It was standing room only for a crowd packed into the Spike’s Sports Grill and Bar at The Clubhouse Monday evening as the 2018 Tormenta FC squad was introduced to its home fans.
Eight players return for either their second or third season with the club. Throughout the rest of the roster, the soon-to-be professional franchise has stocked up on players with former pro experience ahead of what promises to be a tough, but exciting, season.
“It’s exciting — the things that will be coming up for us in the future,” Tormenta coach John Miglarese said of his squad, which was named a founding member of USL D3 earlier this year. “The transition into becoming a professional team will be a great experience, but the fact is that we’re here to win now. We’ve got a PDL season right in front of us and that’s what these guys are here to compete for.”
Monday’s celebration included a taping of the Tormenta FC Show, allowing the fans to get a look at coach and player interviews in the run-up to the season. Later in the show, a pair of fans also set up shop on camera and talked about how the franchise has stirred up so much community support in its three short years of existence.
The Tormenta FC Show wasn’t the only form of media in attendance as guests for the evening also included the hosts of one of soccer’s more popular podcasts. Jason Longshore and John Nelson host their show ‘Soccer Down Here’ on BlogTalkRadio.com, which focuses on soccer in the south. Longshore noted that — in his opinion — two of the biggest success stories throughout the entire country are the rise to power of Atlanta United in the MLS and the explosion of popularity that has been generated by Tormenta.
Tormenta president Darin Van Tassell has been a frequent guest on the show, which is simulcast on ESPN Coastal and is also available as a podcast. The relationship between the show and Tormenta will grow even tighter this season as the show’s website will simulcast all Tormenta matches that are available for online streaming.
The franchise that has done nothing but grow over its first three years continues to look for even bigger strides to take in 2018. And that sort of reputation has spread quickly to draw the interest of players that Tormenta believes can help deliver the titles it craves.
“I heard about the experiences that players have had here,” said Manolo Sanchez, who has played professionally for five seasons, including a stint on the Puerto Rican national squad. “It’s the perfect environment for players who want to work to achieve their goals and play professionally.”
Following the taping of the show, fans followed the team out to the fields behind The Clubhouse for a showcase.
The night was fun, but Tormenta wakes up this morning looking to get down to business. Tormenta heads to Myrtle Beach Wednesday for its first ever U.S. Open Cup match. Following that, the squad will head to Atlanta for its PDL season opener at Peachtree City MOBA on Saturday.