Match Recap: MBFC 1 - 1 Chattanooga FC - 3.26.2022

Maryland Bobcats FC Earn Point on the Road in First Match of 2022
Published Mar 28, 2022

In the first match of 2022, the Bobcats went into Finley Stadium in Chattanooga, Tennessee and came back to Maryland with a point thanks to a freekick goal by MBFC Midfielder Darwin Espinal.

The Maryland Bobcats FC opened the 2022 NISA campaign with a 1-1 draw against rivals Chattanooga FC at Finley Stadium on a windy Saturday with an early kickoff. This match was the beginning of a new season, with a new Head Coach, and a plethora of new players bring brought into the club. The game didn’t see many chances and the Bobcats’ best chances came from free kicks in dangerous areas. Darwin Espinal had a free kick 25 yards out in the first half that he saw slam off the crossbar (the first shot of the match) which could have opened the scoring. After a back and forth first 15 mintues, Chattanooga FC started to get more of the ball while putting pressure on the Bobcats' back line. Some big saves, most notably in the 40th minute, by Felix Annan kept out Chattanooga FC and kept the scoreline even.

The first half came to a close with no score and the teams headed into the locker rooms with it all to play for. The second half started quickly with a 47th minute penalty kick being awarded to Chattanooga FC after a run by Alex McGrath that saw him taken down from behind. Ian Cerro’s penalty was initially saved by MBFC debutant Felix Annan, but the rebound was easily put in the back of the net by Cerro.

Down 1-0, the Bobcats started to make an effort to attack more to try and get the goal back. In the 67th minute, the Bobcats made their first changes of the game, seeing both Noah Wright and Michael Akinkoye get their first professional minutes (and Bobcats debut) and Joseph Boone (also his professional debut) and Andy Alvarado taken out. The level seemed to rise as the team kept pushing for the equalizer. After some more back and forth play, a foul was called on Chattanooga FC which saw almost a mirror image of the free kick that Espinal hit off the crossbar in the first half. This time, the outcome would be the one he was looking for as Espinal put the ball in off the free kick in the 83rd minute to level the game. In the 90th minute, Sam Solomon made his Bobcats debut coming on for Elijah Amo (who made is professional and MBFC debut on the day).

Over the course of the match, both sides had some chances to pull away but in the end, the game ended in a draw, earning each club a point in the season opener. A game that saw each team get chances was a positive showing for the first match of the year with both clubs looking organized and having a plan of how they want to play this season.

Next up on the schedule for MBFC is the Home Opener against Flower City Union on April 2nd at the Maryland SoccerPlex. Kickoff is at 7pm EST and gates will open at 6pm EST. You can be there for all the action this year and can get your tickets (Single Game and Season Tickets) at


Match Details

Maryland Bobcats FC: Annan (GK), Forka, Clegg, Fane, Mason; Alvarado (Akinkoye 67'), Possian (C), Gonzalez, Boone (Wright 67’), Espinal, Amo (Solomon 90’) 

Substitutions: Brown, Solomon, Quintanilla, Wivell, Akinkoye, Wright

Goals: Espinal (83’)

Bookings: Possian (18’), TBD (77’)


Chattanooga FC: Gonzalez (GK), Stratton, Martinez, Spielman, Ward, Dixon, Cerro, McGrath, Green, Gray, Jones

Substitutions: Redington (GK), Robertson, Stripling, Ferreira, Hernandez, Koren, Giuseppe, Rodriguez, Naglestad

Goals: Cerro (48')

Bookings: Gray (6'), Jones (35'), Dixon (71')