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A new era begins in earnest Saturday when FC Buffalo begins its 13th season with the first game from its fifth head coach, a man all-too-familiar with his opening day rival.
Former Cleveland SC boss Ryan “Ozzy” Osborne leads FC Buffalo into the George Finnie Stadium at Baldwin Wallace University (141 E Bagley Rd, Berea, OH 44017) in a bid to start the 2022 National Premier Soccer League season on a winning note (Watch live stream at 7pm ET online on Eleven Sports or head to Banshee Irish Pub on Franklin Street to watch with fans).
Osborne went 15-5-2 in two seasons with Cleveland, taking the club to the NPSL national semifinal in 2019 when he was named Midwest East Region Coach of the Year. Now the head coach of the men’s soccer at Mercyhurst, Osborne leads faces both familiar and unfamiliar into Ohio.
More than half of the players on FCB’s Opening Day roster have been with the club prior to Osborne’s tenure, and several rank high on the club’s all-time leaders. Chasing milestones this season are:
- Chris Walter’s first appearance will mark his 85th in league play for the Blitzers
- Hunter Walsh (21 appearances), Bryce Tramuta (20), Colin O’Keefe (19), and Zach Drayer (16) are within reach of 10th place on the club’s all-time appearance list (John Grabowski, 27).
- Walsh’s six goals are 10th all-time, while Walter’s five are 13th, and Nuukele Gboe’s four are good for 17th.
- Walter is one assist away from becoming the first FCB player to register 10 in a career, with Walsh and Jayson Repine tied for ninth with four.
Saturday night’s game is the first of two away games to start the 2022 NPSL season, as FCB plays the season’s first Erie County derby come Friday in Pennsylvania.
The club is then home at 3pm Sunday. Robert Rich Sr. All-High Stadium is undergoing turf and track replacement this summer, so FCB starts its 2022 home season at Dobson Field on the campus of D’Youville University with a new old friend: Community Beer Works will be on-site for all of our home matches this season.