Greenville, SC – February 19th, 2019 – Greenville Football Club (Greenville FC) today announced that Sirrine Stadium in Downtown Greenville, South Carolina will be the new home for the club’s 2019 season.
Greenville Football Club’s home matches during its inaugural 2018 season were played at Eugene Stone Stadium on the campus of Furman University.
“Eugene Stone Stadium was an excellent home during our first season,” Greenville Football Club President Marco Carrizales said. “We are extremely grateful to everyone at Furman University that made our inaugural season so memorable. Eugene Stone Stadium will always hold a special place in our club’s history and will forever be the first home of Greenville FC.”
Owned by Greenville County Schools, Sirrine Stadium was built in 1936 by way of a joint project between Furman University and the City of Greenville. The project was spearheaded by Furman University alumni J.E. Sirrine. The construction of Sirrine Stadium began in 1935 with the first game being played in 1936 between Furman and Davidson College.
Sirrine Stadium is home to Greenville High School Red Raiders soccer, football and lacrosse programs.
“We are excited to have Sirrine Stadium as our new home,” said Carrizales. “The proximity of the stadium to downtown Main Street is an added benefit for us as a club and our fan base. We are excited to continue our efforts in making this club a staple in the heart of Greenville and look forward to providing our growing support base with a more holistic downtown experience. We strongly believe this will provide families, young adults and traveling supporters a better opportunity to experience the city that makes us so great.”
For more on Greenville FC, fans can visit https://www.gvlfc.com/ to sign up for the weekly newsletter or follow their social channels, @gvlfc on Instagram, Twitter and Facebook for all the latest.
Greenville, SC – Greenville Football Club is pleased to announce the formation of Greenville FC Academy, an early stage developmental program. GVLFC Academy will consist of local youth ages eight through twelve that will train together in an environment that is designed to build the necessary fundamentals in the early stages of a players career.
Greenville FC Academy will be offered at no charge to participants and their families. This is an effort designed to make soccer accessible to more kids at an early age. The Academy will be fully funded through a mixture of partnerships with local Greenville business as well as revenue generated from the club.
The Academy is designed to increase access to fundamental training for local youth at a crucial stage in their development and will allow for a new generation of talent to rise through the ranks.
Greenville FC Academy training sessions will be led by Greenville FC players and staff. The Academy, at this time, will not be entered into any formal leagues but will consist of regimented training that runs in unison to Greenville FC regular season NPSL play. Academy players will learn from players and staff who are well advanced in their careers. Players will learn fundamental lessons that are intended on building a solid foundation for a long and successful career in the sport.
Academy players will have the opportunity to train and play against one another throughout the course of the program. Players will be hand selected through an application process. Those interested in participating should submit their info for further correspondence at www.gvlfc.com/academy. If you or your business are interested in supporting GVLFC Academy through sponsorship, please contact firstname.lastname@example.org.
Greenville, SC, February 3rd, 2019 – Over thirty athletes descended on the Salvation Army Kroc Center this past Saturday, February 2nd, for a three hour tryout to be evaluated for the upcoming 2019 NPSL Season.
Tryouts were ultra-competitive as players competed for limited spots on the 2019 Greenville FC Roster. With this first opportunity to set the tone of the club for 2019, Greenville FC Head Coach, Lee Squires, led trialists through exercises and drills that would test their physical, mental and technical ability. The energy was high as players vied for an opportunity to represent Greenville FC in the upcoming 2019 NPSL season slated to kick off in May.
The players were met by over twenty members of The Milltown Operatives — the club’s Supporters Group. The Operatives sang, drummed and urged players on as they competed during the tryout. This gave players a taste of the type of support the club received during its 2018 Inaugural Season.
This was the first of two tryouts that the club will be hosting in the month of February to find the best local talent in the Upstate. Players have the option to register for one or both tryouts for increased exposure.
Lee Squires and staff will hand select players from both tryouts to compile a mixed squad of trialists and 2019 rostered players to compete against Anderson University on March 2nd as a final test for trialists, and a pre-season fixture for players already on the 2019 roster. This match will be held at the Salvation Army Kroc Center, with kickoff slated for 3pm.
If you or someone you know is interested in trying out on Saturday, February 16th please visit www.gvlfc.com/club/tryouts/ to register.
Greenville, SC – It’s nearly forty minutes into a Carolina Clasico match. The score between Greenville FC and Asheville City is all tied 1-1. There is tension in the air. What stands on the line is: a potential playoff spot, a first home win ever and most importantly bragging rights. It was in this moment Jesus Ibarra stepped up to the plate.
“I’m a playmaker and I like to score goals,” says Jesus, “that’s my thing.” Jesus Ibarra was born in San Diego, California. Jesus currently enjoys living in Raleigh, North Carolina thanks to, “my dad’s job and soccer.” Playing soccer since before elementary school and training constantly since then, Jesus has always dreamed of playing professional soccer. In 2016 Jesus joined the USL’s Wilmington Hammerheads, the same club that once produced current Premier League and Brighton & Hove Albion star Glenn Murray, in hopes to reach the top.
