But fans and Union show mutual appreciation
Although the Monterey Bay Football Club (MBFC) fell short in a 2-1 loss against Tampa Bay in its last home game of the season at the California State University Monterey Bay’s (CSUMB) Cardinale Stadium, the players and coach hope to close the regular season strong and capture a playoff spot.
Monterey Bay started the home finale Oct. 2 strongly as midfielder Sam Gleadle (#23) scored the first goal with the help of Chase Boone (#31).
But after that, the game took a turn when Tampa Bay took the lead. Monterey Bay persevered until the end but was unable to regain the lead.
Along with it being the last home game, over 5,000 tickets were sold, making it a sold-out match with many CSUMB students in the stands.
“I’ve actually been to a few games now and I love the atmosphere. You just feel the sense of community that Monterey County has for this team and I love all of the different food vendors they have,” said fifth-year Mikaela Ruiz-DaSilva.
Not only were the students enjoying it, but some alumni were also in attendance.
“This is my first time being here, and my favorite part of this was the transformation because I used to come here to run around the track before it became what it is now, so I’ve seen the development and what it’s become,” said Christina Rodriguez, a CSUMB graduate student.
The players thrived off of the energy from the students, their friends and families that go out and support the game.
“I think the growing energy of the crowd, I think they’ve always been good and have always been here to support us,” said Gleadle. “I think they’re kind of learning the game as the season goes on, and we’re feeding off of their energy. Tonight, it was a packed house, so I think moving forward for the future it’s going to be a very good place for us and a tougher place for others to play against us.”
“We heard the fans from the warmups and hear you, students, as well,” said MBFC Team Captain Hugh Roberts (#2). “We feed off of you guys not only when you guys cheer for us but also when you boo the other team that goes far and beyond, and we feed off of that again you’re adamant when a player receives a red card it’s more than the average soccer team fan base, and we really appreciate it.”
The Monterey Bay FC’s Head Coach Frank Yallop was also pleased about the crowd turn-out.
“Yes, with the crowds we have had in the stadium and the public slowly but surely knowing about the club, the community has proven it. MBFC is here to stay,” Yallop said. “And our players have done a lot of work out in the community with appearances to help with that as well.
“The most rewarding part for me is the relationships I have made with all players and staff,” Yallop said. “It’s so rewarding seeing them develop into a team on and off the field and seeing most of them flourish in a great atmosphere.”
The coach and players are still hopeful about making the playoffs. Their game Saturday against Tulsa was postponed so the USL, the league the Union plays in, can investigate allegations that a Tampa Bay player directed racial language and made gestures toward a Monterey Bay player after their match.
The Union’s regular-season finale is scheduled for Saturday at Rio Grande Valley in Texas.
Stay up to date with everything MBFC by checking out their website https://www.montereybayfc.com/