Category: Press Release

AFC Mobile to take on NPSL powerhouse Chattanooga FC

MOBILE  – (March 27th) AFC Mobile will travel to Chattanooga, Tennessee to take on take on the 2018 NPSL Southeast Conference champions Chattanooga FC. The match will take place on April 27th at Finley Stadium. 

“AFC Mobile is another example of a soccer team doing things the right way,” said Sheldon Grizzle, President, Chattanooga Football Club. “We’ve been really impressed with what they’ve been doing as they enter their third season, and can’t wait to bring them here.”

Chattanooga FC is one of the most successful and well-supported teams in the lower divisions of American soccer. The club boasts one of the largest fanbases in the NPSL, won the NPSL Southeast Division in 2018 and opened its 2019 by drawing over 7,000 fans to a preseason friendly against 30-time Guatemalan champions Communicaciones FC.

“This is the fixture we’ve been imagining since day one of founding this club. Chattanooga FC is the standard by which all ambitious grassroots clubs measure themselves, and the board of CFC has been an invaluable resource to us, just as the Chattahooligans were when we were a wandering supporter’s group.” said AFC Mobile CFO Sean Landry. “In conversations between our two boards, we’ve often remarked on how similar our cities are – in size, in demographic, in passion, in culture, and in creativity. I’m glad to finally bring our two great clubs and communities together.”

This will be the third time that AFC Mobile will take on NPSL competition, after opening the 2018 season against the Atlanta Silverbacks and hosting the New Orleans Jesters. AFC Mobile head coach Steve Wieczorek is looking forward to testing his side against a team from a higher division.

“I am excited for us to have an opportunity to get a match against a top team from a higher division in preseason” said Wieczorek. “The friendly will certainly help us build our fitness levels and develop our style of play further under match conditions.”

Wieczorek will be facing a familiar face when he brings the Azaleas to Finley Stadium. Chattanooga FC’s coach is former Mobile Revelers player and current University of West Florida coach Bill Elliot. Wieczorek’s Spring Hill team and Elliot’s West Florida team met twice in the Gulf South Conference last season. Spring Hill bested the Argonauts in both contests, winning 5-4 and 3-2.

AFC Mobile is Mobile’s minor league soccer team, competing in the Gulf Coast Premier League. The 2019 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 $10, 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 at Royal Pharmacy in Downtown Mobile.  Season Tickets are available for purchase now!

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AFC Mobile 2019 Season Tickets on Sale Now

Season tickets for the 2019 AFC Mobile season are now on sale. Fans can purchase a season ticket wristband for $50. The wristband will admit entrance into all six Gulf Coast Premier League home games as well as any post-season games.

Fans can also purchase a wristband and t-shirt or scarf package for $65. This package comes with a season ticket wristband and your choice of either an official 2019 AFC Mobile scarf or the new AFC Mobile Battleship t-shirt.

Single-game tickets will rise from $5 to $10. To help offset the increase in ticket prices, AFC Mobile will provide free parking at all home games. Tickets for kids 12 and under will remain free.

AFC Mobile Announces 2019 GCPL Schedule

The 2019 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. Join the excitement at Archbishop Lipscomb Stadium (“the Lip”) this summer and support your hometown team!

Following a few preseason friendly matches that will be announced soon, AFC Mobile and new head coach Steve Wieczorek will welcome GCPL newcomers Tallahassee SC to the Lip to kick off the regular season on Saturday, May 11th. The Battle Lions will be ready to hit the ground running in their inaugural GCPL fixture just one week after they host the UPSL’s Savannah Clovers in a friendly.

Continuing the trend of facing newcomers to the GCPL, the Azaleas will travel the short distance west to take on Hattiesburg FC on May 18th. A successful youth club since 1980, the Mississippi side will join AFC Mobile in the GCPL’s East Division this year.

Defending GCPL Champions Port City FC (Gulfport) will return to the site where they hoisted the GCPL Cup last summer when they face AFC Mobile at the Lip on May 25th in the first leg of the Forgotten Coast Cup.

