Tag: mobile alabama

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 Draws New Orleans Jesters 1-1

Photo Credit: Michael Shartava

AFC Mobile drew the New Orleans Jesters 1-1 on Saturday night at the Archbishop Lipscomb Athletic Complex to remain unbeaten at home in the 2021 season.

“The Jesters are a tried and true NPSL club. So the positives – we’ve played them twice, we’ve got two draws. They were competitive games, we’re evenly matched. Maybe they had a little bit more of it today, but again we’ve had enough chances to win games and win this game tonight. So I’m proud of the guys’ effort,” AFC Mobile head coach Steve Wieczorek said. 

It was an even affair in the first twenty minutes of the match with few scoring opportunities for both sides. Mobile’s Ronaldo Fortune provided a spark for the home side when goalkeeper Will Blake played a long ball out of his own box, finding the feet of Fortune in behind the New Orleans defense. Fortune was taken down in the box and the home fans clamored for a penalty, but it was not given. The Azaleas opened the scoring in the 20th minute thanks to some fantastic combination play between Fortune and midfielder Soane Deminguet. Fortune played the ball to Deminguet, who dribbled down the left wing and sent an arching cross back to Fortune at the top of the box. Fortune chested the ball down and struck it with his first touch, sending it soaring over New Orleans’ keeper Lemoy Graham and into the back of the net. 

“Credit to Soane, it was beautiful play leading up to the goal,” Fortune said. “To be fair, he played the ball to my chest and I had a good touch and I didn’t have enough time to dribble or anything, so I just thought ‘you know what? The coaches always tell me to shoot, so why not shoot.’”

Much of the first half saw New Orleans pressing hard to equalize, forcing Mobile’s goalkeeper to make a few spectacular saves to keep the home team’s lead. However, Blake was beaten in the 45th minute when New Orleans’ Sheldon Green sweetly struck a ball at the top of the box and into the Mobile net, making the match 1-1 at the half. 

It was a defensive struggle to start the second half with both teams finding space and scoring opportunities hard to come by. Mobile saw a few chances near the end of the half when Fortune played a slick, low-rolling cross to Iba Ndaw. Ndaw tried to find Fortune to complete the one-two, but the ball was easily cleared by the Jesters. Late in the match, Mobile’s Blake Palmquist was tightly marked and his shot soared over the crossbar. 

The 1-1 draw keeps Mobile in fourth place in the NPSL Gulf Coast Conference standings. The Azaleas will play two home matches this week, welcome the second-place Southern States this Wednesday, and Pensacola FC on Saturday night. New South Alabama head football coach Kane Wommack will join us to do the opening coin toss on Wednesday night. Next Saturday night will be our annual Military Appreciation Night where military personnel are admitted for free with a valid ID. Tickets for both matches can be purchased here.

Richard Moodie Named Director of Coaching for the AFC Mobile Academy

Mobile, Alabama – January 15, 2021 – University of South Alabama women’s soccer coach Richard Moodie will take over as Director of Coaching for the AFC Mobile Academy. 

“I am excited to announce the hiring of Richard Moodie as the club’s new Director of Coaching,” said Steve Wieczorek, AFC Mobile Academy technical director and first-team head coach. “It was clear to me in our work together last fall that he was the right person to lead our coaching staff and to instill our club philosophy and game model throughout the Academy.” 

Richard Moodie has been the head coach of the South Alabama women’s soccer team since December 2016. In his three seasons with the program, Moodie has led the Jaguars to two Sun Belt Conference regular-season titles and two Sun Belt Conference tournament titles. Three players from Moodie’s stint at South Alabama have played first division soccer in Europe: two in the Cypriot First Division, and one for Tottenham Hotspur of England’s FA Women’s Super League. 

“I am extremely grateful to Steve and the board for presenting this opportunity to me. Soccer in our community is growing at a rapid pace. Our goal is to provide another platform for our youth to grow both as people and soccer players.” 

With the appointment, AFC Mobile Academy’s boys director Ruben Risco will continue to serve in an advisory role, and will maintain his role as a first-team assistant and club ambassador. 

