Change in coaches for men’s side

FC Buffalo regretfully announces that head coach Ryan “Ozzy” Osborne is stepping away from the 2022 season.

“Due to unforeseen personal circumstances, I have decided to resign from my position of head coach at FC Buffalo. I’d like to place on record my love and appreciation for the club, Nick Mendola, and the TSR supporters group. I wish the club nothing but the best moving forward and will be watching as a fan.”

The well-regarded Osborne was hired in January and assembled a talented side that showed well and got a few bad bounces in starting with a win, a draw, and two losses. The head coach of men’s soccer at Mercyhurst University, Osborne brought along his college assistant Ross Stewart — who had played at nearby Daemen College — and also hired Donny George to join the staff.

Stewart (left) and Osborne

FC Buffalo co-owner Nick Mendola wishes to convey the club’s appreication for Osborne and its understanding of his change in circumstances.

“We are grateful for the work Ozzy and his staff put in since the start of the year. What Ozzy and Ross brought to our club was nothing but professionalism and we’re glad to have been part of both their journeys, though we wish they were longer! We will be in their corners as fans and admirers.

“We’ve addressed the change within our team and are happy to announce that the staff that will continue the playoff push Ozzy and Ross started in January.”

Taking the reins will be coaches with strong connections to the club: Dan Panaro and Donny George.

Panaro was an assistant to Frank Butcher last season and is an assistant for the women’s program at Daemen College. He was a 2010 NPSL All-Star with FC Buffalo as a goalkeeper.

George was serving on Osborne’s staff and is also leading the our club’s nascent UWS2 side. He’s an assistant for the Niagara University women’s program after serving as the head coach for the Erie Community College women and as a grad assistant at his alma mater Baker University, where he played defender.

The club has also added versatile veteran Erik Panzer to the roster. The 28-year-old New Zealand-American most recently played for FC Arizona after stints with NISA side Chattanooga FC and professional sides in Sweden, England, and his native New Zealand.