Niagara Gazette

Sports

May 10, 2013

The Other Football: FC Buffalo opens season tonight

(Continued)

Niagara Gazette — In 2011, they came into contact with local businessman Bob Rich, Jr., who sponsored not only FC Buffalo's uniforms but also began sponsoring a small club in his ancestral part of England, Bedlington. Rich helped arrange for the Bedlington Terriers to travel to Buffalo to face FC Buffalo in an exhibition match, a game the hosts won.

John Grabowski, a Middleport native now in his fourth year with FC Buffalo, remembers that special day when the world's most popular game became Buffalo's biggest game for one day.

"That was really cool to have a team of professionals who come from overseas, to come over and play us, just the attention that it brought to our club," said Grabowski. "There were so many people at that game... I don't even know how many, a couple thousand people watching. It seemed like the city really tried to recognize what we're trying to do."

What the players and management are trying to do is give local fans a local team to support, and slowly cement the "beautiful game" as part of the fabric in Buffalo and Western New York. It's slowly catching on. Even the team's official "pub" is a soccer-themed bar in North Buffalo known as Mes Que, adopted from soccer club Barcelona's motto "more than a club."

"It's a big deal for a lot of us," said Figler. "A lot of guys have played at high levels and now they've finally got a chance to play at a high level in our own city and represent our own towns, so it's an exciting thing here."

2013 FC Buffalo NPSL Schedule All home games are played at All-High Stadium in Buffalo - - - - - Date Time Opponent Tonight 7:30 p.m. Zanesville Athletic FC Friday, May 17 7:30 p.m. FC Sparta Michigan Sunday, May 26 1 p.m. at Erie Admirals FC Friday, May 31 7 p.m. at AFC Cleveland Sunday, June 2 1 p.m. at Zanesville Athletic FC Sunday, June 9 6 p.m. AFC Cleveland Friday, June 14 7 p.m. Erie Admirals FC Friday, June 21 7 p.m. at FC Sparta Michigan Sunday, June 23 1 p.m. at Detroit City FC Sunday, June 30 1 p.m. Erie Admirals FC Friday, July 5 7 p.m. at Zanesville Athletic FC Sunday, July 7 1 p.m. Detroit City FC Playoffs - to be determined

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