NEWPORT NEWS (WAVY) – When he co-founded Lionsbridge FC, along with Kevin Joyce and Dan Chenoweth, he felt confident he was starting something soccer and and even casual sports fans in the area would enjoy.
Not sure he envisioned the crowds that flocked to Pomoco Stadium for just the team’s first season, which wrapped up last Sunday.
“It’s been awesome,” said Vest during the team’s finale against D.C. United’s under-23 squad. “We’ve had amazing crowds all season long.”
Indeed, the team has created quite a homefield advantage, attracting average crowds of 1,600, and even drawing around 2,200 for the team’s July 3rd matchup against Florida FC’s under 23 team. Lionsbridge FC has not only created a strong soccer product on the field, but a strong presence in the community, and Vest believes that is a big reason for the sea of blue and white present in Newport News this season.
“We’ve tried to get the guys out in the community as much as possible, dealing with all the different youth organizations, making a lot of different community appearances and trying to get the players and the coaches as connected to the community as possible, and it helps because we have a lot of local players from Virginia,” said Vest.
Though the team did not make the playoffs, they finished with a winning home record (5-2-2).
“Our goal next year will be to make the playoffs next year, hopefully qualify for the U.S. Open Cup and just keep the momentum going we have here in the community,” said Vest.