One week after hosting the defending Champions, AFC Mobile will travel east on I-10 to face Pensacola FC on June 1st at Ashton Brosnaham Stadium, the site of the Azaleas’ unlikely come-from-behind victory last year that saw the Mobile side net three goals after the 82nd minute to steal three points in a 4-3 win.

The first half of AFC Mobile’s 2019 season will conclude at the Lip with a home match on June 8th against cross-bay rivals Gulf Coast Rangers FC. The Azaleas will look to avenge the gut-wrenching, controversial home loss to the Rangers last season.

The second half of the 2019 season will begin on the road at Tallahassee SC on June 15th, where the Azaleas will take on the Battle Lions on the campus of Florida State University.

The Azaleas will then play host to Hattiesburg FC on June 22nd, travel to Gulfport to take on Port City FC on June 29th, then return to the Lip for the final home game of the regular season against Pensacola FC on July 6th. AFC Mobile will play its final game of the 2019 regular season on July 13th when it “takes the Causeway” to face Gulf Coast Rangers FC in a match that could have huge playoff implications if the summer goes well for both clubs.

All home games are played at Archbishop Lipscomb Stadium (“the Lip”) located at 3610 Michael Boulevard in Mobile. Keep an eye on AFC Mobile’s social media pages over the coming weeks for updates on preseason friendlies and season ticket packages.

Steve Wieczorek Joins AFC Mobile as Head Coach

Steve Wieczorek, current head coach of the Gulf South Champion Spring Hill College men’s soccer team, has been named the second head coach in AFC Mobile history, effective immediately. Wieczorek joins AFC Mobile after leading Spring Hill to its first-ever NCAA Division II Tournament appearance and Gulf South Championship.

“I am truly honored by the opportunity to lead AFC Mobile. I am excited to become part of such an ambitious club with an amazing and loyal fan base.” Wieczorek said. “I want to say thank you to the board for trusting me with this appointment, and I am fully committed to giving our supporters and the city of Mobile a team that will push for the (Gulf Coast Premier League) title as well as play a dynamic and entertaining brand of soccer.”

Wieczorek’s 15-year coaching career includes stops at some of college soccer’s most notable programs. He began his coaching career as a goalkeeper coach at his alma mater Fairfield University. Following one season in that role, Wieczorek had stints as an assistant at the University of Bridgeport, Siena College, Duquesne University and Oregon State University before eventually becoming the head coach of Spring Hill in 2015. At Duquesne, Wieczorek helped the program secure its first NCAA Tournament win while finishing the season nationally ranked in the top ten in goals and top five in assists.

Since joining Spring Hill College, Wieczorek set the school record for overall and conference wins with 17 and 11 wins respectively. He also led Spring Hill to its first-ever United Soccer Coaches national ranking, finishing at 21st in the final poll of the 2018 season.

“We couldn’t be more excited to make Steve the leader of our club,” said Sean Landry, board member, and CFO. “During our coaching search, Steve showed clear commitment to both short-term and long-term growth of the team and the game in Mobile, and a competitive ambition that matches our own. His qualifications in just a few short years at Spring Hill are unmatched, and we’re confident in his ability to bring silverware home to the best soccer fans on the Gulf Coast in Sweet Lunacy’s County Seat.”

Wieczorek is in the process of finalizing his coaching staff and preparing a roster for the 2019 Gulf Coast Premier League season. An announcement regarding open tryouts will be made in the coming weeks.

AFC Mobile is Mobile’s minor league soccer team, competing in the Gulf Coast Premier League. The 2019 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 2019 season!

 

AFC Mobile Coach Nate Nicholas Steps Down Ahead of 2019 Season

AFC Mobile head coach Nate Nicholas has resigned from his position as head coach ahead of the 2019 Gulf Coast Premier League season.

“To coach this team has been a dream for me that I didn’t even know I had. I have decided to step down to see this club grow even more and for me to focus more on my family and McGill-Toolen soccer program.” Nicholas said in a statement that will be shared in full on afcmobile.net.

