5 reasons to attend Birmingham Legion FC’s historic first playoff game on Oct. 23

Legion Practice at Protective Stadium (Bham Now)

This weekend, be a part of Magic City soccer history.

Birmingham Legion FC is hosting the club’s first-ever home playoff game, this Sunday, October 23rd, 5:00PM at Protective Stadium against  Eastern Conference rival Pittsburgh Riverhounds. 

Gates open at 4:00PM, and tickets are available HERE


The game on Sunday is a rematch of sorts. Last year, the Legion was supposed to play the Riverhounds for our inaugural home playoff match, but the game was canceled days before the “hounds” left the Burgh. The reason for the forfeit? Covid-19. 

This year everyone is healthy – GAME ON.  

5 Reasons to Attend the Sunday’s Playoff Game

Birmingham Legion
Catch the Birmingham Legion this fall. (Pat Byington / Bham Now)

Sunday’s playoff game is more than a soccer game. It’s about community, great soccer and lifelong memories. Here are 5 reasons to come out and support the Legion on Sunday.

1. #AllForBHM & #ThreeSparks

Bham Now has been following Legion FC since the USL awarded Birmingham the franchise back in 2017, before the team had a name! More than a professional soccer team, the club is all about community. That’s why they are called the Three Sparks — which stands for: 

  • Pride: In our City and our Club
  • Passion: For the love of the game
  • Community: Collaborating with affiliated clubs to develop youth players from our diverse community to reach their full potential

Show your pride this weekend by attending the game and using the hashtag – #AllForBHM

2. Perfect Weather

Sunday’s weather forecast is absolutely perfect for soccer. According to our friends at the National Weather Service Birmingham Office, you can expect clear skies and 77 degrees on Sunday afternoon. 

3. It’s a Red Out

Support the Legion on Sunday by wearing bright red! On Thursday, the team announced they will be wearing the popular red kits (that’s the English term for soccer uniforms).

4. MVO and Donuts

Goalkeeper Matt Van Oekel. Legion Practice at Protective Stadium (Bham Now)

During the game you might hear the chant M-V-O from the Birmingham Legion’s Supporters section (that’s where the Magic City Brigade & Elyton Ultras reside). Don’t be confused – they are cheering for Legion goalkeeper Matt Van Oekel. One of the team’s most popular players, MVO notched 11 shutouts in the 32 games he played in 2022. 

By the way – how do Van Oekel and Legion fans celebrate shutouts? They post photos of themselves eating donuts!

5. Legion is “Stacked” with Veterans 

There are so many good stories about the players on Legion F.C.

Players to watch for:

Prosper Kasim – He scored the Legion’s first home goal – and it was a game winner too.

Phaneual Kavita – The captain who leads the backline with another vet, Alex Crognale.

Jonny Dean and Mikey Lopez – Both are defenders and midfielders. They both play the entire field. Dean this year played every minute of all 34 games.

Enzo Martinez – Legion’s leading scorer. A candidate for league MVP. You can’t miss him on the pitch with his long beard.

Juan Agudelo – Former U.S. Men’s National Team member and MLS star.

Other team favorites: Bruno Lapa, Anderson Aseidu, Zachary Herivaux, Marlon Santos,, Ryan James, Jake Rufe, Sadik Balalarabe, Mataeo Bunbury

And of course, the Legion is led by Coach Tommy Soehn.

Don’t Miss

Get your tickets now! See you at Protective Stadium on Sunday, October 23rd, 5:00PM

Pat Byington
Pat Byington

Longtime conservationist. Former Executive Director at the Alabama Environmental Council and Wild South. Publisher of the Bama Environmental News for more than 18 years. Career highlights include playing an active role in the creation of Alabama's Forever Wild program, Little River Canyon National Preserve, Dugger Mountain Wilderness, preservation of special places throughout the East through the Wilderness Society and the strengthening (making more stringent) the state of Alabama's cancer risk and mercury standards.

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