Tag: New Orleans Jesters

AFC Mobile’s preseason ends with 2-1 nail-biter loss to NPSL’s New Orleans Jesters

AFC Mobile was denied a historic upset after giving up a late goal to the New Orleans Jesters on Saturday night in Mobile. The Jesters came back from down a goal to beat the Azaleas 2-1 in front of over 650 fans in the final preseason game before beginning the 2018 Gulf Coast Premier League campaign.

The Jesters came to Mobile in preparation for their 2018 National Premier Soccer League (NPSL) season and their US Open Cup match this week. Last season the Jesters went unbeaten in the NPSL’s Southeastern Conference. The game was the first time the Azaleas welcomed NPSL opposition to Mobile

“They are a level above us, but I thought we showed pretty well. We’re still bringing in a couple players that have trained with us once or twice.” said AFC Mobile head coach Nate Nicholas. “I was very happy with what I saw. Obviously we would have loved the tie or the win, but I couldn’t ask for more from the guys. They gave everything on the field.”

The Jesters asserted their dominance early in the match with a few chances early on. In the 9th minute, Jesters forward Mason Walsh beat the Azalea defense, but his shot was saved by keeper Elijah Gibson. It would be the first of six saves in the first half for Gibson.

Despite ceding most of possession to New Orleans during the opening minutes of the match, the home team found the back of the net first after a Jesters own goal. Mobile’s Matt Merrill played a long ball from midfield to forward Iba Ndaw. The ball did not find Ndaw’s feet because it was deflected by a Jesters defender, but it continued travelling toward the Jesters’ goal. New Orleans keeper Chad Collins backtracked and made a sliding attempt to clear the ball away, but it rolled over the goal line before he could do so, and AFC Mobile took a 1-0 lead in the 17th minute.

After falling behind, the Jesters continued to attack the Mobile goal. In the 27th minute, a long range effort from the Jesters was punched out of bounds by Gibson leading to a corner kick. The Jesters sent the corner in and Gibson saved another Jesters shot. After a scramble in front of the goal, the ball was cleared off the goal line by defender Sherman Winchester. Winchester had one of the brightest performances for the Azaleas in a night full of stellar play.

The Jesters continued to push for an equalizer for the remainder of the first half. Ollie Roberts nearly equalized in the 34th minute, and the Jesters almost pulled one back during first half stoppage time. Despite the pressure from New Orleans, an incredible performance from Gibson in goal and rock solid defending from the Mobile backline of Winchester, Brantton Greene, Markos Mallis, and Spring Hill College’s Pablo Sanjuán Delgado was enough to maintain the one-goal lead heading into the half.

“I feel we did well. It was a hard game…starting with this team (the Jesters) is good for us. We did a lot of good things,” said Delgado after his debut game for AFC Mobile.

At the start of the second half, Nicholas replaced Gibson with keeper Barou Ndaw. Despite giving up two goals in the second half, Ndaw’s performance in goal rivaled Gibson’s first half performance as he finished with seven saves on the night.

The Jesters had a few chances in the first fifteen minutes of the second half before Igor Siscov collected a lose ball in the box to level the score.

Mobile’s best chance to regain the lead happened in the 75th minute after Chisom Ogbonna found his way behind the New Orleans defense, but the ball was collected by the Jesters’ keeper. The keeper punted the ball into midfield to the feet of Mobile’s David Valverde who fired for goal from 30 yards out, but his shot was saved. Valverde, a Davidson High School alumnus, former UAB Blazer, and former Birmingham Hammer, had an excellent game in the midfield in his debut for his hometown team.

“It’s really good to come back home and play with some players I used to play with. The atmosphere is great. I knew from the start there was gonna be a lot of people here, and I was very excited to come and play here,” Valverde said.

The Jesters took the lead in the 86th minute after a great save from Barou Ndaw fell to the center of the box and was fired in by Luke LaVanway. Mobile attempted to tie in the dying minutes of the game, but could not find the equalizer.

AFC Mobile will return to The Lip next week to take on Pensacola FC (formerly the Gulf Coast Texans) to open the 2018 GCPL season. Kickoff is Saturday, May 12th at 7:00 p.m. at the Archbishop Lipscomb Athletic Complex located at 3610 Michael Boulevard in Mobile. Tickets are only $5 and kids 12 and under are admitted free. Saturday’s game is also Teacher Appreciation Night at The Lip, and all teachers will be admitted free of charge. AFC Mobile is also proud to welcome Mobile County Commissioner Connie Hudson to perform the ceremonial pregame coin flip. Come show your appreciation for Commissioner Hudson for her tireless advocacy for the soccer community in Mobile and for making the Mobile County Soccer Complex project a reality.

