2013 was a year of firsts for RVA Football Club. The final “first” came on August 4 when RVA FC defeated Sonoma County Sol 2-0 to win the National Premier Soccer League National Championship.
The Richmond side entered the NPSL as an expansion club built by Head Coach Grover Gibson. An American youth national soccer player, Gibson played professionally in Germany, including two seasons with 2. Bundesliga club Rot-Weiss Ahlen. An eye injury cut his career short and Gibson moved back to his native Virginia where he established the Grover Gibson Soccer Foundation.
RVA FC went on to win the NPSL Mid-Atlantic Flight going undefeated at 6-2-0. Two playoff victories (a 5-1 thrashing of 2011 national champ Jacksonville United and 1-0 over 2012 national runner-up Chattanooga FC) earned the club the South Region Championship. A berth to the NPSL National Championships.
As the top-seed, Richmond hosted the national semifinals and on July 27 RVA FC dominated Midwest Region champion Erie Admirals SC winning 4-0. The win earned a spot into the championship against 2009 national champion Sonoma County Sol.
Sonoma County (11-3-0) was also undefeated on the season, winning the West Region before knocking out defending NPSL champion FC LVU Sonic in the semifinals.
RVA FC opened scoring early in the 18′ as James Madison University forward Josh Grant scored. Growing up in Torpoint (England), Grant will be a junior at JMU this fall. A tightly contested match throughout, RVA FC put the game away in the 88′ on a goal by Jose Manuel Bel of Virginia Commonwealth University.
An announced crowd of 1,496 fans watched the NPSL Championship at Sports Backers Stadium.
Be sure to tune in the NPSL Radio Show on Tuesday at 4:30-6 PM (CT) for a season wrap-up: http://www.nostaticradio.com/#!npsl-radio-show/c12ts
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