Tag: mobile alabama

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!

Shatarva

Fan Reaction: Nervous Energy

No one knew exactly what to expect at the home opener for AFC Mobile. But the AFC Mobile’s supporters group, the Causeway Rebellion, and its Red Leader were exceptionally nerve wracked awaiting the first ever game.

In this Fan Reaction, supporter Michael Shartava recounts how the first ever AFC Mobile match surpassed his own expectation and how a soccer culture in need of an outlet took hold and took off.

AFC Mobile is the epitome of a grassroots club.

I wake up early on a Mother’s Day Sunday. Typically I like to sleep in on weekends, but am wide awake today. I am nervous as hell… On my TV Barcelona has won 2-0 but today is not about the Blaugrana or professional football. Today AFC Mobile plays its inaugural match in the Gulf Coast Premier League against our neighbor, Pensacola’s Gulf Coast Texans (currently rebranded as Pensacola FC). The first high end football match in Mobile for more than ten years.

AFC Mobile is the epitome of a grassroots club. Owned and operated by local enthusiasts, AFCM has given the footballing community a sense of identity and camaraderie. Our players were recruited from the South Alabama Soccer Association (adult city league) and area schools. Volunteers and owners’ families make up the stadium and club staff. The board of directors even reached out to every youth club in Mobile and invited their kids to mascot for the team during pregame introductions. My seven-year-old nephew will always remember walking out with AFC Mobile for their first match ever.

There is a ragtag group of scoundrels and low lives for a supporters group, it’s called the Causeway Rebellion; I was drafted in as Red Leader (Red, cause I’m Russian, get it?). At The Lip, our stadium, flags fly for every nationality (what’s up to the Serengeti Boys) in our club and an all inclusive attitude is promoted. During the season we honored our little hero Bradley Lowery after his fight with neuroblastoma and always speak out loudly against all forms of racism and extremism; its a powerful outlet.

That is what got me so nervous this morning. Will anyone show up to the match? Can we create an atmosphere of support and energy for our lads? Will Gold Leader bring any Malört?

Nervous energy…

Cup of coffee. Nicotine. Chill out man, it will be good!

I arrive to the stadium an hour and a half early with my nephew to get ready for the walkouts and there is already a crowd forming in the stands… holy crap this is going to be big. Nervous energy turns into excitement and adrenaline, I feel this pressure cooker about to blow!

The match flies by in the blink of an eye. There are over 800 fans, singing, screaming, chanting, and willing our team forward. The energy in the stadium makes the hairs on my arms stand up. Mobile “turn’t up” with drums, trumpets, CONCH SHELLS, vuvuzelas, loud speakers, two poles, banners, you name it! The noise was unreal. Somewhere in the chaos, Moises Muhubao scored our first goal ever and was eternally immortalized in lore. It was like we won the Champions League! The owners were crying tears of joy! An amazing evening.

Afterward I had a moment to reflect on the day and what it meant to me. I came to the conclusion that this is what has been missing from my life. Football has been my love since childhood, but my Russian parents wanted me to play chess and study, ha, ha, ha. I went to my first match (Bundesliga, 2006) when I was an adult but I have been a passionate fan of Brazil’s Seleção since World Cup USA in ’94 and FC Barcelona shortly after that (most of my favorite Brazilians played at Barca). I was a long distance fan. A lone wolf…

After Mother’s Day 2017, I gained a pack of crazy, like-minded FANATIC brothers and sisters. A sense of identity and belonging. The coming together of the African, Latino, and Balkan immigrant communities with old Mobile. I can sing and chant at home matches and take away-days with the Causeway Rebellion on The War Wagon; I was meant to do this!

I hope you’re ready for next season, because we are going to be louder, stronger and still crazy as hell in those stands. There will be big tifo displays, choreography, and of course high decibels of noise.

Join the Rebellion!

Red Leader, out.

#AlwaysMobileALwaysHome
#AFCMobile
#CausewayRebellion

Fan Reaction: Grassroots Growth

I’ve always been a sports fan. Growing up, I participated in sports but wasn’t all that good. I played a little junior high soccer, got cut from the team at basketball try-outs; and while I grew up in Michigan’s Upper Peninsula, where hockey was king, I couldn’t skate to save my life.

But my dad took me to a hockey game or two, and I still remember the fight between the Marquette Iron Rangers and the Green Bay Bobcats with 52 seconds left in the game. It was quite a sight. When the ice finally cleared of players, it was still covered with gloves and hockey sticks… and a little blood. Not sure this is good for an 8-year-old to see, but I was hooked. And I went to everything after our family moved to Seattle — football, baseball, basketball, hockey, even a soccer team called the Seattle Sounders.