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Getting to Know You: New Orleans Jesters

After a 6-0 loss to the NPSL Southeast’s Atlanta Silverbacks and a 2-1 victory over the GCPL Central’s Northshore United FC, AFC Mobile will complete its preseason schedule with a home match against the NPSL Southeast’s New Orleans Jesters. This is the club’s final chance to shift formations and work on tactics prior to the start of the Gulf Coast Premier League Eastern Division season starting on May 12th against Pensacola FC. Saturday, May 5th will mark an anticipated showdown between teams representing the birthplace of Mardi Gras and the biggest Mardi Gras celebration in the country.The Jesters were highly successful last season and will feature a slew of professional prospects as they enter Mobile to take on the Azaleas for their first match of the year prior to the start of their NPSL Southeast schedule and their first round match in the Lamar Hunt US Open Cup.

CLUB: New Orleans Jesters

NICKNAME: Jesters

The New Orleans Jesters are fresh off the best season in the club’s history. They went undefeated in the NPSL Southeast regular season (8-0-4) and won its crown. But they saw their 2017 postseason end prematurely on a controversial red card in the NPSL Southeast playoff finals against Inter Nashville FC.

Formerly playing in the Professional Development League (PDL), the Jesters now play in the National Premier Soccer League, which is the fourth tier of soccer in the United States. Producing players such as Patrick Mullins (DC United) and Andrew Tarbell (San Jose Earthquakes), the club has had several players move on to play professionally in MLS and abroad. There have also been recent discussions about the club making a jump to the professional level in the near future.

PLAYERS TO WATCH: The Jesters’ roster is laden with many returning stars from last year’s team, including Mason Walsh, Chad Collins, and Curtis Thorne. Walsh, the captain, is the team’s star midfielder who pushes the team forward, setting up the style and pace of play that head coach Kenny Farrell demands. Collins was arguably the best goalkeeper in the region last year, making several spectacular saves. Defender Curtis Thorne was voted the team MVP last year and should give the Jesters’ back line some much need stability.

The club can be found online at www.nolajesters.com and on twitter @nolajesters.

Tickets to Saturday’s game are just $5 each, and all kids 12 and under will be admitted free of charge.  All AFC Mobile home games are played at the Archbishop Lipscomb Athletic Complex located at 3610 Michael Boulevard in Mobile. Finish off your Cinco de Mayo properly with tacos from the El Milagro Taqueria Y Pupuseria food truck that will be on site inside the stadium!

AFC Mobile to host NPSL’s New Orleans Jesters on May 5th

Mardi Gras 2018 may be over, but the friendly sibling rivalry between Mobile and New Orleans will roll on this summer.

After a parade season filled with teasing and debate over the birthplace of Mardi Gras in the U.S., the two capitals of Carnival will face off on the pitch this season when AFC Mobile hosts the New Orleans Jesters of the National Premier Soccer League (NPSL) at 7:00 p.m. on Saturday, May 5th at the Archbishop Oscar H. Lipscomb Complex (“The Lip”) in Mobile.

“We’ve dreamt of a matchup with the Jesters since day one of this project,” AFC Mobile cofounder Sean Landry said. “New Orleans and Mobile have been neighbors and competitors for 300 years, so this is the natural extension of that history. I’m grateful to Kenny Farrell for his work in finalizing this matchup, and I know we’re both excited to offer The Royal Court, the Causeway Rebellion, and all the fans of both teams an event to remember.”

The match will mark the first ever appearance by an NPSL team in Mobile, and will be the highest level of soccer talent on display in the Port City in at least 20 years. Last season, the Jesters went undefeated to finish in first place in the West Division of the Southeast Conference of the NPSL.

AFC Mobile is Mobile’s minor league soccer team, competing in the Gulf Coast Premier League. Our season begins in April and runs through July. All home games will be played at the Archbishop Oscar H. Lipscomb Complex – “The Lip.”  Tickets begin at just $5, and children 12 and under are free with adult admission. Season tickets are available now at afcmobile.net. Follow AFC Mobile on all your favorite social media platforms to keep up-to-date on additional information about the 2018 season!