AFC Mobile
AFC Mobile.png
Full nameAssociation Football Club Mobile
Nickname(s)Azaleas, Wanderers
FoundedJune 15, 2015; 7 years ago (2015-06-15)
GroundArchbishop Lipscomb Athletic Complex, Mobile, AL
Capacity5,000
Head CoachSteve Wieczorek
LeagueNational Premier Soccer League
WebsiteClub website

AFC Mobile is an American soccer club based in Mobile, Alabama, that competes in the National Premier Soccer League. It formerly played in the Gulf Coast Premier League.[1]

History

Founding

AFC Mobile was founded in 2015 by Mobile and Baldwin County, Alabama, soccer enthusiasts in order to establish a semi-professional soccer team in the City of Mobile.[2] It was announced on January 3, 2017, that AFC Mobile would join the Gulf Coast Premier League for its inaugural Summer Season.[3] On November 12, 2019, it was announced that AFC Mobile would join the National Premier Soccer League in a newly formed Gulf Coast Conference that featured Mobile, Port City FC, Tallahassee SC, Pensacola FC, and NPSL mainstays the New Orleans Jesters and Jacksonville Armada.[4]

Inaugural season

Prior to their debut season, AFC Mobile announced that it would play its inaugural season's home games at the Archbishop Lipscomb Athletic Complex, located in the Bolton neighborhood of Mobile.[5] For its first two years, the team was managed by Nate Nicholas, a former player for the University of Mobile, former back-to-back state championship-winning coach at UMS-Wright Preparatory School, and current varsity men's coach at McGill–Toolen Catholic High School.[6]

Changes to coaching staff

After finishing the 2018 GCPL season, head coach Nate Nicholas stepped down.[7]

Ultimately, Spring Hill College's men's soccer coach Steve Wieczorek was named as Nicholas's replacement on January 7, 2019.[8]

Rivalries

The club's main rival is Port City FC (formerly Biloxi City FC), who play in Gulfport, Mississippi. The clubs compete for the fan-based Forgotten Coast Cup, which started in 2017 when they were both in the GCPL.

Attendance

For their debut game on May 14, 2017, AFC Mobile more than quadrupled the highest ever attendance for the Gulf Coast Premier League.[9] In their second home game on June 10, 2017 against Biloxi City FC, AFC Mobile drew 924 to Archbishop Lipscomb Stadium, which topped the league's previous record.[10] On June 8, 2017, AFC Mobile became the first team in the Gulf Coast Premier League to break 1,000 people in attendance against CD Motagua of New Orleans.[11]

During their second season, AFC Mobile would go on to draw over 1,400 fans twice against the Gulf Coast Rangers and Port City FC.[12]

Players and staff

2021 roster

No. Position Player Nation
1 GK Salvador Plaza  Chile
2 MF Salia Carr  United States
4 DF Vladik Margolin  Israel
5 MF Darius Rashid  England
6 DF Edward Dakwa  Zimbabwe
8 DF Zubair Taylor  South Africa
9 MF Ronaldo Fortune  Botswana
10 FW Ibrahima Ndaw  Senegal
12 DF Stanley Joseph  Haiti
15 DF Thierry Zabarel  France
16 DF Mario Gratzl  Germany
18 MF Tomas Lopez  Mexico
19 DF Ryan Green  United States
20 MF Soane Deminguet Folituu  France
21 FW Erik Aispuro  Mexico
22 MF Clairy Kengeye  Tanzania
23 MF Mikey Conneh  England
24 DF Andrew Rhoda  South Africa
25 MF Blake Palmquist  United States
26 FW Jackson Wheatley  United States
27 MF Chisom Ogbonna  Nigeria
28 GK William Blake  United States
30 GK Barou Ndaw  Senegal
DF Ira Bowens  United States
DF Brantton Greene  United States
MF Desmond Ibie  Cameroon
FW Arad Lev-Ari  Israel
MF Batevya Mediateur  Tanzania
DF Santiago Medina  Colombia
MF Irumva Steven  Tanzania

Source: [1]

Team management

Coaching Staff
Head coach United States Steve Wieczorek
Assistant coach United States Brent Grube
Assistant coach Zimbabwe Edward Dakwa
Assistant coach Cameroon Desmond Ibie

Year-by-year

Year Conference League Regular Season Playoffs Open Cup
2017 Eastern Conference GCPL 6th, East Did not qualify Did not enter
2018 Eastern Conference GCPL 4th, East Did not qualify Did not enter
2019 Eastern Conference GCPL 2nd, East Quarterfinals Did not enter
2020 Gulf Coast Conference NPSL Season cancelled due to COVID-19 pandemic[13] Did not enter

References

  1. ^ "AFC Mobile to join Gulf Coast Premier League". AL.com.
  2. ^ "Soccer enthusiasts hope to bring new team to Mobile". AL.com.
  3. ^ "Gulf Coast Premier League announces summer season; adds 3 new clubs". Gulf Coast Premier League.
  4. ^ "New Gulf Coast Conference Announced by the NPSL". National Premier Soccer League.
  5. ^ "AFC Mobile announces Home Field for Inaugural Season". AL.com.
  6. ^ "Mobile Finally Has A Soccer Team". 99.5 The Jag. Archived from the original on 2017-04-02. Retrieved 2017-03-28.
  7. ^ "AFC Mobile Coach Nate Nicholas Resigns". WKRG-TV.
  8. ^ "AFC Mobile names Spring Hill College's Steve Wieczorek as new head coach". WKRG-TV.
  9. ^ "AFC Mobile game breaks attendance records". WPMI-TV.
  10. ^ "Late Goal Sinks AFC Mobile In 2-1 Loss to Biloxi City FC". AFC Mobile.
  11. ^ "AFC Mobile wraps up home schedule in front of record crowd". WKRG-TV.
  12. ^ "AFC Mobile Breaks GCPL Attendance Record in 2-0 Loss to Gulf Coast Rangers FC".
  13. ^ Prince-Wright, Joe (26 March 2020). "2020 NPSL season cancelled". ProSoccerTalk. NBC Sports. Retrieved 15 June 2020.