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AFC Mobile rolls in 11-0 rout of Real United FC

MOSS POINT, Miss. – AFC Mobile snapped a three-match losing streak with a dominant 11-0 victory over Real United FC Riverhawks on Saturday night in Moss Point. Goalkeepers Barou Ndaw and Patrick Davis kept AFC Mobile’s first-ever clean sheet in a joint effort, while the netminder’s brother Iba Ndaw led the Azaleas in scoring with four goals. Abdal Almutairi applied consistent pressure on the Riverhawks defense and scored a hat trick, including his first goal for the club. This match saw three AFC Mobile United players make their first team debut: Davis, Matthew Duffey, and Justin Mallis, brother of AFC Mobile regular Markos Mallis.

“We were just the better team tonight and it showed in the scoreline,” AFC Mobile coach Nate Nicholas said. “But just to be blatantly honest, I’m not going to really be able to take a whole lot from that game and use it for next week. With a game that high-scoring, it kind of gets a little bit unrealistic.”

Mobile controlled the early stages of the game. The Azaleas opened the scoring in the 14th minute when Martin Fiemawhle sent a ball across the face of goal that was slotted home by Iba Ndaw. Real United had a short spell of possession after the opening goal, but never truly threatened Barou Ndaw in goal. The Azaleas nearly doubled their tally after Dawson Jellenc initiated a string of build-up passes in the midfield. The ball returned to Jellenc, whose shot went just wide of the goal. AFC Mobile scored again in the 35th minute after Matt Merrill played a long ball from the midfield to Fiemawhle who chipped the keeper to give the Azaleas a 2-0 lead. In the 40th minute, Almutairi opened his scoring account by chipping the keeper and giving the Azaleas a 3-0 lead. Two minutes later, Merrill played another through ball from midfield and Almutairi sent a high arching shot in the air, chipping the keeper for a second time. The Azaleas took a 4-0 lead into halftime.

“They just needed high pressure on the defense,” Almutairi said. “I just did what the coach asked me to and I pressed high on them.”

Mobile found the back of the net early in the second half. In the 47th minute, Iba Ndaw took a close range shot that spilled across the goalline after it was fumbled by the Riverhawks keeper. Two minutes later, Ira Bowens played a ball for Almutairi down the right wing. Almutairi completed his hat trick after sending in another arching shot from a tight angle, giving the Azaleas a 6-0 lead. In the 53rd minute, Almutairi played a ball into the box and Matt Merrill scored from point blank range, giving the Azaleas a 7-0 lead. The away team continued to dominate the second half. Iba Ndaw completed his hat trick in the 80th minute after Matthew Duffey played him in from the top of the box. In the 87th minute, Duffey went on to score a goal of his own in his AFC Mobile debut off an assist from Brantton Greene.

Off the restart from Duffey’s goal, Iba Ndaw played in Tomas Lopez who slotted home an easy effort to bring the score to 10-0.  In the 91st minute, Iba Ndaw scored one more goal unassisted after dribbling past the Riverhawks’ defense and goalkeeper, bringing the final score to 11-0.

This Saturday, the Azaleas return to the Lip to take on Port City FC in the second leg of the Forgotten Coast Cup. Although this rivalry is only two years old, it has produced some of the closest matches and most memorable moments in either club’s history, and has been labeled the “realest rivalry in American soccer” by media outlets.

“Last time they did a real good job of getting one of our better players red-carded and suspended,” Nicholas said. “It’s a grudge match. I don’t care if one team is in the playoffs and one team is not. It was the same way last year and both games were very intense, very in your face, go-at-it soccer and I don’t expect it to be any different. I expect it to be pretty hardcore.”

Kickoff for that game is at 7:00 p.m. on Saturday, July 14th 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.

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Getting to Know You: Port City FC

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.

Getting to Know You: Real United FC

Real United FC has had a season of ups and downs in the early going. By winning their first match, many of the league’s eyes swung in their direction. The second and third match of the season did not go as well. As clubs get acclimated to the Gulf Coast Premier League style of play, they sometimes find themselves back at the drawing board. And while the results did not go their way in Foley or Pensacola, they looked like they belong. With perhaps the best goalkeeper in the GCPL between the pipes and one of the quickest counterattacks in the Eastern Conference, the Riverhawks will be a challenge for AFC Mobile.

