All Region Team.

Following high school, Ndaw stayed local by enrolling at Spring Hill College. In 2017, the Badgers achieved their best ever record in men’s soccer, finishing the year with 12 wins and only 3 losses. For his 8 goals and 8 assists, Ndaw was named to the 2017 United Soccer Coaches NAIA Men’s All-South Region Team.

This season will not be Ndaw’s Gulf Coast Premier League debut, as for the past two years he played in the GCPL for Biloxi City FC. AFC Mobile is proud to bring him home for the 2018 GCPL season.

“I’m excited to be a part of AFC Mobile. Last year you could feel the energy of Mobile when we came to play them. I can’t wait for the new season to start and to play in front of the many fans we have,” Ndaw stated.

AFC Mobile is Mobile’s minor league soccer team, competing in the Gulf Coast Premier League. Our season begins in May and runs through July. All home games will be played at the Archbishop Oscar H. Lipscomb Complex – “The Lip.”  Tickets begin at just $5, and children 12 and under are free with adult admission. A full schedule and information about season tickets will be available soon. Select merchandise is available now at afcmobile.net.  Follow AFC Mobile on all your favorite social media platforms to keep up-to-date on additional information about the 2018 season.

Nineteen Players Selected to Return To Invitational Tryout

Nearly 50 players came out to Herndon (Sage) Park in Mobile on December 9th to participate in AFC Mobile’s Open Tryout for the 2018 GCPL season. Nineteen of those players have been invited back by the coaching staff to participate in an Invitational Tryout.

  • Erik Aispuro
  • Suleiman Carr
  • Roman Causse
  • Chris Cory
  • Cam Cranton
  • Drew Dixon
  • Abraham Estaba
  • Brantton Greene
  • Desmond Ibie
  • Jean Paul Irakiza
  • Kevin Jackson
  • Nam Le
  • Tomas Lopez
  • Dillon Lowe
  • Jesse McCarty
  • Alejandro Ojeda
  • Alec Peacock
  • Laurentiu Pirvu
  • Carlos Varas

These players will join other invited player to compete for a spot on AFC Mobile’s 2018 roster.

 

Brent Grube Joins AFC Mobile as Goalkeeping Coach

MOBILE, ALABAMA – Former AFC Mobile goalkeeper and current Mary G. Montgomery High School girls soccer coach Brent Grube will join the Club coaching staff as an assistant for the 2018 season, the club announced Sunday afternoon.

“Brent was a good player for us last year. I’m excited to have him moving to the coaching side of the organization,” said head coach Nate Nicholas. “He will be a great help to me and [assistant coach] Ruben Risco in helping prepare for games and practices on the goalkeeper side.”

Last season, Grube was part of AFC Mobile’s inaugural roster and started four games at goalkeeper, before suffering an injury in the offseason. He will now transition to goalkeeper coach on Nicholas’s staff this season.

“When I tore my ACL, I thought that my time with AFC Mobile was over,” said Grube. “Having played [goalkeeper] my entire career, I’m happy that I will be able to pass on my experience to AFC Mobile players. I am very excited to join the coaching staff and I look forward to the season.”

Grube joins the staff in time for AFC Mobile’s open tryouts on December 9 from 2:00-6:00 PM at Herndon (Sage) Park.

“In Brent, the club is able to get not just a good coach, but a good person. He displayed leadership in training and on the pitch last season,” stated AFC Mobile President Abram Chamberlain. “Being able to retain him as part of the AFC Mobile family is huge. We are extremely happy to have him continue with us as we move into our new season and our next chapter.”

Early registration is available online for $15.00 until December 8th and will be $25.00 for walk-up registration on December 9th.