Fredericksburg Gunners

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Fredericksburg Gunners
Fredericksburggunners.png
Full name F.C. Fredericksburg Gunners
Nickname(s) The Gunners, FC Fred
Founded 2006
Dissolved 2009
Stadium Fredericksburg Academy
Owner Brian Shumate
Head Coach Cristian Neagu
League USL Premier Development League
2009 6th, Mid Atlantic
did not qualify for playoffs

Fredericksburg Gunners was an American soccer team based in Fredericksburg, Virginia, United States. Founded in 2006, the team played in the USL Premier Development League (PDL), the fourth tier of the American Soccer Pyramid, until 2009, after which the franchise folded and the team left the league.

The team played its home games at the Fredericksburg Academy. The team's colors were royal blue, red and white.

The team had a sister organization, the Fredericksburg Lady Gunners, who played in the women's USL W-League, and also fielded a team in the USL’s Super-20 League, a league for players 17 to 20 years of age run under the United Soccer Leagues umbrella.

History[edit]

Fredericksburg Gunners announced their entrance into the PDL in December 2006, and their pre-season squad was led by former Coventry City and Southampton defender Paul Williams. Romanian native Cristian Neagu took over from Williams prior to the regular season, and as player-manager led the Gunners to a promising debut. They won their first two games in impressive style, demolishing the Northern Virginia Royals 7–0 in only their second competitive game (with Neagu scoring a hat trick), and only a 3–1 defeat to Richmond Kickers Future stopped them from qualifying for the US Open Cup at the first attempt. As the season progressed, Fredericksburg's results kept them in the playoff hunt: a five-game unbeaten streak in mid-June which included consecutive 4-goal hauls in their wins over Virginia Legacy and Northern Virginia Royals looked to have secured them their slot in the post season. However, a dip in form during August culminated in back-to-back away defeats to Ocean City Barons and West Virginia Chaos, and the season ended with the Gunners in fifth place behind divisional champions Hampton Roads Piranhas. Anthony Andrews was the top scorer with 8 goals, while the Romanian contingent of Neagu and Adrian Bumbut were the top providers, with 10 goals and 6 assists between them.

2008 began positively for the Gunners with four straight wins: their 4–0 opening day victory over Northern Virginia Royals was followed subsequent victories over Richmond Kickers Future, the previously unbeatable Hampton Roads Piranhas, and the Rhode Island Stingrays. Their magnificent start brought them their first ever berth in the US Open Cup, where they faced USL2 outfit Richmond Kickers, the senior team of their divisional rivals; unfortunately for the Gunners, their campaign was a short one, as they lost 3–0 first time out. Back in league play, Fredericksburg's form continued strongly through the month of June, in which the team enjoyed another three victories, including another comprehensive takedown of Northern Virginia Royals. A playoff berth looked almost set in stone but, inexplicably, everything fell apart in July: the Gunners lost five of their final six regular season games – they conceded a last minute goal against Richmond Kickers Future to lose 1–0, allowed the Brooklyn Knights to come from behind twice to win 3–2, and lost 4–3 away at the Westchester Flames on the final day of the season with yet another 90th minute catastrophe. They eventually finished second in the Mid Atlantic Division behind Reading Rage, and missed out on the Eastern Conference playoffs by virtue of Newark Ironbound Express having a better record. Player-coach Cristian Neagu was again the Gunners' top scorer, with 6 goals, while Matt Lacey contributed five assists.

Cristian Neagu is affectionately known as 'The Romanian Flounder' by both Gunner's supporters and rival fans due to his habit of falling over too easily.

Players[edit]

Final roster[edit]

as at June 18, 2009

Note: Flags indicate national team as defined under FIFA eligibility rules. Players may hold more than one non-FIFA nationality.

No. Position Player
1 United States GK Ken Manahan
4 United States DF Michael Dinuzzo
5 Northern Ireland DF Tennant McVea
7 United States MF Jordan Evans
8 England MF Matt Lacey
9 United States FW Brian Ownby
10 United States MF Neil Barlow
11 Uganda MF Onesimus Ikungo
12 Sierra Leone FW Shaka Bangura
13 United States DF Dylan Boyd
14 United States DF Brion Kelly
15 United States DF Sam Brooks
16 United States MF Lance Nelson
No. Position Player
17 United States FW C. J. Sapong
19 United States MF Jimmy Simpson
20 United States DF Jorge Lopez
21 England MF Joseph Townsend
23 United States GK Patrick Mitrovich
24 United States MF Justin Grove
26 United States DF Michael Handlin
29 United States DF Matt Weiler
Spain MF Miguel Casajuana
United States MF Kern Gardiner
United States MF Michael Volk

Year-by-year[edit]

Year Division League Regular Season Playoffs Open Cup
2007 4 USL PDL 5th, Mid Atlantic Did not qualify Did not qualify
2008 4 USL PDL 2nd, Mid Atlantic Did not qualify 1st Round
2009 4 USL PDL 6th, Mid Atlantic Did not qualify Did not qualify

Head coaches[edit]

Stadiums[edit]

Average attendance[edit]

Attendance stats are calculated by averaging each team's self-reported home attendances from the historical match archive at https://web.archive.org/web/20100105175057/http://www.uslsoccer.com/history/index_E.html.

  • 2007: 306
  • 2008: not yet available
  • 2009: 168

External links[edit]