CLUB: Real United FC

NICKNAME: The Riverhawks

Real United FC has been around Gulf Coast soccer for a while. Several current GCPL players and stars have come through their youth ranks. This, however, is the first year they have put together a senior side to compete in the league.  Real United won their first ever GCPL game 2-0 against Shreveport United, but have struggled against stronger teams. Real United will come into The Lip hoping to pull out a point or three and regain their footing against the Azaleas.

PLAYERS TO WATCH: Lamoy Graham is the real deal. The goalkeeper for Real United has had plenty of experience in the GCPL and beyond. Graham served as the keeper for CD Motagua of New Orleans when they went on their Lamar Hunt US Open Cup run three seasons ago. In his only game in goal for the Riverhawks last week, Graham shot up the saves leader chart in the GCPL. His freakish athleticism and determined leadership is something to keep an eye on. On the other end of the pitch is Denver Bankston, a Spring Hill College alumnus and former USL and NPSL player.  Bankston is a great target for Real United who thrive on the counterattack.

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

New addition shines in first home win against Northshore United

 

Smiles and good times were in abundance at Archbishop Lipscomb Stadium as AFC Mobile opened up its 2018 defense of The Lip with a 2-1 defeat of Covington, Louisiana’s Northshore United FC in preseason friendly action.

Coach Nate Nicholas fielded a slightly depleted side as several anticipated starters are not scheduled to see action until next week’s visit by the NPSL South Region Conference’s New Orleans Jesters in the final match before the start of the 2018 GCPL season.

The opening minutes of the match had the roughly even, tentative start that one would expect of two sides still working on their chemistry, but it did not take long for AFC Mobile Forward Iba Ndaw to find a breaking Chisom Ogbonna in the fourth minute for the first of what would be many combinations and close scoring opportunities.

By the tenth minute, the Azaleas started to gain confidence and momentum in their possession, culminating in an insightful pass from Martin Fiemawhle to a breaking Ogbonna, who teamed with Ndaw to work through the Northshore defense before being taken down 24 yards from goal. On the ensuing free kick, Iba Ndaw uncorked a blistering, curling shot that evaded the outstretched arms of the keeper and smacked into the back of the net to give Mobile a 16th minute 1-0 lead.

Ndaw would be rewarded again when Matt Merrill lofted a 40 yard cross-field pass to a streaking Brantton Greene, whose squaring pass found Ndaw at the top of the penalty area. Ndaw circled to create space and fizzed a low shot with his weaker foot, which bounced off the far post and across the line to give the Senegalese native his second goal of the match.

After securing the lead, Coach Nicholas took advantage of the unlimited substitutions agreed upon for the friendly match to experiment with different options and player combinations. Northshore continued to work on shutting down AFC Mobile’s attack and began to test the depth of their defense with increasingly consistent possession that persisted until halftime.

The second half saw a determined Northshore side continue to mount pressure, which was rewarded in the 47th minute when United standout Salim Yillah slipped free of his marking and headed home a corner kick to cut the margin in half. Northshore continued to apply pressure to get an equalizer against a Mobile side that was focusing on defending their lead. The Azaleas’ line held strong until the 61st minute, when a cutting through ball led to a Northshore attacker alone against the keeper. The shot was well taken and was headed toward the top corner of the net, but an acrobatic effort from Mobile keeper Elijah Gibson deflected the ball to preserve AFC Mobile’s lead. AFC Mobile held on to win its first home match 2-1 in front of an ecstatic preseason crowd of 765.

AFC Mobile’s next match is against the New Orleans Jesters on Saturday, May 5th at 7:00 pm at the Archbishop Lipscomb Athletic Complex located at 3610 Michael Boulevard in Mobile. Tickets are only $5 and kids 12 and under get in free. You will be able to finish off your Cinco de Mayo properly with the El Milagro Taqueria Y Pupuseria food truck serving tacos inside the stadium! Be sure to follow us on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and Snapchat!

 

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!

