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AFC Mobile Defeats Pensacola 2-0

Pensacola FC hosted AFC Mobile in a NPSL Gulf Conference clash on Wednesday at the Foley Sports Tourism Championship Stadium in Foley, Alabama.  The game started with both teams cautiously testing each other as they each were coming off losses in their previous match.

Pensacola had the earliest chance to take the lead in the 10th minute when a great sequence of passing allowed Pensacola’s Prince Owusu to get in behind the Mobile backline. Owusu floated a beautifully weighted cross to a wide-open James Morrissey who had an empty net at his mercy but managed to hit wide from three yards out.  That miss seemed to wake up the Azaleas who were looking for their first points of the season

Mobile broke the deadlock in the 23rd minute after some good interchanging passing saw Alex Lozano in on goal with only Pensacola goalkeeper Mark McMillan to beat.  Lozano placed a beautifully struck ball to the left hand corner of McMillan.  That goal seemed to spark some life into the Azaleas as they started growing in confidence.  Pensacola was struggling to get anything going in their attacking third and couldn’t find that final pass to create a goalscoring chance.  Things seemed to have settled a bit in the game as both teams were trying to retain possession of the ball.

Pensacola was starting to see a bit more of the possession, but a clumsy giveaway  in the 32nd minute just outside the 18-yard box by Pensacola’s Lorenzo Pereira-Weber saw the ball land directly at the feet of Mobile’s Ronaldo Fortune. 

Fortune then placed a powerfully low shot to the bottom right hand corner of Pensacola’s goal.  That gave the Azaleas a 2-0 lead and put them on course for their first victory over Pensacola FC since the 2019 GCPL season.  As both teams entered the locker rooms for halftime, Mobile would have felt that they deserved to be on top and would come out looking for more goals in the second half.

With Pensacola down by two goals, they came out from the break blazing.  Just as the first half ended, the Pelicans began controlling the lion’s share of the possession, but just could not find a goal to cut into the deficit. 

Then in the 47th minute Mobile’s Tate Richards was shown a second yellow card for a tackle on Pensacola’s Azahrias Ali.  Pensacola head coach Dean Logan introduced Michael Lightbourne, who was nursing a slight injury, to help them get that goal and cut the scoreline in half.

With a man down, Mobile sat back more defensively subbing of Jackson Wheatley for Edward Dakwa. The Azaleas sat deep in their half, looking to hit Pensacola on the counter attack as the Pelicans pushed players higher up the field.  The game grew more frustrating for Pensacola as they came close on a couple of occasions.  Chances fell to Jayce Dotson and Jarred Dass but they just couldn’t find the back of the net.  Christopher Salamatou caused the best second half opportunity for Mobile in the 83rd minute following with some fancy footwork, only to be denied by McMillan in the Pensacola goal.

As the final whistle blew, the Azaleas recorded their first victory of the season. 

]Logan shared his thoughts on the game. 

“Credit to Mobile,” Logan said. “They came in seeking their first points of the season, and they were clinical in the final third.  We just couldn’t put away our chances which in the end was not favorable to us.”

Match Preview: AFC Mobile vs Florida Roots

AFC Mobile (0-1-0) vs Florida Roots (1-2-0)

Saturday, May 21st Kickoff at 7 p.m.

Archbishop Lipscomb Athletic Complex 3610 Michael Blvd, Mobile, AL 36609

AFC Mobile will play its first home match of the year on Saturday night, hosting Florida Roots FC from Panama City, Florida. The Azaleas fell to the New Orleans Jesters on the road in the Big Easy two weekends ago. AFC Mobile’s opponents, Florida Roots, have played three matches, notching a win against Tallahassee SC before dropping their next two games to Jacksonville Armada FC U-23s and Pensacola FC.

“One of the keys to the match will be our ability to capitalize better on our possession,” said AFC Mobile manager Steve Wieczorek, “We need to create a higher percentage of chances in the final third. If we can do that, I’m confident this group can get a result from the match.”

AFC Mobile forward Iba Ndaw will be knocking on history. Ndaw has scored 20 goals for the Azaleas, the second-most in club history. Two more goals for Ndaw will see him overtake recently retired club stalwart Chisom Ogbonna as AFC Mobile’s leading goalscorer.