Nicholas was the first manager in AFC Mobile history, and led the club through two seasons of growth, including the implementation of a reserve team and friendly matches against two decorated NPSL Southeast opponents. During his tenure, AFC Mobile grew to become the best-supported team in the Gulf Coast Premier League.

“Without Nate Nicholas, AFC Mobile would not exist,” said Sean Landry, board member and CFO. “Nate believed in us when all we had was a logo and a dream. He gave us the ability to turn that dream into the heaven it’s become. The same qualities that led us to respect Nate and to bring him on board are the ones leading him to take a step back – commitment to family, to his profession, to his personal growth, and to his community. I, and everyone associated with this club, are grateful to him for his two years of service, and I look forward to working with him in the future.”

The AFC Mobile board was made aware of Nicholas’ decision shortly after the conclusion of the GCPL season, at which point the club began a search for a new manager

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 2019 season!

Throwback Thursday: 2018 Player Stats

GOALS:
Chisom Ogbonna – 9
Ibrahima Ndaw – 8
Martin Fiemawhle – 3
Abdalrhman Almutairi – 3
Sherman Winchester – 1
Erik Aispuro Vidaña – 1
Matt Merrill – 1
Clairy Kengeye – 1
Tomas Lopez – 1
Matthew Duffey – 1

ASSISTS:
Erik Aispuro Vidaña – 4
Branton Greene 3
Matt Merrill – 3
Sherman Winchester 2
Chisom Ogbonna – 2
Ibrahima Ndaw – 2
Greg Hosford – 2
Dawson Jellenc – 1
Donte Oliver – 1
Matthew Duffey – 1
Ira Bowens – 1
Martin Fiemawhle – 1
Abdalrhman Almutairi – 1
KC Espoir – 1

GOALS ALLOWED / PER GAME AVG:
Barou Ndaw 10 GA (6.75) 1.48 avg
Elijah Gibson 10 GA (3.5 games) 3.09 avg
Guillermo Lumbreras Jr 0 GA (0.25 games) 0.00 avg

Chisom Ogbonna Named AFC Mobile MVP

On August 11th, players, coaches, sponsors and the AFC Mobile board gathered at Moe’s Bar-B-Que in downtown Mobile to celebrate another successful season of soccer in the Port City.

The night culminated with the club naming Chisom Ogbonna the Most Valuable Player of the 2018 season. Ogbonna was also named the club MVP in 2017. Ogbonna lead the team in goals scored finding the back of the net nine times in seven appearances. He also assisted on one goal this season. Ogbonna scored 17 goals and two assists in his GCPL career.

IMG_2366

This season saw the Azaleas win four games in the Gulf Coast Premier League and finished the season with a goal differential of +7. The club continued to shatter attendances records with the club now averaging over 1000 fans per game. Be sure to follow the club’s offseason developments on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram @AFCMobile and right here on www.afcmobile.net

 

 

AFC Mobile Falls to Pool Boys 2-0

AFC Mobile’s still has hopes to qualify for the GCPL Cup Playoffs, but a 2-0 loss to Alexandria Pool Boys FC has left almost no room for error as the Mobilians head down the final stretch of the season.

Despite having more opportunities and possession, AFC Mobile was not able to grab any points at home leaving them 2 points behind Pensacola FC and Gulf Coast Rangers for the final Eastern Conference playoff spot.

The match began promisingly in 8th minute when Roman Causse flicked Brantton Greene, making his debut as a center forward, into the penalty area. Greene’s shot was saved by Alexandria goalkeeper Jason Fritz, who ended up having a spectacular match in net for the Pool Boys.

Mobile’s attack did not stop piling on chances either. In the 12th minute, Sherman Winchester played David Valverde into open space where the Costa Rican international took a shot that was parried wide by Fritz. The ensuing corner kick led to a Matt Merrill header to the far post that beat Fritz, but ultimately was volleyed off the line by Alexandria’s Ian Ragsdale.

