It’s that time of the year: FC Buffalo’s 2018 roster has taken enough shape to announce a number of its members, returning and new.
Be sure to check back here often, as FCB manager Frank Butcher and coaches Casey Derkacz and John Grabowski put the next touches on a planned championship run.
March 6: Returning to the fold are 2017 stars Bayley Winkel and Jake Cooper from Robert Morris University and Whitby, Ontario.
Winkel has been with FCB dating back to 2016, and has made 21 appearances for the club. Scoring a goal and picking up an assist, he was voted NPSL All-East Division, First XI in 2017. Winkel was All-Northeast Conference first team during his senior year as he nabbed 10 goals while leading RMU in minutes played.
Cooper was just as reliable for RMU, all 71 of his college games in four seasons. He played all 12 matches for FCB last season, picking up a trio of assists in the center of the park.
March 2: The Buffalo News’ Ben Tsujimoto reports, and FCB confirms, that striker Akean Shackleford is coming back for the 2018 season.
Shackleford scored seven times and added an assist in 11 appearances for FCB last season, and was voted to the NPSL’s All-Midwest Team.
The Jamaican from Indian Hills Community College announced his commitment to Southern Methodist University for 2018 and 2019 after scoring 55 goals with 10 assists in two seasons at IHCC.
Akean is a two-time first team NJCAA All-American.
— Akean Shackleford (@AShackleford2) March 2, 2018
Feb. 20 — Alphabetically and unsurprisingly, longtime FCB players Jeremy Figler, Kendell McFayden, and Chris Walter are returning to the club this summer.
Walter has made 61 appearances as FCB’s captain and longest-serving member. The defensive midfielder and right back has four goals and seven assists in becoming a fan favorite at Robert E. Rich All-High Stadium.
Figler returned to FCB after time spent in Sweden and Scandinavia, and split time between the sticks with Cam Hogg. The Grand Island native kept a pair of clean sheets in his four wins last season.
McFayden is FCB’s all-time leading scorer, with 12 goals and 1 assist in 28 career appearances despite spending a significant portion of his time with the club as a center back. The striker was first team All-NPSL as a defender in 2015.
— FC Buffalo (@FCBuffalo) February 21, 2018