Soccer season and the World Cup is nearly upon us, but how many of you knew we have a new professional team right in our backyard? Which team you ask? That’s a good question, because although the game of soccer has been faring quite well in the Queen City on the Lake, FC Buffalo is bringing professional minor league soccer to the forefront of Western New York.
I touched base with the club’s assistant director of partnerships, Sean Lafferty, regarding the FC Buffalo team in order to spell out some of the league dynamics as well as what we can expect from the soccer club this season. “A Buffalo team has been in the league over the course of the last few years,” he told me. “However, we created a brand new operation and franchise from the dust of the two previous incarnations in Buffalo, Queen City FC and Buffalo City FC. With the team playing in the National Premier Soccer League, fans are going to be experiencing the highest level of soccer available anywhere in Western New York. We want to create an outlet for fans of English Premier, MLS, etc. to have a team of their own to cheer for on a weekly basis.”
According to the team website, “FC Buffalo strengthens the game and its fans in Western New York by uniting them under one elite banner. The NPSL is a proven product, and the Buffalo squad will be a mix of the area’s best amateur, collegiate and post-collegiate players suiting up in blue, gold and white for their city and sport. The first team is just one arm of the FC Buffalo body. Along with the fun of a game day squad comes dedicated programs for at-risk and inner city youth. We can provide top-level training and dedication to improve the quality of soccer being played in local schools, clubs and even parks. FC Buffalo will work directly with any youth club in the region for a day, a month or longer — anything to improve Western New York’s standing both state and country.”
If it weren’t for dedicated team owners like Nick Mendola, Buffalo would not be climbing the soccer ranks as it is today. “Soccer is a game I turned a blind eye to for years,” Nick said. “And now I love it as much as ice hockey, which is my first love. Bringing this game to Buffalo is huge for me. Whether it’s the immigrants who already love the game and need a banner to support it here or folks intrigued by World Cup, I want to give those people the chance to check out the game at its best.”
FC Buffalo has introduced a voting poll on its website so that fans can vote for the team’s nickname, and believe it or not, the voters have rallied around “The Wolf Blitzers”. As a result, the poll was mentioned on Wolf Blitzer’s twitter page and has been a Fark discussion for the last few weeks. Seeing that the name contender is “Spokes”… I hope that Wolf pulls some strings and shows up for opening day in order to fight for and claim the honor.
The team also made mention on ESPN Page 2 earlier today…
Home opener is may 29th at 3pm at All High Stadium