Tag: soccer

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.

Late Equalizer Sees AFC Mobile Draw New Orleans Jesters

Photo Credit: James E. Cage Jr.

NEW ORLEANS – An early headed goal from left back Mario Gratzl was neutralized by a late equalizer as AFC Mobile drew the New Orleans Jesters 1-1 in the first meeting of the clubs in the NPSL.

“I wanted us to come here, score a goal, get a point. When you look at the game in context, we’re winning, and then they score. So you start to feel disappointed because you’re in a winning position, but overall we accomplished our objective,” AFC Mobile head coach Steve Wieczorek said. 

The match was fairly even at the start of the first half. The Azaleas were on the hunt early when the ball was picked up on a giveaway in the midfield by Mobile forward Iba Ndaw. Ndaw slotted the ball to Ronaldo Fortune, whose shot was saved by New Orleans keeper Jose Santos. 

Minutes later, AFC Mobile keeper Will Blake saved an open back-post header from New Orleans’ Jackson Hulme, the first of several crucial saves for the visitors.  

Mobile took the lead in the 15th minute on a well-worked corner kick. Soane Deminguet sent the ball into the box for Gratzl to head down and into the net, scoring the Azaleas’ first goal of the season and giving them a 1-0 lead. 

The Jesters had two chances to equalize before the break, but were kept at bay by Blake with a fingertip save that tipped a long-range effort over the bar, followed by a 37th minute stop to keep the score level and send Mobile into the half with a 1-0 lead.

“You take it one save at a time,” Blake said. “I was talking to myself a lot, saying that ‘alright, just make one save, make one save.’ That adds up, and that’ll get you the points.”

The second half saw the introduction of two veteran AFC Mobile players for the first time since 2019. Zubair Taylor came into the game for Stanley Joseph, which sent center-back Vlad Margolin to right back, making the new center-back pairing Taylor and starter Thierry Zabarel. Andrew Rhoda checked in for Blake Palmquist in a deep midfield role. The Jesters switched to a back three after halftime and sent defender Mason Morise into an attacking position.  

It was a slow start to the second half. Iba Ndaw saw a yellow card in the 61st minute after a tackle to stop a Jesters’ breakaway. The Azaleas nearly doubled their lead in the 63rd minute when Deminguet sent a backheel pass to a running Iba Ndaw in the box. The forward slotted the ball into the back of the net but was flagged offside. Minutes later, the Jesters’ Jackson Hulme was carded for a rough challenge in the midfield. 

The Jesters nearly equalized in the 70th minute when Mason Walsh picked out Morise outside the box. He rounded an advancing Blake, but sent his shot wide right from a tight angle. 

The last twenty minutes saw a flurry of substitutions for the Azaleas. Chisom Ogbonna came into the match for Iba Ndaw. In the 76th minute, Erik Aispuro replaced an injured Eddie Dakwa. Will Blake made two more crucial saves in the 77th minute after a New Orleans free kick and subsequent long-range effort. 

In the 83rd minute, Erik Aispuro got in behind the Jesters’ backline, but Santos saved his shot. A minute later, Mobile’s goalscorer Mario Gratzl earned the Azaleas’ second yellow card of the night. 

In the 90th minute, New Orleans’ Mason Walsh played in a right-footed cross that was bundled home by forward Sheldon Green after a goalmouth scramble, leveling the match at 1-1. A few minutes into stoppage time, Salia Carr came on for Jackson Wheatley on the right wing. Neither team was able to find the goal in stoppage time, and the game ended in a 1-1 draw in the first meeting of the clubs since a 2017 preseason friendly.

  “The fact that after a hard-fought 90 minutes where we achieved our goals and the guys were disappointed and upset, it tells me a lot about the character of the guys that we have, so I was really really happy,” Wieczorek said. 

The Azaleas have taken one point out of a possible six on a two-game road trip to start the NPSL season. Coach Wieczorek said he was anticipating the long-awaited return of the Azaleas to the Lip.

“I’m really excited about the next match and playing in front of our fans now. We got to have our traveling supporters come, and that was awesome. Getting to see that level of support from the Rebellion and also from the Academy families. But, I think it’s going to be special finally getting back in front of our home fans, and I think we’re gonna be ready and I think we’ll get the right result.”

AFC Mobile returns to the Lip for the first time since 2019. The Azaleas will take on their former GCPL and current NPSL Gulf Coast rivals Port City FC of Gulfport, Mississippi, in the first leg of the 2021 Forgotten Coast Cup. AFC Mobile currently holds the rivalry cup, which is determined by the aggregate score of the two matches between the teams during the regular season.

Kickoff is set for 7 p.m. at the Archbishop Lipscomb Athletic Complex, 3610 Michael Blvd, Mobile, AL 36609. Tickets are $10, and children 12 and under are admitted for free. Season tickets are still on sale and can be purchased here or at Braided River Brewing Company in downtown Mobile (package A only). Single-game tickets can be purchased at the gate on the night of the match or online 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 Participate in NPSL Pilot Program

Mobile, Alabama – July 2nd, 2020 – AFC Mobile will participate in the National Premier Soccer League’s U-19 pilot program.

