When it comes to growing excitement about soccer in and around Statesboro, South Georgia Tormenta FC really isn’t leaving any stone unturned.
In addition to the franchise’s Premier Development League squad - which will move into the USL Division Three’s professional ranks in 2019 — Tormenta also maintains a youth club and has started up a program designed to get local kids interested in the game.
Sunday marked another first for the franchise as the first two games of the franchise-run adult league took place.
For the next few months, five teams comprised of people aged 18 or older will be roaming the fields behind The Clubhouse in Statesboro’s first organized adult soccer league.
“Part of our mission is to give everyone a chance to play and enjoy the game,” said Jorge Gonzalez, who is Tormenta’s director of soccer programs and also serves as an assistant coach for the PDL side. “This is a great opportunity for amatuer players who still have a drive to play the game. We have everything from guys who just finished up high school to people with families who just love to play. That’s what this is all about.”
With just one weekend of play in the books, the league already appears to be a success. Five full squads are registered for the season. The teams will play a double-round robin regular season, with a home-and-home semifinal round to be followed by a championship game.
Solid interest in the league’s first season is a good sign. Even better is that the league isn’t a Statesboro-only operation.
“We have a team from Toombs, a team from Tattnall, and one from Vidalia,” Gonzalez said. “The other two are based out of Statesboro, but there are players coming from as far away as Savannah.
“That’s exactly what we want. We want to show everyone that this is a franchise that loves the game and wants to do its part to give everyone a chance to take part in it, whether it’s watching our games or getting a chance to play in their own.”
While the amatuer league is already in action, preparations continue for Tormenta's PDL squad, which will begin its third season in May before transitioning into professional club status for the 2019 season.