The Sounders became a very big deal to me and introduced me to soccer in the 70s. Tickets weren’t expensive, and I could easily go to their games as a kid. So my friends and I would take the bus in to watch them play at the Kingdome. Fun Fact: the Sounders drew over 58,000 to a game in 1975 and were averaging about 25,000 fans a game by the late 1970s. The energy in the building was awesome, even though we still hadn’t figured out supporters group or scarves or any of the things we associate with soccer today. Sadly, soccer wasn’t quite a thing yet in the rest of the country. The NASL of that era spent too much money and had too few fans, and the league collapsed in the early 1980s.

As my sports fandom grew, so did my awareness that I was definitely NOT an athlete. I instead became the best fan I could be — loyal, loud, proud, and with the team to the end. If I couldn’t make an impact on the field, at least I could contribute from the stands. I’ve always cheered for the home team, where the jersey represents the communities I’ve called home.

The teams don’t have to be good, just ours!

Enter AFC Mobile — a club founded from the grassroots, a labor of love. AFC Mobile was formed to support soccer, and then joined a league and put out a schedule. When it became clear that we finally had a team, one that would represent our community, that was simply fantastic news to me! I don’t totally know how to describe my excitement, and my nervousness about this soccer experiment. Would soccer even work in Mobile? My wife and I decided we had to buy season tickets. Sure, we love soccer and wanted to see the games, but we also understood the importance of “butts in seats” to a team’s success. If this was going to work, it was critical that fans show up.

We didn’t need to worry.

AFC Mobile came out of the gates with more than 800 fans for its first match, one scheduled on Mother’s Day. The atmosphere was just incredibly fun, thanks in part to the Causeway Rebellion supporters group, but also due to the pent up energy of a crowd that was just excited to have a team and had been anticipating this opening match for some time.

We lost the game, but we clearly won the hearts and minds of the community. At the next game, the crowd was even bigger. And at the home finale, we had more than one thousand people on hand. This is in a league that typically drew 200 or fewer fans a game, and the Mobile community delivered five times that! Sweet lunacy, indeed!

AFC Mobile became something more than a team in its inaugural season. They became our club, our community, and a rallying point for a city that’s used to cheering for teams 200 miles away (looking at you, Auburn and Alabama). They embraced the community, and we loved them right back.

Even though the first season wasn’t great on the pitch, AFC Mobile is ours.

We finally got the elusive first win at the very last match of the season — a wild affair on the road that saw AFC Mobile take down its arch rival Biloxi City FC. (And how Biloxi became our derby match is a grand story in itself, best saved for another day).

If there was promotion and relegation in our league, we would have been relegated. We won one game in ten, finishing in last place, and yet it was one of the best times I’ve ever had in sports. Because so many people came out, so many people cared, and something special happened in the Azalea City. I was sad when the season ended.

In American soccer, teams don’t move to the next level on the pyramid because they’re good. They move on to the next level for a metric that’s at least as important: fan support! AFC Mobile and this community passed its first test. AFC Mobile had a great first season in the stands, and it will grow. When I met some of our players at the kit reveal before this inaugural season, I reminded them of who they were, and what they represent. Years and maybe decades from now, they will always be the first representatives of our community’s soccer team. They were keenly aware of this, and thrilled to be part of it.

As supporters, we should also remember our role in all this. We showed up and we wore scarves (in 90 degree heat) and we sang and we stomped. We bought swag and wore it proudly. We made the players feel like they were part of something. We showed a community that soccer can and will work in a city that’s addicted to the other kind of football. We did the unexpected.

We can take pride in that fact as fans and supporters. We are the first generation of AFC Mobile, and we are laying the foundation for the best that’s yet to come.

Always Mobile, ALways Home.

#SL1702

 

Nineteen Players Selected to Return To Invitational Tryout

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

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

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

 

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.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Brent Grube Joins AFC Mobile as Goalkeeping Coach

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Fan Reaction: Pride, City, Club

Soccer has become huge in the United States. Groups in Mobile gather to watch US Men’s and Women’s National Team games as well as the English Premier League, the top Mexican division, America’s Major League Soccer, and many more leagues from around the world. However, nothing can compare to supporting a team that represents you, your culture, and your city. Nothing is better than pride, city, club.

In this Fan Reaction, supporter Sam Zanaty explains how his passion for soccer and his love of Mobile were able to mesh together and explode into something truly special.

We made ourselves known with the “M-O-B” chant

When I reflect back on growing up in Mobile, I fondly remember attending Mobile Bay Bears and Mystics games. If I had played my cards just right, I’d be fortunate enough to get Dippin’ Dots ice cream! And like most youngsters, I’d hope for a chance of catching a foul ball or getting a post-game autograph from one of the players. These are my memories of sporting events in Mobile.