“I like making chances and scoring goals,” says Jesus. None was that more so true as in the Carolina Clasico. In the 39th minute of the match Jesus pulled off Greenville’s goal of the season as he whipped around multiple defenders to put Greenville up 2-1 at halftime. It was like watching a skilled knitter make great embroidery as he weaved in and around defenders.
Through coaching connections Jesus found himself joining Greenville FC in their push for the playoffs. “He’s a fantastic talent and more so than that he’s a great person,” says Greenville FC coach Lee Squires, “he’s been with us three or four weeks now and he continues to get better and better.”
In the Carolina Clasico, he showed his quality. “I joined late but I love the atmosphere and playing with the guys,” says Jesus. For Jesus it is important to play as a team and not as an individual. With the match tied a 2-2 in the second half Jesus lit Asheville up. With slide tackles and crosses into the box he was almost a one man wrecking crew. In the 56th minute Jesus made his way down the pitch making space to cross it into the feet of James Smith for a golazo and a 3-2 lead. Greenville held to that lead and won. “It was amazing,” says Jesus, “the crowd was buzzing.” “I don’t know how he hasn’t been picked up as a professional here in America,” said Coach Squires post-match, “maybe some question marks over the system. He’s got the talent and the attitude and the work rate. Everything you need to be a top top professional. So hopefully he goes on to that level.”
Contributor: Zachariah Tollison/Greenville FC
Photo Credit: Blake Schultz
2018 Global Scarves NPSL Supporter of the Year Award Announced
The National Premier Soccer League (NPSL) is proud to announce that Leithan “Lugnut” Allen has been named the 2018 Global Scarves NPSL Supporter of the Year. The selection was made via an online vote.
“Seeing the passion that Lugnut brings to Greenville FC is truly inspiring to us all at Global Scarves,” Global Scarves Owner Bill Kristian said. “His fervent support and love of the game shows how this sport is the world’s game and knows no boundaries across all facets. Support in the game goes beyond your club, and extends to the community, and the familial bond that brings with it, and Leithan is truly deserving of our tagline ‘The True Icon of Support.’
Leithan is passionate and is a supporter anybody can look up to. He’s loud, he’s proud, and he shows others the way to be a Greenville FC fan.
“Leithan epitomizes the ideal supporter and he is so deserving of this award,” Greenville FC President Marco Carrizales said. “From day one ‘Lugnut’ has been at every event, every home match and even some away matches. He sings, he chants, and he loves this club through and through. Lugnut is in love with the game. You’ll always find him with his soccer ball, ready to play with anybody who’s around him, which is the beauty of this sport and this club. Put aside race, gender and age, and what you get is a beautiful blend of what this community is. Leithan is a massive part of this club, and he truly binds our supporters together.”
Despite being the club’s youngest supporter, Leithan has made quite an impression on others.
“The reason soccer is the beautiful game is because in its purest form it encompasses everything and everyone,” Chris Allen, Leithan’s father, added. “Age, race, gender, nationality, none of it means anything. Greenville FC and its owners, the staff, the players, the fans, and the Milltown Operatives welcomed Leithan as family. Leithan’s enthusiasm at matches is the manifestation of the love, support, and passion that this community has for the beautiful game. He loves his club and his momma and he’s not sorry… #GTID.”
Leithan is also the youngest recipient of the award.
“When I grow up, I be big, and I play with them,” Leithan ‘Lugnut’ Allen concluded. “Goooo Greeeevilllle. Paul the Wall. Paul the Wall!”
Contributor: Gary Moody/NPSL
Photo Credit: Brittany Hildreth
ABOUT THE NPSL
The National Premier Soccer League (NPSL) is the largest established men’s soccer league in the United States with 98 teams competing across the country in 2018. The NPSL is a successor to the Men’s Premier Soccer League (MPSL), which was formed in 2002. The NPSL is a member league of the United States Adult Soccer Association (USASA) and sanctioned by U.S. Soccer, the governing body of soccer in all its forms in the United States. The NPSL’s cooperative and turnkey ownership platform has led to its explosive growth, countless player development opportunities, and commitment to grow the game in the United States. For more information about the NPSL, please visit npsl.com.
Greenville, SC – His skill on the ball is undeniable. On any given Greenville FC match-day you can see Manuel Perez make an impact. His ability to move off defenders and pass the ball for other attacking players makes him a valuable member of the team. “What I like about the midfield is timing,” says Manuel, “getting away from the defender into a pocket and then receiving and turning finding a pass through. I like being the transition from defending into attacking play.” Manuel’s skill with the ball is incredible but his journey to Greenville FC is even more so.
