FC Buffalo statement

A valiant comeback attempt against the reigning regional champions came up just short Saturday night in Cleveland on an opening night that began with tragic news from back home and ended with terrible injuries to two of our players.

But we sadly begin what should be the story of a great game between two talented teams with expressions of sorrow, horror, and anger at a coward’s racist, hatred-driven mass shooting that killed at least 10 people and wounded three more in Buffalo.

Our club joins the legions of good people denouncing racism and hatred and pledging to stand up for two of Buffalo’s nicknames: The City of Good Neighbors and The City of No Illusions. We pledge to both work to prove the former by being advocates in our community and acknowledge the latter by stating unequivocally that racism is a vile part of our world and wears many masks. We also want to thank the world for its well wishes in what was a bleak and tragic day in our city’s history.

Our men’s and women’s teams will wear black bands for Tuesday’s away UWS opener at Buffalo State College against FC Berlin, Friday’s away NPSL game at Erie, Saturday’s UWS home opener vs Erie, and Sunday’s NPSL home opener vs Pittsburgh. We will announce addition community plans within 48 hours and encourage anyone from our FC Buffalo community to email owner Nick Mendola with their ideas: nick@fcbuffalo.org

FC Buffalo’s men began NPSL play on Saturday night in Berea, Ohio, against the reigning champions Cleveland SC. The boys built back from a 2-0 halftime deficit on goals from Sergio Fernandez-Arango and Jordan Araujo and trailed 3-2 in stoppage time when there was a horrible accident on the pitch.

There was a terrible collision and two of our players required ambulances and emergency care. Our coach requested that the referees call the game at its current score. One suffered a broken nose and a gruesome headwound that required sutures, while the other has suffered multiple serious injuries and required surgery in Cleveland, Ohio. He is a warrior and we’re proud to know him and to get to know his family. He’s in good spirits and is expected to make a full recovery. Our players can hardly wait to welcome him back to Buffalo as soon as he’s released.

We want to thank the Cleveland SC ownership for their care and quick action, as well as our players and coaching staff for jumping into action to help the injured players as the severity of the incident became clear. We’d also like to thank the nearby teams in our conference who have reached out to see if they can help in any way, especially Pittsburgh Hotspurs. It’s deeply touching that the conference community we discuss in the offseason is far more than lip service, though we knew that.