Greenville, SC - The Greenville Triumph return to their home pitch for the first time since June 23 in the Upstate side's third match against North Carolina FC, presented by Servus Biergarten. Last time out, Greenville played to a dominant 3-0 victory over Revolution II, returning to the win column and logging the team's first clean sheet since May 22 against South Georgia Tormenta FC.
Marios Lomis recorded the club's second-ever hat trick and the league's second hat trick of the 2021 season. He also became the first Triumph player to reach double digit goals in a single season and has moved into second place in Greenville Triumph career goals with 11 behind former Triumph striker Jake Keegan, who holds the record at 14 career goals in a Greenville kit (9 in 2019, 5 in 2020).
2-1 has been the consistent result between NCFC and GTSC. When the two clubs met for the first time on May 8, North Carolina became the first side to score on the Triumph backline this season, but Greenville was able to net two unanswered goals by way of Lachlan McLean and Marios Lomis to collect three points on the road. Fast forward to June 16 at Triumph Stadium and 11 minutes into the match, Greenville was down 1-0 and, yet again, the Triumph attack was able to score two unanswered for another comeback win.
On the road, North Carolina's average time to score their first goal is just eight minutes, and Greenville has been a victim of their quick scoring in both matches played so far this season. Although North Carolina did not record a goal in their most recent away match at Erk Russell Park, goalkeeper Damian Las was able to record his first clean sheet of the season. The 0-0 draw also saw the return of veterans Nazmi Albadawi and Robert Kristo to the North Carolina FC lineup.
Rest and Some: Greenville finally felt a seven-day rest ahead of the club's 3-0 victory at Gillette Stadium. John Harkes' side logged its first clean sheet in five matches, scored multiple goals and put on an overall dominant and composed 90-minute performance. Alex Morrell was a handful for Revolution II, displaying his quick speed and 1v1 ability all match while Abdi Mohamed returned from injury to find a great assist and a spot on Cleer Audio's Team of the Week. Aaron Walker and Tyler Polak continued showing their impressive ability to make things happen on both sides of the ball for Greenville, with Walker assisting the third Lomis goal. Needless to say, the rest was undoubtedly needed for the Triumph and the early 2-0 lead also allowed Harkes to give subs like JJ Donnelly quality minutes on the pitch while giving work horses like Max Hemmings and Alex Morrell additional rest. Over the team's grueling month of June, Dallas Jaye, Tyler Polak, Brandon Fricke, Aaron Walker and Max Hemmings consecutively logged 90+ minutes. With a 28-match season in mind, look for Coach Harkes to begin to rotate the squad and give rest to some of his stalwarts.
Defensive Shape: NCFC has a tendency to either get caught in transition or to drop into a six or seven-man backline. Lomis will undoubtedly draw attention with his ability to score, but it's his movement off the ball that will be a key to breaking down the NCFC backline. His movement is what will open up seams and gaps for deeper players to get involved, as well as helping create some isolation on the wings for Morrell and Gavilanes.
Injury Report: All-League midfielder Noah Pilato continues to be sidelined with a back injury and Lachlan McLean continues to rest a knee injury. Defender Jacob Goodall's availability is questionable for this weekend as he picked up an injury in training this week. After dealing with a hamstring injury, veteran Don Smart will be available for this weekend's matchup in a limited capacity while right back Abdi Mohamed made his return to the lineup in the club's 3-0 win against Revolution II last Sunday.
League One Standings: With the 3-0 victory against on Sunday and a 1-1 Omaha and Chattanooga draw, Greenville gained ground but remains steady in second place with 21 points through eleven matches played. Omaha tops the table with 22 points through eleven and a 6-1-4 record, while Chattanooga sits closely underneath the Triumph at third boasting 18 points through only nine games played. Rounding out the cut-off point is Fort Lauderdale CF, South Georgia Tormenta FC and Forward Madison FC, respectively,
Golden Boot: Marios Lomis continues to lead the league in goals with 11 after scoring the league's second hat trick this season in the 3-0 Greenville win against Revolution II. The Dutch striker remains Greenville's points leader with 23 from 11 goals and one assist. Lomis is now the first and only Triumph player to reach double digit goals in a single season. Lomis has also been nominated for June's Player of the Month after receiving the award in May. Should he win, Lomis will be the first Triumph player to win back-to-back Player of the Month awards. Voting is available here.
Full Capacity in July: The Greenville Triumph Soccer Club has announced a return to full capacity at Triumph Stadium, beginning with the club's home match on Saturday, July 10 against North Carolina FC. The club was previously operating at 70% capacity as part of a phased reopening that began last fall.
The Triumph, in partnership with KW Beverage Company, are excited to unveil the Bud Zero Safe Driver Pledge. Fans 21 and up who take the pledge to not consume alcohol at the match can sign up at the Bud Zero kiosk located near the Vance Street gate, and will receive a wristband to prevent them from ordering alcohol. These fans will be entered into a contest to be named the Bud Zero Safe Driver of the Match, who will receive a swag bag from Bud Zero and the Triumph that includes signed Triumph merchandise.
Bon Secours will be on site for every Triumph home match through the end of the season, providing free COVID vaccinations. They are offering Pfizer to fans 12 years of age and older (kids between the ages of 12-17 must have a parent or guardian present). Those who receive a vaccination at the match will receive one free flex ticket to redeem at a future 2021 match.
Happy Hour: Enjoy $1 Natural Light beer and sodas every home match from the time gates open until kickoff.
Giveaway: The first 750 fans in the gates will receive a Triumph bottle opener, and the first 1,000 fans will receive a coupon, both courtesy of Servus Biergarten.
Hampton Station: stop by Hampton Station, the Triumph's official pre-match and post-match destination, to take advantage of some great match week deals.
The Greenville Triumph will face South Georgia Tormenta FC on July 17 at 7:00pm for the team's second consecutive match at home. Greenville and South Georgia have played twice already this season at Erk Russell park with the 2021 series split 1-1-0.