The matches are flying by in this year’s condensed USL League One season, and tonight’s game between South Georgia Tormenta FC and Greenville Triumph SC will already mark a quarter of the schedule gone for both teams. Through three games, each club remains unbeaten, and hold the top two (championship qualifying) spots in the table, with Greenville leading by two points.
This will be Tormenta’s first away match of the year following three straight home games, resulting in a 1-0-2 record. A lack of available players due to quarantine protocol and quick match turnaround lead to the two opening draws against Chattanooga Red Wolves and Richmond Kickers, but with a roster back to nearly full strength, South Georgia finally got into the win column Saturday night, beating Orlando City B 2-0 in convincing fashion.
Perhaps due to another short rest period, the first half, while controlled by Tormenta, did not result in much action apart from a couple forced saves. In the second half, the home side shifted into an attacking gear that didn’t let up on the young OCB, outshooting them 24-8 (9-0 on target) and keeping nearly 62% of possession. It was midfielder Nil Vinyals who guided Tormenta with a 93.3% passing accuracy (90.3% in the opposing half!) and two fantastic goals, earning him Player of the Week honors from the league. He joined teammates Luca Mayr and Stefan Mueller in the League One Team of the Week.
Greenville Triumph returns home from an uneventful trip up to Wisconsin where they were held to a scoreless draw by Forward Madison. The Triumph started out on the front foot with numerous chances to score in the opening 15 minutes, but things fizzled out afterwards as Greenville, missing multiple defensive pieces, gave more attention to their own back line. Greenville still remains unbeaten, and boasts a 2-0-1 record as the Triumph return home.
South Georgia and Greenville are no strangers, having already played each other 4 times in 2019. Tormenta leads the series, 2-1-1; with wins to start and end last year’s inaugural USL League One season. However, Greenville was able to take an important win of their own, beating Tormenta in the third round of the U.S. Open Cup. This year, Tormenta will see some familiar faces in unfamiliar kits, as Alex Morrell, who scored the first goal in that inaugural opener against the Triumph, signed with Greenville in the offseason. Morrell is now a key piece in the Triumph attack which includes JJ Donnelly, who helped Tormenta 2 reach the USL League 2 semifinal last summer.
Both sides match up very similarly this season, having incredible goalkeepers and strong defenses alongside capable attacking talent and little roster turnover from 2019. With the two squads very much expected to challenge for the two championship spots, it’s not a stretch to say that this match could be a preview of the League One Final in a few months’ time.
Prediction: Greenville Triumph 1-1 Tormenta FC
South Georgia Tormenta FC at Greenville Triumph SC
USL League One Regular Season, Week 4
Legacy Early College, Greenville, South Carolina
Wednesday, August 5th, 2020, 7:00 P.M. EST