Kickoff is at 7 p.m. on Saturday, May 21st. Tickets are $10, and kids 12 and under are admitted for free. This weekend is also our Teacher Appreciation Night, so all school employees are admitted for free with a valid ID!

2022 Home Opener Saturday May 21st!

AFC Mobile returns to The Lip for the first time this season to take on Florida Roots FC! Join us as we kick off the 2022 NPSL home season and celebrate our local educators! All school employees will be admitted free. 

Kickoff is set for 7 p.m. at the Archbishop Lipscomb Athletic Complex, 3610 Michael Blvd, Mobile, AL 36609. Tickets are only $10, and children 12 and under are admitted for free. Season tickets are still on sale and can be purchased here in advance and picked up at Will Call. Single-game tickets can be purchased in advance at this link or at the gate on the night of the match.

See you at The Lip!

AFC Mobile adds local businessman Scott Tindle to Board

Mobile, Alabama – April 20, 2022 – AFC Mobile, Mobile’s minor league soccer team, has added Mobile-area entrepreneur Scott Tindle to its ownership group and board of directors ahead of the 2022 National Premier Soccer League season, the club announced.

“It’s a privilege to be able join the team at AFC Mobile,” Tindle said. “The Club has created a strong platform that has incredible potential to grow on the pitch, in the stands, and in the hearts of our fans.” 

Tindle is well-known in the Mobile community after appearing on Shark Tank to secure investment for his start-up company TieTry.com, serving as the executive director of The Grounds, and founding the Gulf Coast Ducks. Tindle has also worked as a consultant and investor in the guest experience, restaurant operations, and blockchain and IOT sectors. 

“We couldn’t be more excited to add Scott to our ownership group and board,” AFC Mobile co-owner and vice president Patrick Dungan said. “Scott’s passion for creating authentic connections and communities fits perfectly with our Club culture, and we know he’ll be able to take our Club to another level for existing and new supporters.”

With the addition of Tindle, AFC Mobile co-founder and former vice president Jeff Garl departs the board of directors. 

“We’re endlessly grateful for the effort Jeff put in to start this club and provide a home for our players – often literally opening his home to players arriving in our city for the first time,” AFC Mobile president Abram Chamberlain said. “Because of Jeff’s support, many of these players have made Mobile their permanent home. While Jeff is departing our board, he’ll always be a founder of this Club, and we look forward to welcoming him back to The Lip this summer.” 

About AFC Mobile: 

AFC Mobile is Mobile’s minor league soccer team, competing in the National Premier Soccer League. The 2022 season begins in May and runs through July. The schedule is available at afcmobile.net. 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. Season passes are available online at afcmobile.net

2022 Season Passes on sale now!

AFC Mobile’s 2022 season passes are now on sale! Lock in the lowest price of admission for all six National Premier Soccer League home games, presented by the Alabama Orthopaedic Clinic, plus admission to all friendlies and home postseason matches. All season ticket holders will receive additional benefits from AFC Mobile partners enrolled in the AFC Mobile Supporter’s Night Out program. Details on discounts will be announced over the coming weeks.

Season passes come in four packages:

Package A: Package A, a silicone AFC Mobile branded wristband that entitles you to admission to all AFC Mobile home matches and exclusive events, will be held at will call until picked up.

Package B: Get admission to every AFC Mobile National Premier Soccer League (NPSL) home match in 2022, including home playoffs, AND your choice of a 2022 Season Scarf OR a 2022 season t-shirt.

These designs are produced by Mobile-based artists and will be revealed prior to the season.

Package C: Gain admission to all of AFC Mobile’s 2022 NPSL home matches plus a 2022 scarf AND a 2022 season shirt.

These items are designed by Mobile-area artists and will be revealed prior to the season.

Package D: Gain admission to all AFC Mobile NPSL home matches in 2022, including playoffs hosted by AFC Mobile AND an AFC Mobile jersey (home or away), designed by Mobile-based Mighty Advertising and produced by hummel.

The 2022 scarf and home jersey will be revealed at a preseason event on April 22 at Braided River Brewing Company in downtown Mobile.

