The New Boys of Summer

Jesters kick off 2017 season Saturday



Kenny Farrell

Kenny Farrell, head coach of the New Orleans Jesters, the city’s semi-pro soccer team, is smiling a lot these days. Soccer is continuing to gain popularity and becoming, more and more, a major American sport. Interest in the game will get a boost in the coming decade as a bid by the United States, Mexico and Canada to bring the 2026 World Cup to North America is currently the favorite to land the tournament. On top of that, he feels like he’s got a really competitive team, which could help them to potentially become one of the city’s fastest growing sports franchises.

 “The 2017 squad is looking good,” Farrell said. “We have the talent to do very well and will produce excellent nights of soccer entertainment throughout the summer. We have the talent to do very well hopefully we will show the character it takes to win some very tough games.”

The Jesters play in the National Premier Soccer League (NPSL), generally considered to be at the fourth tier of competition in the United States soccer pyramid, behind Major League Soccer (MLS), the North American Soccer League (NASL), and the United Soccer League (USL), and roughly equal with the Premier Development League (PDL).

“A typical Jesters player is a very talented, young player, usually 18 through 23, that has the potential for Major League and definitely top level NCAA (play),” Farrell said. “(The team is) mixture of local talent with some international imports, usually 60/40 in favor of the local player.”

The Jesters play home games at Pan American Stadium in City Park, a 3,500-seat facility with room for an additional 1,000 fans in standing room only areas. Their NPSL Southeast Conference West Division rivals include the Birmingham Hammers, Chattanooga Football Club, Inter Nashville FC, and Memphis City FC.

After earning a 1-1 draw on the road against Shreveport Rafters FC in the 2017 season opener on Wednesday, New Orleans’ home opener will see them play Chattanooga FC on Saturday night at 7 p.m.

Individual adult tickets are priced at $10, $5 for youth six to 12, and free for kids younger than six. The club also offers a Family Pack of two adult tickets and two youth tickets for $25 and a group package of 12 adult and eight child tickets for $144, with each additional adult or child ticket at $5. 

A major focus of the club involves young player talent development initiatives including programming, clinics and a partnership with Carrollton Boosters which provides skills training to players as young as three years old.

“All of our partnerships are important to us in multiple ways,” Farrell said. “The jesters are dedicated to the community, and our work with the Carrolton Boosters, charter schools, Charity Hospital, and other community endeavors are true examples of our commitment to our city.”  

 

New Orleans Jesters 2017 Schedule

The New Orleans Jesters will play eight home games in the 2017 regular season. They start on the road against Shreveport Rafters FC on Wednesday, May 10, before returning home to Pan American Stadium in City Park to take on Chattanooga FC on Saturday, May 13. All home games (in bold) begin at 7 p.m.

 

Date Opponent 
Wed., May 10 @ Shreveport Rafters FC
Sat., May 13 vs. Chattanooga FC
Tues., May 16 vs. Shreveport Rafters FC
Sat., May 20 vs. Atlanta Silverbacks
Sat., May 27 vs. Georgia Revolution
Sat., June 3 vs. Houston Hurricanes
Thurs., June 8 @ Inter Nashville FC
Sat., June 10 @ Birmingham Hammers
Thurs., June 15 @ Chattanooga FC
Sat., June 17 @ Memphis City FC
Thurs., June 22 vs. Inter Nashville FC
Sat., June 24 vs. Memphis City FC
Thurs., June 29 @ Georgia Revolution
Sat., July 1 @ Atlanta Silverbacks
Sat., July 8 vs. Birmingham Hammers

  

 

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Chris Price is an award-winning journalist and public relations principal. When he's not writing, he's avid about music, the outdoors and Saints, Ole Miss & Chelsea football. He lives in New Orleans with his wife, two girls and three Labradors. In addition reporting on New Orleans sports, he is looking forward to Biz’s assignment to cover the Mint 400, “The Great American Off-Road Race.”

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