A week ago few people outside of Corpus Christi were taking noticed of the Sharks despite them being on the top spot in the USL League 2-Lone Star Division. This week seems to be a different story as the Corpus Christi FC who had previously been unranked in the league Power Rankings broke into the 20 among the leagues 114 clubs.
It might not sound like a big deal but it is. Corpus Christi has fought hard to earn this spot in the league Power Rankings and they are well deserving of the recognition. But it is going to take a fair bit of work to maintain the momentum as the season lingers forward.
There are two pivotal matchups this week with Brazos Valley who is currently in the division’s number three spot. But don’t let that fool you–they have the potential to cause this Sharks team some serious problems, if Corpus Christi FC for one second let’s their guard down.
The first match will take place on the road Wednesday night as Corpus FC takes on Brazos Valley. The matchup will be intense and the aggressive nature of play by Brazos Valley will be a problem. Injuries and departures are still a key problem for Corpus Christi going into the week but with solid replacements standing in the wings ready to step up on the pitch there should be enough fire power to hold off any potential threat. But then following the Wednesday matchup on the road for the Sharks there is the Saturday night rematch here at home at 7:00 PM at St. John Paul II Stadium. Regardless of what happens Wednesday night, the matchup here at home is crucial for Corpus Christi FC.
This season is far from over and with Corpus Christi FC now being ranked in the Top 20 in the Power Rankings this signals that this team is living up to the hype in 2022 and the talent is perhaps some of the best that the franchise has ever seen–despite getting the attention that they deserve.
Playing in the USL League 2 is tough and when a bulk of the attention goes to the East Coast teams who often better funded and hold stronger attendance, the weight of being number 20 in the league really does mean more than you might think.
There have been challenges both for the club and the league this year. Fans are finding it difficult to use the chosen streaming app and broadcast mandated by the league. Even when it does work fans complain of low quality broadcasts and tracking issues. Most fans seemed to prefer it better when games were regularly streamed on YouTube or Facebook–but other voices in other rooms made that decision. But that hasn’t stopped the fans from figuring out a way to support the club. Each home game the attendance gets better and better–a signal that the team’s momentum is spreading. Just this regular season their social media following has significantly risen and that is accredited to the coverage the team is devoting to figuring out new ways to connect with fans, supporters, and advertisers. The move into the 20th spot certainly shows that the Corpus Christi Football Club is something worth investing in for stakeholders at all levels–the team has something prove.
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If it seems like Corpus Christi FC has some sort of chip on their shoulders or as if they have something to prove–they do. They are out to prove that this team and the Lone Star Division can play and win against their East Coast counterparts that seem to get so much of the attention and fanfare. How do they do it?
- Win on the pitch
- Boost up the social media and web strategy game
- Get players recruited to major clubs and build relationships at the higher levels
- Pack attendance records
- Get sponsorship dollars and SHOW A SOLID RETURN FOR STAKEHOLDERS
If this organization can continue to build on those 5 building blocks then this is only the start of something magical. What sets the team apart from an ownership standpoint is that Corpus Christi FC club owner Kingsley Okonkwo is a fan of the game and an owner who understands what it takes to win in the arena. The team is working on their social media content and developing strategies to continue fan engagement throughout the year–even during the off season when many clubs struggle with retaining fan and sponsor engagement. the reality is that the partnership from the top down is strong and the building blocks are there for success not only within the division but all the way through the league.
It is going to take work from everyone involved but the reality is that the organization is coming together perhaps better than has before and the building blocks of success this year are only growing stronger.
It will be interesting to see how this week’s matches play out and where the Corpus Christi FC ends up in the next weekly power rankings. Time will tell if they can pull it all together and make a significant run deep into the playoffs. Either way if there ever was a Cinderella Story in the USL League 2–this team could be a contender for the leading role.
You can get tickets to Saturday night “True Blue” fan night below: