Tonawanda News — BUFFALO — Tonight, local soccer fans will gather at All-High Stadium in Buffalo to cheer on FC Buffalo, the semi-pro team that opens its fourth season this year in the National Premier Soccer League.
Though based in Buffalo and featuring an official slogan “For Our City,” FC Buffalo — that’s Football Club of Buffalo — features a roster including players from all over Western New York.
Among them is 22-year-old defender Anthony Johnson of Kenmore.
“We’re really excited,” Johnson said. “We’ve been working hard since the first day of tryouts. Now that all the guys are coming back from college, everyone’s coming home, we get to see old friends, hometown guys who went away to school. It’ll be god to see them back out on the field again, getting to play again, it’s really exciting getting to have everybody together again, ready to work.”
Johnson and his peers will play under new head coach Brendan Murphy, who was also recently hired as the head coach at D’Youville following three years as an assistant coach at the University at Buffalo.
“I’ve followed the club for years and have been very interested in the progress they made,” said Murphy, whose previous coaching experience also includes assistant roles at Niagara University and Buffalo State College. “I see the owners doing a great job marketing the club and building the interest.
“It’s been something I’ve always wanted to be a part of, to coach players at this level, to be able to put a roster together of players of this caliber. It’s a coach’s dream, really.”
The players Murphy will work with at FC Buffalo include current or former NCAA college players. Some former FC Buffalo players have gone on to brief professional careers domestically and internationally. One alumnus, Kendell McFayden, now plays for the Rochester Rhinos of the United Soccer Leagues Professional Division.