Legion FC has quickly become a force to be reckoned with in the soccer world. The team’s success and growing fan base has won over the hearts of Birminghamians with a record attendance of 18,418 fans at Protective, cheering them on in previous games.
Legion FC’s impact extends beyond the pitch. The team has made significant efforts to give back to the community and create a positive social impact. Through various community outreach programs, charity events, and youth initiatives, the team has become an integral part of Birmingham.
Legion FC’s journey began in 2018 when the team was founded and named after the iconic Legion Field. From the start, the club aimed to bring high-quality professional soccer to Birmingham and provide a platform for talented players from around the world to showcase their skills. Over the years, the team has built a strong foundation and developed a roster of talented athletes who have helped put Birmingham on the soccer map, including Gabriel Alves.
Get to know Gabriel Alves:
Gabriel has been playing soccer ever since he was a little boy in San Pablo, Brazil. As he fell in love with the sport, he knew that soccer was more than just a game—it was his calling.
“I have always been a sports fan, but I enjoy the intensity of soccer more,” said Gabriel.
His career began at Marshall University, where he quickly established himself as a vital player in the team’s lineup, starting in his freshman year in 2020. In just his first year, Gabi was recognized for his outstanding performance by being named to the All-Conference Freshman Team. Alves captained his team in 2022 and was named to the Sun Belt All-Conference First Team, the United Soccer Coaches All-Southeast Region First Team, and earned an invitation to the 2023 MLS Showcase.
With his college experience slowly coming to an end, Birmingham Legion FC snatched Gabi as soon as they could! On January 26, 2023, Legion announced the signing of 2022 Sun Belt First Team All-Conference defender Gabriel Alves. He currently plays back left and midfielder.
Gabi has now been in Birmingham for a little over 6 months and has explored the city thanks to his teammates. His new home away from home even reminds Gabi of San Pablo because of Birmingham’s amazing weather year-round. According to him, he chose Birmingham because of the experienced players and the amazing coaching staff.
“I was looking to learn more and raise my standards and Birmingham felt like the right decision,” said Gabi.
Gabriel’s journey from a young boy in Brazil to the Legion’s newest player showcases his determination and love for soccer. In just a few months, he has created a bond with the team and has even shown local teammates new restaurants like his favorite, Karam’s Mediterranean restaurant.
As Legion FC continues to make its mark in the USL Championship, one thing is clear: Legion FC has definitely won the hearts of Birminghamians. The team’s success, the support of its fans, and the impact it has made in the community have firmly established Legion FC as a powerhouse in Birmingham’s sports scene! #HAMMERDOWN
Magic City Match is a program that transforms lives and opens doors for Black entrepreneurs and business owners. Led by REV Birmingham and powered by Prosper, this initiative aims to create opportunities for Black-owned businesses by matching them with brick-and-mortar spaces where they can thrive. After a successful pilot program in 2022, Magic City Match is back in action and ready to empower a new wave of entrepreneurs.
One of the most legendary and storied neighborhoods of Birmingham is Woodlawn. It is a community, anchored by one of the great public high schools of Birmingham, that has produced many citizens who contributed to the life of our city and has had an impact beyond the neighborhood itself. In a short post like this true justice cannot be done to the rich heritage and legacy of Woodlawn. However, we hope that this narrative brings together many of the diverse threads that make up the fabric of the community’s historic arc in a concise piece.
Woof, woof! I’ve been having an absolute blast visiting my sister in Downtown Birmingham. I can hardly wait to share all the details with you once you return from your vacation. In the meantime, I wanted to put paw to paper and tell you all about it, with the hope of convincing you that moving Downtown could be the most wonderful decision ever.