New Gulf Coast Conference Announced by the NPSL
The conference will include four new teams along with the return of the New Orleans Jesters and a change of conference for Jacksonville Armada FC U-23.
The National Premier Soccer League (NPSL) is proud to announce that a new conference has been added to the league’s South Region.
Anchoring the conference are two of the NPSL’s strongest organizations. The New Orleans Jesters will return from taking a year off, while Jacksonville Armada FC U-23 will move from the Sunshine Conference into the new Gulf Coast Conference.
These teams will be joined by new NPSL members AFC Mobile, Pensacola FC, Port City FC, and Tallahassee SC as the conference begins to play in 2020.
“This is a key area for growth in the South Region,” NPSL Chairman Kenneth Farrell said.
“We have been looking to develop the I-10 Corridor to bridge the gap between Louisiana and the panhandle of Florida,” Farrell. “This is a great accomplishment for the league.”
“All four of our new teams are tremendous additions that will help us grow the beautiful game across the country. This will certainly be seen as a great day for soccer fans and supporters along the Gulf Coast.”Kenneth Farrell, NPSL Chairman
AFC Mobile was founded in 2015 by a group of soccer fans who believed in the potential for high-level soccer in the Azalea City. The club’s mission is to advocate for the culture of the City of Mobile through soccer and to bring the highest level of soccer possible to Mobile, Alabama.
AFC Mobile’s ownership is made up of a board of nine people, which includes President Abram Chamberlain, CEO/Vice President Jeff Garl, CFO/Director of Business Operations Sean Landry, and Director of Communications Mitchell Kahalley. The Azaleas are led on the field by head coach Steve Wieczorek, who is also the head coach of Spring Hill College’s men’s soccer team.
“AFC Mobile has shown that Mobile is home to a massive soccer community, with passionate, dedicated and knowledgeable fans that will bring one of the best atmospheres in independent American soccer into the NPSL,” Kahalley said.
AFC Mobile plays at the Archbishop Lipscomb Athletic Complex, affectionately known as “The Lip.” The facility was opened in 2008 to host the McGill-Toolen Catholic High School football and soccer teams. It is located in the Bolton neighborhood of Mobile and seats 6,500.
Pensacola FC is a full-service youth club based in Pensacola, FL. Their Women’s Premier Soccer League (WPSL) team has won two national titles and appeared in five national semifinals in seven seasons. Pensacola FC is the only club with two teams in the WPSL as PFC Academy joined the league in 2019.
PFC is led by Owner and Technical Director David Kemp, Owner and Executive Director Justin Witkin, and Coach Dean Logan.
“We want to replicate what our women’s team has done and provide a home for high-level soccer in the community, providing an attractive style of play and also a vehicle for our younger players to develop,” said Kemp.
Home matches for Pensacola FC will be played at the club’s 10-field youth complex. The stadium field has seating for 2000 and has hosted Division II National Championships, WPSL National Championships, and the Gulf South Conference Championships.
Port City FC (Gulfport, MS) was founded in 2016 as the Biloxi City Futbol Club. PCFC is a not-for-profit soccer club that seeks to provide a first-class adult soccer program to the Mississippi Gulf Coast, while working to grow the sport in underserved and underprivileged communities along the Mississippi Gulf Coast.
PCFC is led by Club President Steve Simkins, General Manager Luke Berry, and Director of Football Henrik Madsen.
“We felt that the club needed a new challenge for 2020,” Berry said. “Naturally, the NPSL was on our radar as one of the most well-known soccer leagues in the country. After discussion amongst our board, it was a unanimous decision to join for the 2020 campaign and we cannot wait to get started.”
Home matches for Port City FC will be played at Wilson Stadium in Gulfport. It is the permanent home of Gulfport High School and is the only soccer-exclusive stadium in the state.
Tallahassee SC, a club in its second year of existence, is led by President/Founder Chris Petley and Head Coach Josh Bruno.
“Tallahassee SC shines a light on the talent of the players and coaches from throughout the Big Bend,” Petley said.
“Our club is more than just a team of players on the field, we are a community of families, students, and more.”Chris Petley, Founder and President Tallahassee SC
“That are pulling in the same direction to grow the sport locally. We look forward to bringing our sense of community to the NPSL this year.”
The Battle Lions will play home matches at Gene Cox Stadium in Tallahassee, FL. The facility seats over 5,500 and was recently refurbished with a state-of-the-art turf field and a new scoreboard.
The stadium was built in 1969 and originally called Capital Stadium. The name was changed in 1998 to honor local high school coaching legend Gene Cox shortly after his retirement.