The United Soccer League’s new third-division league took significant steps forward in Statesboro, Georgia, after the league’s expansion team met with city officials and leaders, as well as South Georgia Tormenta FC ownership, on Tuesday.
The USL’s Division III, scheduled to kick off its first season in 2019, will provide passionate soccer supporters in new markets with a proven professional experience. Aiming to build strong regional rivalries to drive fan support and reduce travel costs, the USL’s DIII has visited 15 different cities – including Macon, Georgia, on Wednesday – and been in discussions with more than 50 markets across the United States.
"The meetings in Statesboro were critical next steps in our ability to consider DIII,” Tormenta FC Owner and President Darin Van Tassell told USLD3.com. “Central to that move involves the construction of our stadium, and the visit by Steven Short and Josh Keller allowed our community and civic leaders to hear firsthand how Statesboro and this part of the southeastern United States are on the viewscreen of soccer fans and administrators at the national level."
The club, which currently competes in the Premier Development League – the top amateur league in North America – revealed early renderings of a possible soccer-specific venue on June 30. The stadium is expected to seat more than 5,000 people and have the ability to expand to a capacity of 10,000. The venue would also have the ability to host other sporting and entertainment events and would be located at The Clubhouse on Old Register Road.
“We are thrilled with the progress being made to bring professional soccer to Statesboro by Darin and Tormenta FC, a high-performing club with high aspirations,” Short told USLD3.com. “We were able to visit the site of the future soccer-specific stadium, which would be one of the best venues not only at the Division III level but across the country, and we are eager for the next step on the path to our inaugural season in 2019.”