Greenville, SC - The Greenville Triumph will host neighboring opponent South Georgia Tormenta FC for the first time this season Saturday night, in a match presented by Pepsi of Greenville. The clubs have faced off twice at Erk Russell Park this season, with Greenville winning the first match 1-0 and losing the second match 3-1.
Most recently, the Triumph played to a 0-0 draw last Saturday against North Carolina FC. Goalkeeper Paul Christensen made his Triumph debut and was voted to Week 14's Team of the Week alongside defender Brandon Fricke. South Georgia will head to the Upstate on limited rest after a hard-fought match Wednesday night that ended in a 2-1 loss to Chattanooga.
Sitting above the six-team playoff line, South Georgia Tormenta has played the most matches of any League One team this season (15) and is tied with Revolution II, Toronto FC and Forward Madison FC in points earned (16). The last win for the South Georgia side came against the Triumph on June 19. Three losses and a draw since then, Tormenta most recently saw their road point slip away on Wednesday night as Chattanooga notched a game-winner with only three minutes left to play.
Marco Micaletto stole the Red Wolves' clean sheet with a penalty in the 75' and leads the team with five goals scored this season. When he's on, Micaletto, who also scored a penalty kick in Tormenta's 3-1 win over Greenville, has the potential to be a very dangerous player with the ability to create quality chances through his quick decision making and half-window mentality. Leading the league in chances created, Lucas Mayr-Falten will also be a key player to watch in Saturday's matchup. It was Mayr-Falten who delivered two spectacular set-piece services last match against Greenville, both of which were converted to goals and are the midfielder's only two assists on the year.
Set Pieces: Tormenta does well to earn set pieces in dangerous parts of the field. Although last match, it was less about what Tormenta did to earn the set piece and more about the Triumph giving up poor fouls. Greenville is generally quite good at not conceding fouls in their defensive third and has only given up 114 fouls, second least in the League, compared to Tormenta's 199, a League high. But with rivalry matchups and inconsistent officiating Greenville can't seem to get away from, the Triumph will need to be prepared for more dangerous set piece opportunities and deliveries from the South Georgia side. On the flip side, South Georgia has given up a near league-high 20 goals this season and has only earned two clean sheets across the eight matches between the two clubs, both coming in the first two meetings back in 2019.
Final Third Execution: In the 0-0 draw last Saturday against North Carolina FC, Greenville struggled to connect in the final third, whether it was a lack of runs in the box or a poor final pass or poor final shot choice. Head Coach John Harkes felt that was where his team uncharacteristically lacked the most, stating, "Some of the ideas that we discussed coming into this game weren't executed tonight. At this level, there's never an easy game. You can have one player off or two players off, but when you have three or four players off that becomes a challenge. We thought we would have more runs in the box and we had a limited number of shots on goal which is unlike us." The last few matches have seen exciting moments from wingers Allen Gavilanes, Alex Morrell and Abdi Mohamed and it feels like only a matter of time before a handful of Greenville players have an attacking breakthrough.
Injury Report: 2020 All-League selection Noah Pilato continues to be sidelined with a back injury and star midfielder Max Hemmings will be unavailable for this weekend's matchup. Defender Jacob Goodall remains on the injured list, as does rookie Will Mejia. Aussie striker Lachlan McLean has returned to training and will be questionable for Saturday's match against Tormenta.
League One Standings: With Greenville's 0-0 draw on Saturday, a 2-1 Chattanooga win on Wednesday, and a rest-week for Union Omaha, the top three clubs are tied with 22 points a piece. Greenville has played one more match than both Omaha and Chattanooga at this point with Omaha scheduled to face Forward Madison. Rounding out the cut-off point is Fort Lauderdale CF, Revolution II and South Georgia Tormenta 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 was also nominated for June's Player of the Month after receiving the award in May.
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.
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 hit the road to face the Chattanooga Red Wolves on Saturday, July 24 for their second matchup this season. It will be back-to-back top-six matchups for the two clubs, as Greenville hosts South Georgia Tormenta this weekend and Chattanooga travels to a red-hot North Texas side.