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Tormenta takes on challenge of sports shutdown
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Just about every team in all of professional sports is in crisis as the ongoing Coronavirus pandemic has cancelled nearly every scheduled sporting event in the entire world.

The news is no better right here in Statesboro as Tormenta FC has already seen its professional USL League One team put on hold for at least the next month while the club's collegiate-heavy League Two and youth-filled USL Academy sides are all out of action for the foreseeable future.

"Right now, there's an April 4 moratorium on all training for our teams," Tormenta team president and owner Darin Van Tassell said. "We've sent out some guidelines to our players, but everyone is being safe and keeping to themselves. We look forward to competing again, but what's important right now is for everyone to be looking out for their health."

As much as the club is looking forward to concerning itself with matches at all levels, the fact remains that it is now a professional outfit and has salaries of players and front office workers alike that are coming due whether or not the games are played.

"Sports is in the hospitality industry, and that's an industry that is getting hit pretty hard at the moment," Van Tassell said. "There is always the question of how you keep people employed. There is also a constant flow of people stepping up, asking what they can do to make sure our employees are getting paid and staying with us."

Balancing out the books is as complicated for Tormenta as it is for many organizations throughout the sporting world at the moment.

But that doesn't mean the team can't still have a little bit of fun — even if it's doing so at a safe distance from others.

Already a club at the forefront of online content and digital streaming in the League One world, Tormenta has been getting even more creative in attempts to keep its equally couped-up fans entertained over the last week.

A featured video on Friday saw the squad's diverse group of players from around the world try to cope with very colloquial pronunciations of Georgia towns. On Thursday, the team's Twitch stream showcased the exploits of Gameday Operations Director Bryce Judy and his FIFA 20 dynasty team in 90 minutes of Playstation-fueled action.

There are also tutorial videos on the way which will feature Tormenta players directing drills for young players that will improve their game and — according to Van Tassell — keep the soccer ball from breaking anything in the house.

Stay tuned to and the Statesboro Herald for updates on the club's season. 

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