When AFC Mobile was founded just under a year ago, we knew that we wanted to build a new team in Mobile. We had no intention on being another failed invention of a team that existed on the outskirts keeping certain parts of our community at bay. Beyond a team, we wanted to build a community of players, coaches, supporters, kids, adults, and more.
Our board spent a large amount of time discussing where Mobile would best fit into the skewed soccer map of the United States. I will not bore you with the insane details of how the soccer system in the US works, but the discussions we had were lengthy. Did we want to be a fully professional team? Did we want to be a fully youth team? What was the primary age of people we wanted to have? All of these things were examined, argued, and considered. When the dust settled it came down to two options: the National Premier Soccer League and the Louisiana Premier League.
The NPSL is the most “prestigious” of these leagues; it is also the most expensive. NPSL travel is, in many cases, prohibitively expensive. While looking at a team like the New Orleans Jesters, who would be our closest competitor and would play in the NPSL conference that we would play in, it became fairly clear that that is a path that would not work for what we wanted. The club would be faced with extreme travel, fatigue, and a quick, short season that would not benefit the players, the coaches, or the supporters who wished to travel. Indeed, as seen in the chart below, the travel would be the ultimate hurdle.