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Tormenta in search of first win
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Tormenta FC's Eli Dent is denied a scoring opportunity gay Carolina Dynamo goalkeeper Ryan Cretens, during the first half of a May 21 game at Eagle Field. Tormenta is still in search for the first win in franchise history as the SC United Bantams come to town for a 7 p.m. kickoff tonight. - photo by SCOTT BRYANT/staff



    It’s been less than a month since Tomrenta FC — Statesboro’s brand new minor league soccer franchise — has played its first match.  In that short time, the club has left no doubt that it can play top-notch soccer while drawing a loud, numerous and supportive crowd.
    One of the few boxes left for Tormenta to check off is a win.
    Tormenta played to a 0-0 draw in its first ever match, but has dropped its last two. Tonight, Tormenta will try to burst into the win column as it welcomes SC United Bantams for a 7 p.m. kickoff at Eagle Field.
    Along with a first win, Tormenta is also seeking its first ever goal. Hitting the back of the net for the first time will likely be a relief to the squad, but that small barrier won’t cloud the larger overall direction of the team.
    “We expect to put multiple goals away in every game,” Tormenta coach Ben Freakley said. “The body follows the most dominant thought in the mind. I want our dominant thought to be that we’re going to possess the ball and score goals.”
    Tormenta is the only team in its division without a win this season, but has also played just three matches while many in the group are more than one-third of the way through the 14-game season. After having less than two weeks of team practice before its season opener, Tormenta is now working on three consecutive weeks of constant training without a road trip to interrupt the process.
    “Our focus this week has been on attacking,” Freakley said. “We’ve spent more time this week practicing in the final third. Before we can get that first win, we need our first goal.”
    Like Tormenta, SC United notched a draw in its season opener — coincidentally, also a 0-0 result against the Tri-Cities Otters. From there, Bantams defeated the Peachtree City club that defeated Tormenta last week and has posted a 1-1-1 mark in its other three matches.
    A few costly defensive lapses have been the difference in Tormenta’s losses. The back line will have its hands full tonight as it will have to keep tabs on Joseph Vyner and Davis Bryan, each of whom as scored a pair of goals for SC United this season.
    As Tormenta continues to train and settle into its new place in the Premier Development League, they are also constantly endearing themselves to their new hometown.
    Freakley cited his squad’s enthusiasm and near-unanimous participation in community events since they arrived in Statesboro at the beginning of May. This week, the team gave back as it pulled back the curtains to its operation a bit in order to give fans a behind-the-scenes look.
    Earlier this week, Tormenta coaches and players joined fans at Carmike Cinemas for a film session of sorts. During the event, a replay from last week’s match was played as Tormenta members talked with fans and highlighted bits of film in order to further explain the goals and strategies of the team.
    “I can’t say enough about what this club does to reach out to the community,” Freakley said. “Darin (Van Tassell) and Heidi (Jeffers) epitomize what the ‘Good Idea Fairy’ is. They continue to involve the community and give us so much support.”
    Freakley says he doesn’t think Tormenta has even scratched the surface of what the new franchise can do to integrate and endear itself to the community.
    More events and festivities are sure to be in the works, but for now, a first Tormenta win is what everyone is pulling for.

    Mike Anthony may be reached at (912) 489-9408.