A bit of combination work between Valverde, Greene, and Winchester in the 22nd minute, sent Greene through for a shot that was plucked out of the air by Fritz keeping the match on equal footing.

In the 42nd minute, Alexandria’s Nicolas Mboungou lost the ball to Mobile’s Dawson Jellenc, but Mboungou’s immediately pressured Jellenc, won the ball back, and played a stunningly smooth pass to a streaking Zach Clear, who chipped his shot over Barou Ndaw to place the visitors on the front foot with a 1-0 lead.

“We had a couple chances at the beginning that if we put away I think the game goes a lot different,” said head coach Nate Nicholas, “but we didn’t finish those and it came to bite us in the butt later on.”

The second half started slowly with the game bogged down in the midfield and heat definitely impacting both teams with multiple players from both sides cramping up. However, the trailing Azaleas kept taking the opportunities given, but coming up against a keeper in fantastic form.

Valverde took another go at goal in the 57th minute sending it into the cross bar. A good piece of individual by Clairy Kengeye sent Fritz reeling from near to far post fully outstretched to make what may have been his most spectacular save of the game. Kengeye again was sprung free by Winchester down the right wing in the 81st only to have his shot rejected once more by Fritz.

Then in the 88th minute, Alexandria was awarded a free kick, which was played by Martin Iddon onto the head of an unmarked Brett Judd giving Alexandria a 2-0 lead and ultimately the win.

This result leaves Mobile needing to collect points in their three remaining matches according to coach Nicholas. “Basically, I told the boys, every game from here on out is a playoff game. Win and you’re in it…lose and you’re out…They know they could’ve played better [tonight]. There is not a person in that locker room that thought they did a great job tonight, me included.”

Getting to Know You: Alexandria Pool Boys FC

The Alexandria Pool Boys FC are, believe it or not, a historical team in not just the Gulf Coast Premier League, but in American soccer as well. The Pool Boys are a founding member of the GCPL. They are a constant competitor for the GCPL Cup, but what they are mostly known for is their fantastic social media presence. Whether it is their self-deprecating videos, snarky voice, or social media wars with other lower league teams, Pool Boys have a well earned reputation in American soccer. This reputation extends off the internet and onto the pitch as well. Pool Boys are currently sitting in third place, just outside of the playoffs, in a tough GCPL Western Conference. They will be heading east to Mobile in hopes of getting three points and jumping Cajun SC into the final Western Conference playoff spot.

CLUB: Alexandria FC

NICKNAME: The Pool Boys, APBFC

Before AFC Mobile came into GCPL and before CD Motagua of NOLA went on their Lamar Hunt US Open Cup run, the team that people knew about in the GCPL was the Pool Boys. Whether it was their play or their humorous social media battle with Boston’s Groton House Pizza Boys FC, the Pool Boys are well-known in non-league American soccer circles.

Last season, Alexandria was eliminated from the GCPL Cup Playoffs by eventual champions Gaffa FC in the semi-finals. The beginning of their 2018 campaign did not start well. Though the team held plenty of possession and outshot opponents, it has only been within the last few weeks that they have truly found their form, winning their last two matches and seemingly finding their best lineups. As is the case for Mobile, this weekend’s match is a must-win if Alexandria hopes to gain ground on Cajun SC and BOCA FC Knights in the Western Conference playoff race.

PLAYERS TO WATCH:

Juno Mboungou is a  APBFC veteran. He’s been on the team since its inception. Mboungou led the GCPL in assists last year and is creeping his way up the list this season with some spectacularly skillful form in the last few matches. His younger brother, Nicholas Mboungou, was just named to the GCPL Team of the Week after having a goal and an assist last weekend.  In addition to the Mboungou brothers, second-year player Brett Judd has been a goal-scoring monster for the Pool Boys. After his hat trick against Shreveport United, he inserted himself into the Golden Boot conversation.

The club can be found on Facebook and Twitter at @PoolBoysFC and on their website www.poolboysfc.com.