 

“The introduction of a U-19 pilot under the NPSL umbrella represents our commitment to grassroots soccer and supporting our teams’ growth potential.” NPSL Chairman Kenny Farrell said. “This new venture positions our clubs to further refine the local pathway to the top level of soccer in their area. Players from all backgrounds will have access to a highly visible platform to showcase their talent – particularly in geographic areas where opportunities are limited.  By giving players a legitimate local option to advance, it keeps them engaged with soccer at an affordable cost for families. The U-19 pilot will give NPSL teams the chance to develop their own academies or build relationships with existing programs.”

 

The pilot program will fall under the management of the NPSL and will be affiliated with the United States Adult Soccer Association (USASA). The participating teams include AFC Mobile, New Orleans Jesters, Pensacola FC and Port City FC. 

 

The pilot will run from September through November.  Each team will play a total of six games, three home and three away.    

 

The gameday roster will consist of U-17, U-18, and U-19 players along with up to three overage players. The U-19 pilot program will give AFC Mobile Academy members the opportunity to train with the senior team. 

 

“The NPSL U-19 pilot is a perfect representation of what the teams in our conference want from their academies: a direct relationship with a pathway to our senior team,” AFC Mobile co-owner Sean Landry said. “It’s exciting that the NPSL is providing  new and challenging developmental opportunities for the young players in Mobile, on the Gulf Coast, and, hopefully soon, throughout the country.”

 

AFC Mobile’s U-19 team will be managed by first team head coach Steve Wieczorek. Wieczorek led AFC Mobile to the GCPL Cup playoffs in 2019 and has recently been named the Technical Director of the newly formed AFC Mobile Academy. He is also the current head coach at Spring Hill College. 

 

Those interested in playing for AFC Mobile’s U-19 team should contact the club at information@afcmobile.net

 

Steve Wieczorek Joins AFC Mobile as Head Coach

Steve Wieczorek, current head coach of the Gulf South Champion Spring Hill College men’s soccer team, has been named the second head coach in AFC Mobile history, effective immediately. Wieczorek joins AFC Mobile after leading Spring Hill to its first-ever NCAA Division II Tournament appearance and Gulf South Championship.

“I am truly honored by the opportunity to lead AFC Mobile. I am excited to become part of such an ambitious club with an amazing and loyal fan base.” Wieczorek said. “I want to say thank you to the board for trusting me with this appointment, and I am fully committed to giving our supporters and the city of Mobile a team that will push for the (Gulf Coast Premier League) title as well as play a dynamic and entertaining brand of soccer.”

Wieczorek’s 15-year coaching career includes stops at some of college soccer’s most notable programs. He began his coaching career as a goalkeeper coach at his alma mater Fairfield University. Following one season in that role, Wieczorek had stints as an assistant at the University of Bridgeport, Siena College, Duquesne University and Oregon State University before eventually becoming the head coach of Spring Hill in 2015. At Duquesne, Wieczorek helped the program secure its first NCAA Tournament win while finishing the season nationally ranked in the top ten in goals and top five in assists.

Since joining Spring Hill College, Wieczorek set the school record for overall and conference wins with 17 and 11 wins respectively. He also led Spring Hill to its first-ever United Soccer Coaches national ranking, finishing at 21st in the final poll of the 2018 season.

“We couldn’t be more excited to make Steve the leader of our club,” said Sean Landry, board member, and CFO. “During our coaching search, Steve showed clear commitment to both short-term and long-term growth of the team and the game in Mobile, and a competitive ambition that matches our own. His qualifications in just a few short years at Spring Hill are unmatched, and we’re confident in his ability to bring silverware home to the best soccer fans on the Gulf Coast in Sweet Lunacy’s County Seat.”

Wieczorek is in the process of finalizing his coaching staff and preparing a roster for the 2019 Gulf Coast Premier League season. An announcement regarding open tryouts will be made in the coming weeks.

AFC Mobile is Mobile’s minor league soccer team, competing in the Gulf Coast Premier League. The 2019 season begins in May and runs through July. All home games will be played at the Archbishop Oscar H. Lipscomb Complex – “The Lip.”  Tickets begin at just $5, and children 12 and under are free with adult admission. A full schedule and information about season tickets will be available soon. Select merchandise is available now at afcmobile.net and The Trading Post at 7985 Tanner Williams Road.  Follow AFC Mobile on all your favorite social media platforms to keep up-to-date on additional information about the 2019 season!

 

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

AFC Mobile’s Saturday Game Against Port City FC Postponed

This Saturday’s contest against Port City FC in Gulfport, Mississippi has been postponed due to inclement weather.

“We were really looking forward to this away trip and the renewal of our rivalry with the boys from Gulfport, but we understand their decision to postpone the game in light of the impending weather,” said AFC Mobile Board Member Patrick Dungan.

According to meteorologists, Gulfport is set to experience heavy rainfall and thunderstorms this Saturday, May 26th.

