Soccer fans, rejoice! Mobile finally has a men's soccer team. And so does Pensacola. Soccer is becoming a big thing all over the country, and even in the South -- where Atlanta's new team has been bringing more than 50,000 fans a game in their initial weeks. But Mobile hasn't had much to cheer for, until now.
Mobile's team is called the AFC Mobile Wanderers, and they'll play in something called the Gulf Coast Premier League. (I would have called the team Azalea City FC myself; but their cool logo has an azalea, so it's all good). It's all very grassroots, and Abram Chamberlain has been working on this project since 2015, trying to build this from the ground up. The team is doing some fundraising for travel expenses -- a modest $5000 with a GoFundMe account -- and they have a sponsor, too (new local brewery Haint Blue). Plus, they've recruited a coach, as McGill-Toolen's Nate Nicholas will lead the team.
still has to figure out where they'll play, but I'm told they are very close to finding a home will play its games at Lipscomb Stadium, the football home of McGill-Toolen High School.
First match is on Mother's Day (long story), but it will be during the evening hours -- well after folks have taken their moms out to brunch. The full schedule is below. The team is at the lower echelons of soccer in the USA, but it's a start for our city and a chance to grow the game locally.
Know anyone who plays? Open tryouts are happening on Saturday, April 1st at Sage Park.
The schedule has just been released, as well, and the team will play a total of ten games this summer.