FC Buffalo hoping to return to play this summer

The team will take the field wearing an anti-racism message

WGR 550
July 02, 2020 - 1:02 pm
FC Buffalo jersey

Photo: FC Buffalo (@FCBuffalo)

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Buffalo, NY (WBEN) - Whether or not sports return to Western New York in the foreseeable future, one local team is looking to make an impact either on or off the field.

FC Buffalo, the region’s NPSL soccer team, announced it has accepted an invitation to participate in a 15-team tournament set to be held in late July and early August.

The NISA Independent Cup would feature independent professional and amateur teams. The games would be the first featuring a Buffalo team since the last Buffalo Sabres game on March 9.

“We’ve been on calls since April, talking about ‘Is this possible?’” said FC Buffalo co-owner Nick Mendola on Thursday with Susan Rose and Brian Mazurowski on News Radio 930 AM WBEN. “Right now, we’re confident that we can test our players, keep them in isolation for less than a week it would take to play these games.”

When the team does take the field again, they’ll do so wearing a new uniform that aims to benefit organizations fighting for equality in Buffalo.

FC Buffalo’s new ‘Change Kit’ features both the city itself, and the simple message “Against Racism.” Proceeds from the sale of the new jersey will benefit Unite By Night and the National Federation for Just Communities of Western New York.

“We saw a lot of sports teams make statements, and that’s good,” Mendola said. “We knew we had some time with our season being suspended to address it in a more proper manner... What we learned is there are a lot of people in the white and minority community that will benefit from discussion.”

The team will also be working to set up a scholarship that will benefit local high school players from minority communities.

“We wanted to address this in a way that was not just cosmetic, in a way that was more than words, in a way that reflected our ethos.”

Be sure to tune in Thursday afternoon as Mendola will join Chris "Bulldog" Parker on WGR Sports Radio 550.

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