The New Boys of Summer
Jesters kick off 2017 season Saturday
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.
|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|