 

AFC Mobile Wins Soccer Round Table Logo Cup

AFC Mobile began 2018 with a cup victory on Wednesday night, despite the season being a few months away. The club won the Soccer Round Table Logo Cup, a Twitter competition organized by the podcast and website Soccer Round Table. AFC Mobile was the last team standing out of 128 lower-division soccer teams participating in the contest.

“I designed the logo a few years before we actually had a team. There was a ton of thought put into it,” club president Abram Chamberlain said. “The fact that people in Mobile and throughout the country looked at that logo and decided that it is the best lower division soccer logo is a humbling response. It is proof that we have built something incredibly special in Mobile.”

On the road to the title, AFC Mobile knocked out some major teams, including USL side Sacramento Republic FC, perennial NPSL power Detroit City FC, the ever popular Minneapolis City SC, and last year’s US Open Cup darlings Christos FC in the final.

According to the contest’s sponsors, AFC Mobile will receive a set of 18 kits from Impact ProWear and a trophy. Keep an eye on our social media pages for more details about the kits in the future!

Fan Reaction: Stewart Thames – the Face in the Crowd

Sometimes, the support of a team is simply about soccer. Not everyone will be popping smoke and banging drums. Some come to the matches to take in a full-on battle. They are their to watch gladiators on the pitch play the game they love for their city. This is Stewart Thames.

In this fan reaction, Stewart Thames recalls what is important about AFC Mobile to him: wanting his team to succeed. He came to AFC Mobile for soccer. He has never had issues being critical of the club, but that is only because it is his club.

You’ll find me inconspicuously hidden among the crowd of fans…[but] This is my team and I want them to win

I am not an influential person in the Mobile soccer community.

I am not a member of the Causeway Rebellion.

And I am not someone who is going to know everyone at an AFC Mobile match.

I am just an “average” fan.

Of course, one of the biggest disconnects between my life as a soccer fan growing up in Mobile and the soccer teams I watched was geography. I always enjoyed watching matches in England, Germany, and Spain, but I never really gained a real attachment to any European club.

When I really became interested in soccer, the closest top professional team was in Houston, and I had yet to become aware of the myriad of smaller leagues scattered across the United States. I took an immediate interest in our domestic league and I became an avid supporter of a certain Rave Green team in the Pacific Northwest. During those days, MLS matches were rarely televised nationally. So, I would stream Sounders matches on my laptop from suspect sports streaming sites, and I even paid for an online subscription so that I could watch every match.

While I was just as real of a fan as someone from Seattle, I still felt that I was missing part of the “fan experience” because I had no real connection to the city.

I first found out about AFC Mobile through Twitter. When I read that Mobile would have an organized “semi-pro” soccer team, I was engulfed with a wave of skepticism and excitement. While I had a small group of fellow soccer fans my age, I was curious as to whether Mobile was capable of supporting a soccer team. My excitement primarily stemmed from the fact that there would be a local soccer team that I could support and always call “my team” regardless of the circumstances.

In fact, I was so eager to learn more about the team that I privately messaged Abram Chamberlain asking him when the team would begin play. Even before the first whistle, I knew that I was committed to being an AFC Mobile fan.

I know that the fan and game day experience is a big deal to most small clubs and its supporters, but for me, my fandom consists of having a team that I can support regardless of the circumstances. Maybe it’s a little bit selfish that I don’t care that much about the camaraderie of the supporter groups or the “family friendly” atmospheres.

To me, it is all about experiencing the sadness and joy that you get from passionately supporting a team regardless of how good that team is or what division that team competes in. AFC Mobile has given me that chance to call a local team my own. I remember going to that first AFC Mobile game and being excited that over 800 people turned out to watch the match. I was pleased to see that Mobile could support a 5th division soccer team, but my “inner fan” took over as soon AFC Mobile started its first match against the Gulf Coast Texas.

While I was excited to be at the first ever AFC Mobile home match, I was also slightly annoyed that AFC Mobile lost. It wasn’t an “I’m not going to watch that anymore” type of annoyance, but it was a “this is my team and I want them to win, dammit” annoyance that any real fan of a team experiences. From then, my love for the club didn’t cease. I streamed away matches (when available), and I even stayed up until 3 a.m. in Oxford, England while studying abroad to watch AFC Mobile lose to Motagua and Gaffa. It didn’t cross my mind that the team was winless up to that point and that I could just check the score in the morning. AFC Mobile was my team and I was going to watch them just as fervently as I watch the Sounders or the United States National Team. I was a soccer fan from Mobile who finally had a Mobile team.