Mobile Falls 3-1 In First Leg of the Forgotten Coast Cup

Another wild chapter of the Forgotten Coast Cup was written on Wednesday night when AFC Mobile travel to Herbert Wilson Stadium in Gulfport, Mississippi to take on the rebranded Port City FC (formerly Biloxi City FC.) This match was originally scheduled to take place on Memorial Day weekend, but it was postponed due to the possibility of inclement weather. The Azaleas held a 1-0 lead for the majority of the game before ultimately falling to the Sounders 3-1.

The Azaleas were coming into the game after an incredible 4-3 comeback victory over Pensacola FC and were looking to claim one of two games in hand over the rest of their Eastern Conference opponents. 

Mobile burst out of the gate, dominating the early stages of the match. The Azaleas first chance came after Brantton “Sunshine” Greene charged his way through the pitch and passed the ball to Clairy Kengeye. Kengeye found Chisom Ogbonna who sent his shot wide. The Sounders retaliated minutes later but Mobile’s keeper easily saved Ethan Loftin’s shot. The Azaleas had another chance in the 15th minute when Kengeye boomed down the right wing and found a charging Chisom Ogbonna, who was flagged offside. 

However, it wouldn’t be long before Ogbonna found the score sheet. In the 20th minute Sherman Winchester sent the ball to Martin Fiemawhle who pulled the ball back and sent it across the box to Ogbonna who fired home the opening goal against Port City keeper Grant Adam. 

The Sounders attacked the Mobile defense for the next fifteen minutes. They thought they had their equalizer in the 35th minute after Hall’s shot dribbled its way into the back of the net after multiple deflections in the box. However, the goal was ruled offside and Mobile kept their 1-0 lead as both teams headed into the half. 

“To be honest with you from what I understand, this past weekend they rested several of their starters. We basically had the same group going and I think in the second half their energy raised up where we kind of got tired,” AFC Mobile head coach Nate Nicholas said. “We weren’t playing too terribly but we were absorbing a lot of pressure and they were playing very direct…and I think we got tired from constantly chasing and them hitting long balls.” 

Port City started the second half as the stronger side, but the first clearcut chance of the half came when Kengeye and Fiemawhle beautifully worked the ball back and forth between the two of them nearly resulting in a Kengeye shot. Port City nearly pulled a goal back when Loftin juked his way through the box and was brought down. The home fans clamored for a penalty, but it was not given.

In the 63rd minute, Port City forward Michael Cooper was played in behind the Mobile defense by Jordan Hall, but Hall’s shot was saved by Gibson. 

Port City equalized in the 72nd minute after Hall worked his way into the box and smashed a shot home past Gibson. In true Forgotten Coast Cup fashion, controversy erupted after Port City defender Joe Elliot dropped his shorts and “mooned” the Causeway Rebellion moments after the equalizing goal. 

 The Sounders took the lead in the 86th minute after Steven Gallagher found Austin Miller who brought the ball down Cavan Doherty who slotted it home. 

Late in the game, Mobile was awarded a free kick. While setting up for the kick, both teams participated in a pushing match which came to a head when Ogbonna shoved a Port City player in the neck.  Ogbonna was shown a straight red for violent conduct and will be suspended for at least one match. 

“Once again, I feel like it’s a weekly thing talking about referees and decisions and how they play in the league.  I don’t know if it was necessarily the wrong call; like I said I couldn’t see it very well, but obviously at that point the game had gotten out of hand again so it’s just one of those things, something was bound to happen. We got caught with some retaliation and we ended up with the red card. 

The Azaleas would nearly equalize late into stoppage time. Keeper Elijah Gibson ran up to join the Mobile attack in the box. Fiemawhle sent a free-kick towards goal and Mobile players got a touch on the ball but it bounced around in the box, ultimately not being able to find the back of the net. The Sounders got out on the break and Joao Victor slotted the ball home into the empty net to seal a 3-1 win for Port City.

The Azaleas will return to The Lip this Saturday night to face GCPL cross-conference opponent Alexandria FC. Kickoff for that game 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 just $5 and children 12 and under are admitted free.