AFC Mobile to partner with Alabama Orthopaedic Clinic

AFC Mobile, Mobile’s minor league soccer team, and the Alabama Orthopaedic Clinic, P.C., a leading full-service provider of orthopaedic healthcare in Mobile, have entered into a long-term partnership, the two organizations announced Thursday. 

The partnership will make AOC the official sports medicine provider and presenting sponsor of AFC Mobile, providing the team’s players high-quality healthcare by AOC physicians and athletic trainers on game days and in training. AOC’s logo will be placed on the front of the AFC Mobile and AFC Mobile Academy jerseys for the next three years. 

“More than anything, this partnership will help us provide a top-tier experience for the players of AFC Mobile,” Sean Landry, AFC Mobile CFO, said. “Adding the incredible doctors, athletic trainers, physical therapists and professionals of the Alabama Orthopaedic Clinic to our roster will ensure the players who work so hard for this club and our fans are given the level of care they so richly deserve. We’re thankful to the Alabama Orthopaedic Clinic for their support of Mobile’s Minor League Soccer Team.” 

Alabama Orthopaedic Clinic, located at 3610 Springhill Memorial Drive in Mobile, offers a wide range of orthopaedic healthcare, including foot & ankle specialities, hand injury specialities, interventional pain management, spine care, orthopaedic trauma treatment, general orthopaedics and sports medicine. In addition to its Mobile office, AOC operates a clinic at 75 Shell Street, Saraland, AL. 

A new home jersey bearing the AOC logo will be unveiled by the team in April 2022, and will be available for purchase on the team’s website. The 2022 home jersey will also be included in some season ticket packages that will be available for purchase on the AFC Mobile website in the coming days. 

About AFC Mobile: 

AFC Mobile is Mobile’s minor league soccer team, competing in the National Premier Soccer League. The 2022 season begins in May and runs through July. The schedule is available at afcmobile.net. 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. Follow AFC Mobile on all your favorite social media platforms to keep up-to-date on additional information about the 2022 season!

CONTACT: 

Mitchell Kahalley

mkahalley@afcmobile.net

(251) 421-4819

-END-

AFC Mobile Announces 2022 NPSL Schedule

AFC Mobile, Mobile’s minor league soccer team, released its 2022 National Premier Soccer League schedule on Wednesday. The Azaleas will face a familiar yet formidable slate of opponents in its second NPSL season.

AFC Mobile opens the season on Saturday, May 7th, against rivals the New Orleans Jesters in the first of two “Mardi Gras Cup” matches to be played this season. 

The Azaleas will return to the Archbishop Lipscomb Athletic Complex on Saturday, May 21st, to take on Florida Roots FC from Panama City. Four days later, on May 25th, Pensacola FC will travel to Lip to take on AFC Mobile in what has become one of the most consistently exciting fixtures in minor league soccer. Mobile came back from a three-goal deficit to beat the ‘59ers 4-3 in Pensacola in 2018 and defeated them by the same score in 2019. Last season, the 59ers took home victories in both fixtures against AFC Mobile en route to a Conference Finals appearance. The Azaleas will be looking to right the ship and regain the upper hand against their I-10 rivals. 

AFC Mobile will open June with a tough slate of three matches in one week. Mobile will host the Jacksonville Armada on Saturday, June 4th. Four days later, on June 8th, the Azaleas will travel to Ashton Brosnaham Stadium to play the reverse fixture against Pensacola FC. The New Orleans Jesters will head to the Lip on Saturday 

The Azaleas host the reigning Gulf Coast Conference champions Southern States Soccer Club on Saturday, June 18th. On June 23rd AFC Mobile will travel to Panama City to take on Florida Roots FC. Two days later, the Azaleas will head to Tallahassee to face the Battle Lions of Tallahassee SC. On June 29th, AFC Mobile will head to Hattiesburg, Mississippi, to play the second fixture against the Southern States. The Azaleas’ final road game will be on July 2nd, against the Jacksonville Armada U23s. AFC Mobile will close the regular season at home against Tallahassee SC on Saturday, July 9th. 

The conference semifinals are scheduled for Wednesday, July 13th, with the Conference Championship scheduled for July 19th. Each match will be hosted by the highest seeds. 