My fandom is not the typical type of soccer fandom that most people envision when they think “soccer fan.” You won’t find me chanting or beating drums in the supporters section. Every team needs those types of fans, but that’s not me. You’ll find me inconspicuously hidden among the crowd of fans questioning a call by the referee, applauding or cursing a tactical move by our manager, or just admiring the sheer brilliance of a good pass.

I may not be the one who shows the most outward emotion, but I am also the first person to stand up and applaud when Chisom scores a goal or when Matt Merrill makes a crunching tackle in the midfield. I can be annoyed when the team is not doing well on the field, and I can cheer for the club when it does the little things right. Being a fan of a team means experiencing all of the good and all of the bad. AFC Mobile’s lone win against Biloxi was made even sweeter because I experienced the last gasp golazo by a 10 (or was it 9?) man Biloxi in Lipscomb Stadium. That’s the fun part of being a fan: sticking with a club during the peaks and valleys of a season.

AFC Mobile has given me the opportunity to support an authentic Mobile soccer team. I now have a local team that I can root for and be proud to call my own. So, thank you, AFC Mobile, for giving a diehard Mobile soccer fan the chance to cheer for a Mobile soccer team.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Open Tryout Registration Begins

Mobile, Alabama – Registration for new players wishing to try out for the premier soccer team in Mobile is now open. AFC Mobile’s Open Tryouts will be held on Saturday, December 9, 2017. Any player who will graduate high school by May of 2018 and is at least 17-years-old is invited to try out for AFC Mobile’s 2018 roster.

Players will have the opportunity to try out with Coach Nate Nicholas and his staff from 2:00-6:00 p.m. Select participants will be invited back to the Invitational Tryout which will be held Saturday, December 16, 2017, with players from last season’s roster as well as select collegiate players.

More information may be found here:

Open Tryout Information

Registration fee may be paid here:

Pay $15.00 Registration Fee

Open Tryouts

AFC Mobile Open Tryouts December 9th

On Saturday, December 9th, 2017, AFC Mobile will hold its open tryouts for their upcoming 2018 season. The team will look to bolster its roster with local talent from the Mobile area.

AFC Mobile invites interested players to tryout. Coach Nate Nicholas and his staff will hold tryouts at Herndon “Sage” Park (2900 Dauphin Street, Mobile, Alabama). Select players will be invited to another tryout with players from last year’s roster and select NCAA and NAIA players.

During their inaugural season, AFC Mobile played before record crowds in what some have dubbed one of the best amateur soccer atmospheres in the South. Expectations for the second season are high. Coach Nicholas and his staff will look to build a side that can compete with some of the top semi-professional teams in the region.

Registration will start on November 1st, 2017 and will cost $15 online. Day of registration is $25.

Week of 10/1: Soccer events in the Mobile area

10/2


Spring Hill College vs. Florida Southern College (Women’s)
The Cage, Mobile
12:00 PM

10/5


University of Mobile vs. Faulkner University (Women’s)
The Jungle, Mobile
2:00 PM

 
University of Mobile vs. Faulkner University (Men’s)
The Jungle, Mobile
3:30 PM


Spring Hill College vs. Lee University (Men’s)
Library Field, Mobile
6:00 PM

10/6


Spring Hill College vs. University of Alabama – Huntsville (Women’s)
Library Field, Mobile
3:30 PM

American Outlaws Watch Party: United States Men’s National Team vs. Panama Men’s National Team
O’Daly’s Irish Pub

564 Dauphin Street, Mobile
Kickoff at 6:30 PM

10/7


English Premier League Soccer Saturday’s at O’Daly’s Irish Pub (Watch Party)
564 Dauphin Street, Mobile
Doors Open at 6:30 AM

University of Mobile vs. Dalton State College (Women’s)
The Jungle, Mobile
1:30 PM


University of Mobile vs. Dalton State College (Men’s)
The Jungle, Mobile
4:00 PM