During the first 25-minutes of the match, the Hammers had a fair bit of possession. Early in the game, Right Back Gael Mabialas showcased his professional level speed up and down the touch line, making dashing overlapping runs deep into the heart of Nashville's territory. Pressure came from the Hammers mainly on the right side, but only resulted in three shots.
Starting Attacking Midfielder Deandre Robinson left the match with an injury (ankle) in the 27th minute, and Inter Nashville took advantage of a Hammers midfield that was scrambling to recover from the loss of leadership and experience. Despite pushing full throttle for the last 20-minutes of the half, Inter Nashville could only put together one or two scoring opportunities. But none of their chances resulted in a goal.
Halftime adjustments were key for the Hammers and Inter Nashville. In the second half, the boys from the Music City seemed to double up on Mabialas, neutralizing his attacking effectiveness. However, the Hammers made adjustments of their own, and just six minutes into the second period, the Boys in Red earned a penalty. NPSL veteran Alex Brown calmly stepped up to the spot and buried the kick to give the Hammers the 1-0 lead (51st minute). This successful penalty was Brown's second goal of the season.
But the jubilation of the of the lead lasted only for a little while, as Inter earned a corner in the 69th minute that led to the tying goal. Inter Nashville's 2nd-half substitute Greg Warden buried the chance off of the set piece.
For the remainder of the match, the Hammers played with their backs against the wall. Inter Nashville pressed to earn a second goal and steal a victory on the road. But fortunately for the team from the Magic City, Bradley Louis was controlling the box. Save after save tonight earned Bradley Louis the Birmingham Backline Man of the Match award. His leadership, awareness, and ability in the goal kept the Hammers in this match and ultimately helped the home team salvage the draw.
The Birmingham Hammers are sitting on 4 points after two NPSL matches, putting themselves in a tie for first in the division. Their next match is Saturday, May 20th at Chattanooga. They will be back in Birmingham on Memorial Day Weekend with a pair of friendlies against the Atlanta United U-18 team and the Chivas U-23 team. Check out birminghamhammers.com for ticket information and the latest news.
President and General Manager, Morgan Copes, expressed his excitement for this group of young men set to represent the City of Birmingham and the state of Alabama.
“We are very anxious to get these young men out on the field to showcase their talents. We ran into the injury bug last year but have a lot of returning faces mixed in with some new ones that we believe will allow Coach [Wulf] Koch be successful,” he said.
"We have assembled a squad with that will be able to withstand the rigors of league play, friendlies, and training. We know we will face obstacles, and we know there will be doubters, but I know we have great quality and experience to achieve our goals through hard work, commitment, and passion," said first-year Hammers Head Coach, Wulf Koch.
Coach Koch is excited to have such a diverse group of players set to represent the City of Birmingham and the state of Alabama this summer.
"Our roster is a direct reflection of the popularity soccer enjoys all over the world. The 2017 Hammers have representation from 10 different countries. It just shows that soccer is a sport that is universal. We will learn a lot from each other in this season, both professionally and personally,” said Coach Koch.
To see the full roster, click here
The Hammers open up their season this Saturday in Atlanta against the Atlanta Silverbacks. Kickoff is 4 p.m. CST, and the match will be played at Silverback's Park.
The Hammers' first home is match at Sicard Hollow Athletic Complex the following weekend at 7 p.m. against I-65 rivals, Inter Nashville. Tickets and official merchandise are available now by clicking here and at Soccer Nation.
For more information on the Hammers or to interview a representative from the team, email Heather Jeffcoat at firstname.lastname@example.org or call 205-515-1972.
President & General Manager, Morgan Copes, and the board have been working on bringing an event at this level to Birmingham for several months.
“Our front office staff has been working tirelessly to bring something special to Birmingham for the fans. We have hosted matches and brought in professional sides in the past, but this will be the first time we are playing in the match. The fact that it is one of the most storied clubs from Liga MX makes it that more special. Coach Wulf Koch and his men are looking forward to the challenge,” said Morgan.
Coach Koch and the players were thrilled about the matchup that will give the team the opportunity to play against a strong international opponent.
“This is a wonderful opportunity for the Hammers, soccer in the Birmingham Metro area and Alabama soccer in general to have such a quality team come and play us. We are delighted to compete against a great team with outstanding players who will shape Chivas' and the Mexican soccer landscape for many years to come,” said Hammers Head Coach Koch.
Chivas’ official name is Club Deportivo Guadalajara and was founded 110 years ago in Guadalajara, Jalisco, Mexico. They have won the first division in Mexico 11 times, have been Champion of Champions 7 times, and won 3 Copa Mexicos.
“We are looking forward to playing the Birmingham Hammers in May,” said Juan Covarrubias Corona, Director of International Relations, CD Guadalajara. “This is a great opportunity to measure our strength against another strong institution, to show some chivalry and sportsmanship, to learn from one another, provide a great soccer match, and an amazing atmosphere for the fans that will have the honor to attend.”
The last time a professional side was in Birmingham was when the Atlanta Silverbacks, formerly of the NASL, traveled to play UAB in their spring finale.
Stay tuned for your chance to meet some of the Chivas players. Tickets will be going on sale Monday, April 17th and will start at $10! You can purchase them, along with your official Birmingham Hammers merchandise and season tickets at Birminghamhammers.com. To interview the Hammers Head Coach or owners, contact Heather Jeffcoat at 205-515-1972 or by emailing email@example.com
BIRMINGHAM, AL- The Birmingham Hammers are pleased to announce the finalized coaching staff for the 2017 season. Head Coach Wulf Koch has added three experienced assistant coaches to the roster
AJ Robles, Goalkeeping Coach - AJ is currently the Director of Goalkeeping for Vestavia Hills Soccer Club. He previously served as a volunteer assistant for the UAB Men’s team and the University of Arizona Women’s team. AJ was born in Tucson, Arizona where he played for the Tucson Soccer Academy before playing collegiately for Pima CC and UAB. While at UAB, AJ earned All-Conference USA honors and compiled 24 wins, 12 shutouts and 218 saves.
Chris Blight, Assistant Coach - Chris is currently the Head Coach for the Varsity Women’s soccer team at Oak Mountain High School and is a part of the coaching staff at Birmingham United Soccer Association. Chris previously served as the Varsity Women’s coach for Auburn High School, where he led the Lady Tigers to a combined record of 69-8-6. Chris also spent 2 years as an Assistant Men’s coach at Auburn University at Montgomery. Chris played collegiately at Huntington College and Auburn University of Montgomery.
Jeremy McLane, Assistant Coach - Jeremy is currently the Director of Coaching for Trussville United Soccer Club. From 2013-2015, he served as Director of Soccer Operations for the UAB Men’s soccer program and was part of the inaugural Hammers squad in 2014. He is a native of Birmingham, Alabama and played for Vestavia Hills Soccer Club and John Carroll Catholic High School where he was a 2-time All-State player. He played collegiately for UAB from 2003-2006.
The entire coaching staff is excited to start the 2017 campaign. Please welcome our new coaches to the Hammers family. Tryouts will be held in Birmingham and Montgomery this weekend, Jan. 14th and 15th.