Details on how to purchase season tickets will be announced soon. AFC Mobile plays all home matches at the Archbishop Lipscomb Athletic Complex. Tickets are $10 for adults. Kids 12 and under are admitted for free. All home matches will kick off at 7 p.m. CST. Like AFC Mobile on Facebook, follow AFC Mobile on Twitter and Instagram, and visit www.afcmobile.net to stay up to date on all things AFC Mobile. 

AFC Mobile 2022 NPSL Season (All matches 7 p.m. local):

  • Saturday, May 7, 2022 – @New Orleans Jesters
  • Saturday, May 21, 2022 – HOME vs Florida Roots
  • Wednesday, May 25, 2022 – HOME vs Pensacola FC
  • Saturday, June 4, 2022 – HOME vs Jacksonville Armada FC
  • Wednesday June 8, 2022 – @Pensacola FC
  • Saturday, June 11, 2022 – HOME vs New Orleans Jesters
  • Saturday, June 18, 2022 – HOME vs Southern States SC
  • Thursday, June 23, 2022 – @Florida Roots (Panama City)
  • Saturday, June 25, 2022 – @Tallahassee SC
  • Wednesday, June 29, 2022 – @Southern States SC (Hattiesburg, MS – kickoff 7:30 p.m.)
  • Saturday, July 2, 2022 – @Jacksonville Armada
  • Saturday, July 9, 2022 – HOME vs Tallahassee SC

AFC Mobile Falls to Tallahassee SC in Final Game of the Season

Tallahassee SC edged AFC Mobile 2-1 at the Archbishop Lipscomb Athletic Complex on Saturday night in both teams’ last match of the season. The result knocked AFC Mobile out of the running for a playoff berth. 

“I’m a big believer in the fact that a game shows you what you deserve. We drew three games and lost today from winning positions. That’s not good enough if you want to be a playoff team,” AFC Mobile head coach Steve Wieczroek said. “The reality is that we’ve had a lot of attrition in terms of players moving on at different parts of the season and we are where we deserve to be. So tonight’s performance kind of typifies that.” 

The Azaleas started the night on the right foot with a goal from forward Iba Ndaw. In the third minute of the match, Clairy Kengeye chipped the ball over the Tallahassee backline onto the feet of Ndaw, who charged at the Tallahassee goal and fired the shot past keeper Grant Wollam. 

There were only a few chances for either side for the remainder of the first half. In the 31st minute, a hard collision in the Tallahassee box sent Mobile’s Thierry Zabarel to the concussion protocol. Zabarel was cleared to return to the match just before the end of the half. However, the injury led to five minutes of stoppage time. In the third minute of stoppage, Tallahassee’s Cam Earls slotted home a shot off of a free kick equalizing the score just before halftime. 

The second half was a cagey affair with few quality chances for either side. AFC Mobile’s all-time leading goalscorer Chisom Ogbonna checked into the match with thirty minutes left to play. He created a few chances but nothing that threatened the Tallahassee defense. The Battle Lions took the lead in the 83rd minute after Tallahassee was awarded a penalty. Sy Fontenot stepped up to take the spot kick. His shot was saved by Mobile’s keeper Will Blake, but Fontenot put away the rebound giving the Battle Lions the 2-1 victory on the night as well as the first time that either team had won a match in the history of this fixture. Until this match, all three previous fixtures between the clubs ended in a draw. 

After the match, AFC Mobile’s head coach Steve Wieczorek reflected on the season for the Azaleas.  “We put in some really good performances in terms of being competitive in games, but really just lacked whatever is needed to be where we want to be,” Wieczorek said. “We are where we should be, but not where we want to be as a club.  

Wieczorek also said that the club will get to work preparing for the 2022 season right away.  “There needs to be a full assessment of all the choices I’ve made. Obviously as a coach I’m going to think about what choices I made. Did I play the right players at the right positions… at the right times… did I make the right choices throughout the season?  And then I’m going to assess if I brought in the right players. Were they the right players in terms of culture and in terms of ability? And then we’ll assess where we need to go from here. Because we can’t have a thousand people watch us finish in the bottom half of the league.” 

AFC Mobile finished its inaugural season in the NPSL fifth among eight teams in the Gulf Coast Conference.

