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Greenville pro soccer team finds place to call home

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Greenville’s newest professional sports team has announced a place to play its inaugural home game. The Greenville Triumph Soccer Club has partnered with Legacy Early College, a public charter school, to play its first season at the school’s soccer facility.

The proposal received initial approval from the Greenville County Board of Zoning Appeals at its Nov. 14 meeting. The board’s decision is expected to be finalized at its December meeting.

The partnership is not only about hosting the games, however. The school will also benefit academically and through a higher profile through its new private partner, school and team officials said.

“We are honored and excited that the new pro soccer team has chosen us for this partnership,” William Brown, executive director of Legacy Early College, said in an announcement. “The team and their ownership group know Legacy Early College’s story of success, and part of their mission is to help more people see, hear and appreciate the extraordinary things the school and its students are accomplishing.”

TThe Greenville Triumph agreement with Legacy Early College promises to benefit both parties. (Rendering/Provided)The Triumph will play 14-16 home games in its first season next year from March through September. Dates and times have not yet been set. If approved by the Board of Zoning Appeals, construction will begin soon on temporary stands to accommodate approximately 4,000 spectators at the field on East Bramlett Road in the City View area on Greenville’s west side.

The United Soccer Leage announced its expansion into Greenville in March.

“We are pleased to find a partner in Legacy Early College that is the embodiment of the success and triumphant spirit we are building around this professional soccer team,” said Joe Erwin, chairman of Greenville Triumph SC. “The diversity reflected in this school and the surrounding neighborhood speaks directly to what makes soccer the world’s game.”

As part of the partnership, Greenville Triumph SC will create part-time gameday jobs for Legacy scholars, upgrade the soccer field’s playing surface to bring it into FIFA compliance, and provide for construction of a permanent scoreboard. Greenville Triumph SC also will create a staff internship position for Legacy scholars beginning this spring and continuing through the first five seasons, and work to market Legacy scholar success stories to raise the profile of the school and its students.

“The truth is, we hope and plan to continue this partnership for years to come knowing that what we can do for the scholars and families of Legacy Early College is far outweighed by the graciousness of their welcome for our organization and their exuberant embrace of the Triumph family,” Erwin said in the news release. 

The team completed a traffic study examining the impact of gameday traffic to the neighborhood and plans to employ experienced traffic management, parking and security resources on game days. The team has identified sufficient parking near the field and has offered to work with area churches and businesses that want to sell parking during games. Because the school is within walking and biking distance of the Swamp Rabbit Trail, the team will provide bicycle parking, and will have dedicated drop-off zones for rideshare services such as Uber and Lyft, according to the news release.

In the coming months, neighborhood youth will be invited to participate in free soccer clinics featuring members of the Triumph team, according to the news release.

Greenville Triumph SC has been meeting with neighborhood residents, churches and businesses to get their feedback, and hosted a neighborhood meeting Nov. 8 at Legacy’s Parker Campus cafeteria to share information and answer questions.

Greenville Triumph SC is a member of the United Soccer League League One, which kicks off its inaugural season in 2019 with a 10-city lineup that includes teams in Toronto, Orlando, Dallas and Madison, Wisconsin. Head coach is John Harkes, a National Soccer Hall of Famer who competed in two World Cups as a member of the U.S. Men’s National Team. He held tryouts Nov. 17-18.

Season tickets will go on sale to the general public in early December through GreenvilleTriumph.com.

Greenville Triumph joins the Greenville Drive baseball team and Swamp Rabbits hockey team as the third professional team in the Upstate.

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