Due to this postponement, AFC Mobile will provide the fans who purchased tickets for the Gulf Coast Tours Fan Bus to Gulfport the option to receive a full refund or credit towards a future bus trip this season.

“It’s a hazard of the business in this region, unfortunately. We’re obviously disappointed we won’t get to celebrate Memorial Day weekend with a match against our biggest rivals,” AFC Mobile CFO Sean Landry said. “Mostly, we’re disappointed for our fans, many of whom won’t be able to make the trip out for a midweek makeup match, which means this match won’t have the atmosphere it deserves. We’ll work with the good people at Port City FC to select a makeup date that works for both clubs, and we’re looking forward to getting back on the field at The Lip in a week when we host Real United FC for the first time.”

AFC Mobile is currently working with Port City FC to find a makeup date. Those details will be released as soon as a date has been finalized.

AFC Mobile will return to the Archbishop Lipscomb Athletic Complex, located at 3610 Michael Boulevard, for a home game against Moss Point’s Real United FC on Saturday, June 2nd at 7:00 p.m. As always, tickets are only $5 and kids 12 and under will be admitted free of charge.

AFC Mobile Falls 4-3 in GCPL Opener

Despite a late rally and a goal in the 85th minute, AFC Mobile fell 4-3 to Pensacola FC at home in the first Gulf Coast Premier League match of the season.

Pensacola started on the front foot, nearly opening the scoring in the fourth minute of the match when a shot from Pensacola’s Matt Brooks ricocheted off the crossbar and out for a Mobile goal kick. Four minutes later, Pensacola’s Dillon Gallet found his way in behind the Mobile defense, but keeper Elijah Gibson collected Gallet’s attempt.

Minutes later Mobile forward Iba Ndaw was brought down outside the box and awarded a free kick. Ndaw curled in a free kick into the left corner to give the Azaleas a 1-0 lead. It was Ndaw’s second free kick goal in an AFC Mobile shirt.

“You definitely could see we had some attacking talent out there. Iba Ndaw had a couple more goals. That’s been a great pickup for us.” AFC Mobile head coach Nate Nicholas said.

In the 21st minute, Chisom Ogbonna beat the Pensacola defense but his shot was easily collected by Pensacola keeper Rudy Seelman. Pensacola would nearly equalize in the 26th minute but Christopher Zeller’s header was stopped by Gibson.

Pensacola’s equalizer would not be delayed long, however, coming in the 30th minute in the form of an own goal after Martin Fiemawhle’s attempt to collect a low cross from Pensacola ended up in the back of the net. But only three minutes later, the Azaleas took a 2-1 lead after a shot from Ndaw fell to Ogbonna in at the back post.

Chisom Ogbonna after scoring against Pensacola FC on May 12, 2018. (Photo: Seth Laubinger)

In the 36th minute, Ndaw was fouled hard and returned to his feet gingerly. Minutes later coach Nicholas subbed Ndaw off for Abdul Almutairi. Almutairi, a former Kuwaiti U-17 international, was able to slot in several attacking positions throughout the match in his GCPL and AFC Mobile debut.

Just before the end of the half, Pensacola’s Isaiah Lopez headed in a shot at the back post to level the game at 2-2 after a high cross went untouched. Seconds later, Lopez was shown yellow during stoppage time of the first half after a hard flying tackle.

Pensacola took their first lead of the game in the 64th minute when Alik Morgan slotted in a low cross that deflected off Gibson. As the away team scored its third goal, Mobile centerback Pablo Sanjuan Delgado came off with a leg injury and was replaced with Guillermo Lumbreras, Jr.  

“For him to get injured and give up the game-leading goal at that time, at the same time, it was a tough pill to swallow.” Nicholas said.

The Azaleas nearly equalized in the 68th minute when Ndaw beat the Pensacola defense, but his low shot went across the face of goal. Two minutes later, Pensacola took a 4-2 lead after a scramble in the box.

Pensacola almost iced the match with a fifth goal on the night when an advancing Elijah Gibson was chipped, but the shot was cleared off the line by Mobile’s Markos Mallis, who played all 90 minutes for the home side. 

As is their wont, Mobile made it close. In the 85th minute, midfielder David Valverde’s pass opened the Pensacola defense to find Erik Aispuro on the wing. Aispuro then sent in a cross to the penalty spot, where Ndaw powered in the shot to put Mobile back in the game with five minutes left to play, sending the 871 fans in attendance into a frenzy. 

The Azaleas pushed for an equalizer late, but a last ditch free kick at the end of stoppage time was easily cleared. The match ended 4-3. 

AFC Mobile will travel to Lafayette, Louisiana to take on Cajun Soccer Club in the first of two out of conference matches this season on Saturday. That match kicks off at 6 p.m. at LUS FIber stadium. 

AFC Mobile will return to The Lip in three weeks to take on GCPL newcomers Real United FC Riverhawks. Kickoff is at 7:00 p.m. on Saturday, June 2 at the Archbishop Lipscomb Athletic Complex located at 3610 Michael Boulevard in Mobile. Tickets are only $5 and children 12 and under are admitted free.