Tallahassee SC edged AFC Mobile 2-1 at the Archbishop Lipscomb Athletic Complex on Saturday night in both teams’ last match of the season. The result knocked AFC Mobile out of the running for a playoff berth. 

“I’m a big believer in the fact that a game shows you what you deserve. We drew three games and lost today from winning positions. That’s not good enough if you want to be a playoff team,” AFC Mobile head coach Steve Wieczroek said. “The reality is that we’ve had a lot of attrition in terms of players moving on at different parts of the season and we are where we deserve to be. So tonight’s performance kind of typifies that.” 

The Azaleas started the night on the right foot with a goal from forward Iba Ndaw. In the third minute of the match, Clairy Kengeye chipped the ball over the Tallahassee backline onto the feet of Ndaw, who charged at the Tallahassee goal and fired the shot past keeper Grant Wollam. 

There were only a few chances for either side for the remainder of the first half. In the 31st minute, a hard collision in the Tallahassee box sent Mobile’s Thierry Zabarel to the concussion protocol. Zabarel was cleared to return to the match just before the end of the half. However, the injury led to five minutes of stoppage time. In the third minute of stoppage, Tallahassee’s Cam Earls slotted home a shot off of a free kick equalizing the score just before halftime. 

The second half was a cagey affair with few quality chances for either side. AFC Mobile’s all-time leading goalscorer Chisom Ogbonna checked into the match with thirty minutes left to play. He created a few chances but nothing that threatened the Tallahassee defense. The Battle Lions took the lead in the 83rd minute after Tallahassee was awarded a penalty. Sy Fontenot stepped up to take the spot kick. His shot was saved by Mobile’s keeper Will Blake, but Fontenot put away the rebound giving the Battle Lions the 2-1 victory on the night as well as the first time that either team had won a match in the history of this fixture. Until this match, all three previous fixtures between the clubs ended in a draw. 

After the match, AFC Mobile’s head coach Steve Wieczorek reflected on the season for the Azaleas.  “We put in some really good performances in terms of being competitive in games, but really just lacked whatever is needed to be where we want to be,” Wieczorek said. “We are where we should be, but not where we want to be as a club.  

Wieczorek also said that the club will get to work preparing for the 2022 season right away.  “There needs to be a full assessment of all the choices I’ve made. Obviously as a coach I’m going to think about what choices I made. Did I play the right players at the right positions… at the right times… did I make the right choices throughout the season?  And then I’m going to assess if I brought in the right players. Were they the right players in terms of culture and in terms of ability? And then we’ll assess where we need to go from here. Because we can’t have a thousand people watch us finish in the bottom half of the league.” 

AFC Mobile finished its inaugural season in the NPSL fifth among eight teams in the Gulf Coast Conference.

Pensacola FC Scores Late to Sink AFC Mobile 1-0

Photo Credit: Seth Laubinger

After days of uncertainty due to the looming threat of Tropical Depression Claudette, Pensacola FC was able to make the trip west on I-10 to take on AFC Mobile on what turned out to be a beautiful night for soccer at the Archbishop Lipscomb Athletic Complex. Despite the beautiful weather, the night ended in depression for Mobile fans as Pensacola FC scored a goal in the 89th minute to seal a 1-0 victory. 

The Azaleas had a significant chance in the first half when striker Karl Mbouombouo was played past the Pensacola backline by Ronaldo Fortune. However, Pensacola’s keeper, Jules Dechert, closed down Mbouombouo, forcing the forward to play a shot straight at the keeper.  Mobile had another chance in the 23rd minute when Fortune’s low-rolling, long-range effort slid just to the left of the goal. Fortune led the Azaleas to another chance just five minutes later when he picked the ball up in midfield and sprayed it wide to Clairy Kengeye, who throttled a shot while being closed down by a Pensacola defender. Kengeye’s effort was stopped but bobbled by Dechert, who collected the ball as Kengeye ran at him. 

Dechert sent the ball down the field for the 59ers. After a lovely passage of play, Pensacola took a shot that was saved by Mobile’s goalkeeper Will Blake. It was one of several saves the Mobile native made on the night to keep the Azaleas level.

