Club Profile: Fredericksburg FC – A Relocation Done Right

Fredericksburg FC (FFC), an NPSL club in the Mid-Atlantic Conference played their inaugural match late last month in Virginia Beach, Virginia.  While the result was nothing more than a 1-1 draw on the road, it was really a celebration of soccer development  in the US and the reinvention the team has accomplished over the past year.
FFC

We’ll start back in 2013.  A new club took shape in Richmond, VA under the name RVA FC.  They found a place to play at Sportsbackers Stadium, created a logo, and took the field. It was as simple as that; other than a few fees, starting a club at this level isn’t that difficult (at least from an outsider’s perspective).  In that first 2013 season, without a single experienced NPSL player , they finished at the top of the NPSL Mid-Atlantic Conference, and rose all the way to the NPSL Championship, where they would defeat the Sonoma County Sol.RVA FC

Flash forward a year and RVA FC was on fire.  Coming off their second NPSL league title in two years , the club entered the U.S. Open Cup against their crosstown rival, the Richmond Kickers, at home.  On the line was the chance to face DC United.  But their streak didn’t hold and RVA FC lost the match by five goals, finishing with a final score of 1-6 for the professional side.  RVA FC ended their 2014 season third in the NPSL Mid-Atlantic Conference. RVA USOC

2014 also saw the beginnings of a new expansion team in Fredericksburg, VA, the FXBG FC.  FXBG FC was to be a benchmark program created by RVA FC founder, owner and operator Grover Gibson and the NPSL.  It’s no surprise Fredericksburg FC has the desire to build a club from the ground up developing talent from the youth squad to the senior team.  Gibson himself played 12 years in Germany, amassing 199 appearances and 18 goals for 10 clubs throughout the pyramid, as well as appearances for the USMNT U-17 and U-20’s.  As Gibson told Tom Leiss of the NPSL, the idea of the club was to prepare players who were not ready to play for RVA FC.  “We wanted to form this new team because we felt there was a need for younger players who are not yet able to make the jump into the RVA FC program, but still need to be in a proper nationally competitive league where they gain exposure to playing against older more mature players.”

FXBG FC

But RVA FC and FXBG FC would not play in 2015.  Instead, a merger with a Fredericksburg based youth club, FASA, created the new Fredericksburg FC.  As Gibson said, “I started the program as just a men’s program in Richmond, it was a very cool project.  We picked up a lot of top collegiate players, but it got to a point where we wanted to actually develop young players into the squad, and that wasn’t possible without being part of a youth club.  We merged with FASA -and it turned out to be a great project.  I expect shortly that we will have younger players that will strive to be a part of the men’s team, and we will have our own homegrown players that we are putting into this environment.”  While leaving the capital city of Richmond, where the club had so much success in the short two year period was difficult, it may have been the saving grace for a small amateur side, dedicated to the development of players—and who were competing with the Kickers for fan support.

Fans throughout the lower leagues can look to Fredericksburg FC, and respect the steps the club has chosen to take as a true club representing the community.

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