South Georgia Tormenta FC won its season opener against Greenville Triumph SC in Erk Russell Park on Friday night in front of a sellout crowd of a record 3,519 attendees.
With a hot air balloon delivering the game ball, FC was ready to put on a show early on in the very first game of the USL League One season.
USL League One is a new league that is the home of ten teams throughout the United States and Canada. The league has been in the making since 2017 and attempts to bring revenue to towns with moderate populations of 150,000 to one million residents without major sports teams. The league plays in the third level of professional soccer and FC is currently the only professional team in Statesboro. It’s safe to say that the town was ready for some soccer.
Greenville Triumph held possession of the ball for majority of the first half, but there were several shot attempts by both sides. An early corner kick was handled perfectly by Pablo Jara, who was the goalkeeper for the game. The score was 0-0 at the half.
After the break, defense definitely picked up and several fouls were committed. Jerry Saint VII received a yellow card midway through the first half, while Lucas Coutinho followed suit in the second half.
Midfielder Marco Micaletto found forward Alex Morrell at around the 70th minute mark to put up the very first goal in USL League One history. The crowd was fired up, and the team responded by playing just enough defense to finish out the victory. Once again, Jara saved the day after a close Greenville shot almost tied the game around minute 83.
Tormenta FC will be back in action on April 3 at Erk Russell Park to take on FC Tucson in the second game of the season.
Amanda Arnold, The George-Anne Sports Reporter, [email protected]