“Ruben is a valued and loyal member of our coaching team. He stepped in for us as we were getting our Academy off the ground, and provided an invaluable service to us. We’re glad to keep him on board, while finding a long-term solution for the Director of Coaching position club-wide.” Wieczorek said. 

Moodie is no stranger to the AFC Mobile Academy. He has been a member of the Academy project from day one, and last fall, he coached the club’s 2006 girls team. 

“With this being our first year as a club, it has been enjoyable to watch the growth in such a short period of time. Our goal is to create a player-centered program and maximize the potential of everyone in the club. I hope to work with our coaching staff to help achieve these goals.”

As Director of Coaching, Moodie will be assisting Wieczorek as the two college coaches working to implement a club-wide vision of tactical, technical, and values-based instruction – on and off the field.

“Coach Moodie and I plan to be very hands-on, working every day to continue to improve our club standards as we strive to create an elite playing experience, centered on individual player development and goal attainment through soccer,” Wieczorek said. 

AFC Mobile to join National Premier Soccer League

AFC Mobile

Mitchell Kahalley 

251-421-4819

mkahalley@afcmobile.net

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE 

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

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

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

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

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

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

About AFC Mobile 

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

AFC Mobile and Evonik Corporation to partner

MOBILE – (April 24th) AFC Mobile, Mobile’s minor league soccer team, announced a partnership with Evonik Corporation, a global specialty chemical company.

“Evonik is the perfect partner for us, and stands for many of the things we hope to stand for as a city and as a club,” said Sean Landry, AFC Mobile board member and Chief Financial Officer. “Evonik is industrial but creative, has global sensibilities but is committed to its local community. We look forward to working together to grow Mobile this season and for years to come.”

Through its partnership with AFC Mobile, Evonik will become the new jersey sponsor of Mobile’s soccer team for the 2019 Gulf Coast Premier League season. As a long-time partner and primary shareholder of Borussia Dortmund, one of the largest and most successful teams in Germany, Evonik has experience in developing its communities through soccer, and coordinated a coaching clinic in the Mobile area provided by the 8-time German Champions in 2018. The Mobile site is Evonik’s largest production facility in North America, located in the Theodore Industrial Park in Mobile County. The facility is also recognized as a World Class Specialty Chemical Manufacturer and has been a leading employer in the community for well over 40 years.

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.

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.”

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.

AFC Mobile United Wins 3-0 Over Gulf Coast Rangers Reserves

AFC Mobile United won its first ever game on Wednesday night, beating the Gulf Coast Rangers Reserves 3-0. 

“I’m very happy, very proud of them they got the win ultimately and that’s what we talked about pregame.” AFC Mobile United coach Ruben Risco said. “Obviously there are some kinks we have to work out, but overall the camaraderie, positivity, the intensity was there tonight.” 

The Rangers started the game on the front foot, challenging Mobile goalkeeper and captain Dillion Lowe. The tide turned after Foday Carr played the ball behind the Rangers defense onto the feet of Griffin Tucker who slotted the ball home and opened the scoring for the Azaleas near the midpoint of the first half.

The Azaleas’ second goal came from Suleiman Carr, who had an excellent game challenging the Rangers defense on the wing. Carr’s goal came on an assist from Greg Hosford, who came off a stellar performance from the first team against Real United FC last weekend. 

AFC Mobile United’s third and final goal came after Roman Causse scored a spectacular scissor-kick goal off a corner kick.

The night also saw the return of Dawson Jellenc and Pat O’Neal, two cornerstones of the inaugural AFC Mobile roster, as the pair work their way back to match fitness.

The first team will return to The Lip this weekend to face the Gulf Coast Rangers first team. Kickoff is at 7:00 p.m. on Saturday, June 9th at the Archbishop Lipscomb Athletic Complex located at 3610 Michael Boulevard in Mobile. Tickets are $5 and children 12 and under are admitted free. Next Saturday’s game will also be Military Appreciation Night. All veterans and active duty military personnel will be admitted free of charge. Pregame festivities begin at 6:30