Today, I’m 25 years old, my passion for sports can best be described as a love for the game of soccer. You’ll most definitely find me rooting for the men’s and woman’s US National Teams (but let’s not discuss the men’s team right now) and my favorite teams from Europe. COYS!

Still, there is something very special about supporting your hometown. I remember distinctly my excitement to find out that the city of Mobile would have a soccer team. I was relaxing one weekend checking out posts on Facebook when I saw one regarding AFC Mobile. My first swag purchase was a scarf, and later would follow with both a home and away jersey. That’s right… I do get a bit passionate about soccer teams. After a couple hats and another scarf, I felt like my swag collection was ready to represent AFC Mobile. Some would say I purchased too many things (You’re welcome AFC Mobile financial group).

The first home game I was able to attend was against Biloxi City FC (now Port City FC). Little did I, or anyone else in attendance, know that the game would be a roller coaster ride full of unexpected turns. Numerous goals, a scary injury and more red cards issued in a single team that I’ve ever witnessed in person. Unfortunately, we lost. However, I instantly bonded with the other fans in attendance, rooting our team on to represent our city.

Another fond memory I had of last season was attending the game where we broke 1,000 fans in attendance! Fans made up of young families, and a few hooligans, all wanting to support AFC Mobile. Being a part of the Causeway Rebellion and providing the boys a supportive atmosphere at home (and away) was an absolute blast! We made ourselves known with the “M-O-B” chant. If you are unfamiliar with it, google the Icelandic national team chant. Just imagine if we, Mobilians, can get 2,000 people to perform this at a game.

During the last home game, as I was leaving the Lip, I overheard a little girl speaking to her father and she asked “Are we coming back again next weekend?” The dad was unsure of the schedule so I had to be the barer of bad news that tonight was the last home game until next season. She was bummed of course, but then filled with excitement for the next season.

Me too young lady!

The future of the beautiful game of soccer is bright with our youth, and if we can continue to support this great game and our hometown team, who knows the level of success AFC Mobile can reach. I encourage all who are reading, to attend a game this upcoming 2018 season. You will not be disappointed and who knows, you too might unleash your love of the game.

For the love of the beautiful game.

Fan Reaction: The AFC Mobile Family

Mobile is a port city. A city of different cultures. A city of distinct identities. A city of disparate ideals. However, for ninety minutes on Saturdays, the people in Mobile gather together to cheer on their team. They become one voice with one cause. All of this grown from one idea: community.

In this Fan Reaction, supporter Stephanie Ward talks about how the club and its fans have become another family to her.

As fans we wanted more. We wanted something to call our own.

When I was asked to share my feelings about AFC I immediately said yes! I’m excited to write about one of the things I feel very passionately about. Soccer in general holds a special place in my heart. I was first introduced to the game when I traveled to Germany in 1989 as an exchange student. I fell in love immediately.

My boys played soccer when they were young and when I was dating my husband he would come out to practices and games. He knew nothing about the sport but quickly learned and even started doing a little assistant coaching at the YMCA. We had friends who played in the adult league at Sage Park where my husband eventually got a spot on a team. I would get several of my friends on Sundays and we would go out and watch him play. We would make a day of it…watching several teams.

As we both got more involved with the local soccer scene we discovered a group of fans who would gather at a local pub to watch the World Cup. Eventually the Crazy 88s, our local AO chapter, was born. We would get together and watch the US play any chance we could. Some of those same people also gather early on Saturday mornings to watch Premier League soccer.

As fans we wanted more. We wanted something to call our own. A group of very dedicated and diligent people worked tirelessly to finally bring us AFC! Yes! We now have our very own team, representing our great city, to support. I remember as the first home game approached, I was a little nervous that attendance would be low. I was pleasantly surprised when I looked around to see the stands almost full. We broke attendance records with the Gulf Coast Premier League that weekend. I cannot put into words to how much pride I felt for our new team.

So, what does AFC mean to me? The first thing that comes to mind is family. We gather together before the games to eat and celebrate. We gather together at the games and sing our songs and cheer with one voice. We know the players by name and a lot of them have taken the time to get to know us. It kind of feels like we all have this wonderful adoptive child that we love and want to protect.

I can hardly wait until next season! I know our family will continue to grow and break records. I’m so proud of what AFC has done so far and I’m looking forward to what they will do in 2018! As we say in the Rebellion…. Always Mobile Always Home!!

 

Fan Reaction: More than Soccer

“Down in Mobile, they’re all crazy,” or so begins the infamous Eugene Walter’s line. Nothing has brought out the feelings of every event being a party than the cow bells, drumming, second-lining, and other antics of the Causeway Rebellion. Every game is a party, and what began as a simple game has exploded into an event for everyone to take part in. But it goes beyond the ninety minutes.