The home team took another chance in the 32nd minute when Fortune was played in behind the Pensacola backline by Kengeye. Fortune brought the ball down and tried to chip Dechert, but the Pensacola keeper kept his composure, reached up, and saved Fortune’s shot. Then, in the 36th minute, Mobile’s Kengeye was shown a yellow card for a light shove on a Pensacola player.  

“We put ourselves in a position that we needed to be in to score goals, and there were a couple of other moments in the first half as well where we were able to do that,” AFC Mobile head coach Steve Wiezorek said. “Unfortunately, in the game of soccer when you don’t capitalize on those chances, the game has ebbs and flows, and the flow went back against us. You get what you get when it doesn’t go in the back of the net.” 

Mobile made two changes to start the second half. Eddie Dakwa came on for Salia Carr and Iba Ndaw for Karl Mbouombouo. However, the 59ers came out strong in the second half and were awarded a free kick in the 51st minute, which was saved by a diving Will Blake, continuing the dominant goalkeeping performances seen from both sides in the first half. 

In what had been a fantastic attacking performance so far, the Azaleas attempted to sharpen their attacking edge by bringing on Chisom Ogbonna for Blake Palmquist. The home team nearly took the lead in the 69th minute when Fortune charged down the right-wing and pulled the ball back to avoid Dechert. However, Dechert slid into Fortune, causing him to go down and causing the fans to clamor for a penalty that was not given. Ten minutes later, Clairy Kengeye saw his second yellow card on the night, leaving the home team down to 10 men. 

“I’m disappointed obviously,” Wieczorek said. “I never put things on the referee, that’s the referee’s decision and choice, but obviously he has to know that the player has a yellow card, so that decision has to be worthy to be another yellow card because you understand that you change the dynamic of the game drastically. So now we went from being in a position where we had a decent foothold in the game and could potentially score, and now we’re just hanging on. And we couldn’t.” 

Pensacola’s Samuel Richards was cautioned in the 87th minute when he brought down Mobile’s Iba Ndaw on a counter-attack. The fans clamored for more than a red card on what they believed was a clear goalscoring opportunity, but Richards was shown only a yellow. This set up a Mobile free-kick from just beyond midfield. Defender Zubair Taylor sent a beautiful ball into the box that was headed wide right of the goal by Stanley Joseph. 

Pensacola took the lead in the 89th minute when Jamaican international Jabari Hylton received a ball in the box and maneuvered his way past Mobile’s Stanley Joseph to slot home the game-winner. The goal was Hylton’s second in as many games for the 59ers. 

Pensacola FC will attempt to build on this win when they travel to Tommy Oliver Stadium in Panama City this Tuesday to take on Florida Roots FC. This ended a four-match homestand for the Azaleas, who will now travel to the Sunshine State to play three matches on the road. The first of which is also against Florida Roots this Thursday night. 

AFC Mobile To Assume Management of Mobile County Soccer Complex

AFC Mobile has agreed with Mobile County to assume management of the recently opened Mobile County Soccer Complex, beginning October 1st. 

“We’re grateful the County has entrusted us with the management of this Complex, and look forward to managing it as it grows into one of the top facilities in the region,” AFC Mobile CFO Sean Landry said. “Special thanks is owed to Commissioner [Connie] Hudson, who has been a great partner for AFC Mobile and for the soccer community for years. Soccer in Mobile has never had more momentum than it does at this moment, and the on-going development and use of these fields will help the Mobile soccer community realize its full potential.”

The Complex, located on Halls Mill Road near the intersection of Interstates 10 and 65, formally opened in July of this year. The project, spearheaded by County Commissioner Hudson, is planned in three phases, the first of which consists of three lighted fields and an unlighted practice field. The Complex will eventually consist of 10 fields, including a FIFA-regulation championship field with seating for approximately 1,000 spectators. 

AFC Mobile’s vision for the complex includes drawing regional and national soccer tournaments to the city of Mobile as well as creating unique programming to ensure the fields are highly utilized and valuable to everyone in Mobile County. Furthermore, AFC Mobile hopes to ensure the complex is the destination for soccer in Mobile by making the complex available and affordable to all users in the area for practices, games, and tournaments.