In our second Fan Reaction, supporter Dustin “the cow bell guy” Wilson explains how AFC Mobile has become part of his daily routine.

I realized how in an almost eerie way how threads of my life connect back to AFC Mobile.

I think there are a lot of ways I could tell you what AFC Mobile means to me.

When I sat down to write this I was so full of good ideas I literally typed 5 or 6 full blogs out and looked them all over with some smug sense of accomplishment steeped in the tradition of a hipster who types poems on an antique typewriter for $5.00 each.

Then I highlighted them all and deleted them.

I didn’t like any of them.  The words I’d written seemed disingenuous at best, placating and condescending at worst.   Words like hope and pride and community fell to my fingers and spilled onto the pages ceaselessly and in the end, each of the blogs I’d written seemed very much like well written canned marketing hooey.

AFC Mobile is a soccer team.  The gentlemen on the team, and the people coaching and supporting the team, play a game.  They do it in a place surrounded by people laughing and cheering and screaming.  When you boil it down, it’s not much more than that.  So despite my un-wavering support of them, I had to ask myself. What does AFC Mobile actually mean to me?

And I thought.

And I thought more.

And about 2 hours and several thoughts later, it hit me.

AFC Mobile means almost everything to me.

I realized how in an almost eerie way how threads of my life connect back to AFC Mobile.   I can look back to the tiniest beginnings of the maroon and gold azalea and remember how my U6 coaching debut was against teams coached by AFC Mobile board members.  And while we’re on the subject of kids, mine were excited to go to each match and made homemade banners and signs to support the players and coaching staff.

If we are talking about homemade, I suppose I should talk about the custom cowbells and face paint mixtures I bought (because NO ONE sells the perfect AFC colors) to use in support of the team.  Being known as ‘the cow bell guy’ was a highlight of my summer year for sure.

Thinking about my financial expenditures in support of the team now, I fondly thought about the smile on my face every single time I wear my AFC Mobile silicone bracelet that served as my season ticket.  I wear it frequently; I love the way it reminds me of all the excitement throughout the season.  Another outlay was the ticket to the supporters’ bus to the Biloxi away match.  That may have turned out to be the best money I spent all year.

That was the trip where people who were just faces in the crowd became friends. The men, women, and even kids I had seen all year were now standing beside me, yelling, screaming, and singing as one single unit.  It made me feel like a part of something.  My nominal financial investment in support of the team seemed to have had one of the highest returns on investment of any money I’ve ever spent.

There was another investment I thought about while on the subject which was the investment of my time.  Silly frustration permeated my thoughts however, when there were no ‘bad’ moments spent in connection with AFC.  Whether it was being physically present, recounting matches with friends over pints, arguing over calls by the linesman or the referee, or the time I spend plotting and planning how to be a better more flamboyant supporter next year.  There was a lot of time spent in connection with AFC Mobile and the more I tried to discredit it, the more evident it became that it was time well spent.

These thought processes really led me to memories.  Surely, I thought, the memories connected to AFC Mobile worth cherishing and holding on to were fewer than I realized.  There were those memories of my kids being a feature photo in a recap of a match and how excited they were to wave at all the player each time they went by.   There were the memories of watching my friend and neighbor break a rib jumping the fence to celebrate the team’s first win.  There were the memories of grown men and women running down to the side of the field to give high fives and hugs to sweaty players who for 90 minutes were the root cause of every emotion experienced.

They couldn’t all be good memories worth holding right?  Realistically I won’t remember the smiles on the player’s faces, or the flags of many nations waving at the stadium, or the sore voices the day after matches from yelling so hard.  The names of the players, the supporters, the owners.  Those are things that surely were not going to stay in my head. The taste of Jepsen’s Malort shared on a supporters’ trip, okay well maybe that memory is terrifying, but the friendship and camaraderie born of that drink is certainly not.  I can concede however the swarm of termites early in the season was a touch unpleasant but seeing 850 people all swatting at the air at the same time actually looks pretty humorous and it was towards the end of the match anyway so even the bugs had the decency to not be too bothersome.

I kept trying to find something, anything, even in some remote, Kevin Bacon game way that wasn’t actually connected to AFC Mobile and I just kept failing.

My sense of community pride in the mayor who showed up to a match, the silly second line parade, the Causeway Rebellion, the phrase Sweet Lunacy, the Facebook friend request from one of the star players, (OMG CHISOM FRIEND REQUESTED ME!!!) the fact that in this time of swirling craziness outside the bounds of our team, AFC Mobile becomes a safe unifying topic of conversation that transcends borders, nationalities, race, status, demographics, or any other barrier we can construct.

So when I was asked to say what AFC Mobile means to me, I can honestly say,

Everything.

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