Manuel Perez grew up in Valencia, Venezuela. A two-hour car ride north-west of Caracas, the capital of Venezuela. Manuel describes it as a big city with a small-town feel. “It is a very industrial city,” Manuel says, “growing up we played soccer and focused on school.” Manuel recalls, “It’s like a small town with loads of people. The group of people that I grew up with, we all still know each other.”
Manuel always dreamed of soccer but playing in Venezuela is tough. Manuel grew up playing in the Venezuela soccer system playing as a number nine but was eventually shifted to the number ten role as a center attacking midfielder. “As a kid I wanted to play pro but in Venezuela you don’t get paid much from it. There isn’t a good future in it at the time.” It was Manuel’s mother who convinced him to get a scholarship and education in America first and try to play from there.
To move to the US and play Manuel decided to stop focusing on soccer so much and more on his SAT test and TOEFL test. Manuel moved to Boston where he got a good score on his TOEFL. Being in Venezuela it was hard to get scholarships so Manuel attended Barry University in Miami, Florida to get a bachelors in Exercise Science. From there he reached out to the coaches and soon joined the soccer team by his Sophomore year. He is currently getting a master’s in strategic leadership at the University of Charleston in West Virginia.
Manuel soon decided to leave for the US but that doesn’t keep him from returning home despite the current situation in Venezuela. “Right now the situation is pretty bad back home,” says Manuel on the current economic situation in Venezuela. “Last time I went back home it was dangerous. Every time I went out it was a race everywhere I was supposed to be because I could get kidnapped.”
When Manuel heard Greenville FC was looking for an attacking player, Coach Lee Squires talked to him, and he arrived in Greenville. Manuel’s speed and ability to get by defenders has got him to the right midfield or wing on the pitch. Manuel felt a big breakthrough for him was the goal he scored against the Emerald Force in Greenville’s fourth match. In the 75th minute Manuel hit a shot from outside the box that found the back of the net. “It was a relief” recalls Manuel. The goal was a favorite moment for Manuel because even though Greenville lost the match it was a confidence builder for everything to come. On his experience with Greenville Manuel feels, “everything has been amazing. The club treats us right, the team is great, the atmosphere is great, and I’d love to come back.”
Contributor: Zachariah Tollison/Greenville FC
Photo Credit: Blake Schultz
Greenville, SC – In the south of England lies the sleepy beach town of Bournemouth. A town currently riding high on the success of local club AFC Bournemouth. The tiniest of Premier League clubs, with its home stadium of Dean Court which host only 11,000, has managed to stay in the league three years and counting. This beach vacation spot is home to a player that has endeared himself to the Greenville faithful. For Greenville FC, Jack Hoey has been a leader in the midfield in Greenville’s first season and is fast becoming a fan favorite.
“Nice coastal area,” says Jack Hoey reminiscing on his home town, “miss it a bit.” Despite hailing from Bournemouth Jack never grew up a fan of, “the cherries.” “I was originally born in London but moved down to Bournemouth so I grew up a QPR fan,” says Jack. QPR is another small club who has been in and out of the Premier League for the past twenty years. Jack grew up going to matches at 18,000 capacity Loftus Road. “I used to have a season ticket,” Jack remembers, “great atmosphere.” Jack played in the midfield as a kid but has moved back over the years. “Now I play as a number eight,” says Jack, “I like to go box to box, get a bit aggressive, just try to get involved.”
Walking into Eugene Stone Soccer Stadium to see Greenville FC play its hard to miss what Jack Hoey does that makes him stand out. He may not show up on the score sheet, but his impact is felt nonetheless. Running back to make perfectly timed tackles, directing passes from the midfield, finding forward running wingers and strikers. He’s a green Steven Gerrard. As a soccer novice it is exciting watching Jack pluck a ball out from under the legs of a defender using his slide tackle ability, get up and press the opposing team for a counter-attack.
Growing up Jack played in the youth system at AFC Bournemouth until at age 16 he went to Brockenhurst College where he won two national championships. “America never was something that I thought about,” says Jack, “but it got offered to me and I thought the worst-case scenario would be I would go out and get my degree, enjoy life and grow as a person.” Jack started his American tale in Burlington, New Jersey where he played Junior College before transferring to Gardner-Webb in North Carolina who play in the Big South Conference. Last season Jack received honorable mention for All-Conference. “Had a good year,” Jack recalls, “hopefully next year we can make a challenge for the conference.” From here Jack came to Greenville FC.
“It’s brilliant,” says Jack on his time with Greenville FC, “best experience I’ve had in America so far. You see on a match day the amount of fans we get is brilliant.” Jack and team has enjoyed their stay in Greenville this summer. “Downtown is lovely,” Jack says, “we relax at the pool in the apartments where we stay.” Jack speaks of how the fans have lifted the team saying: “it’s unbelievable to see the amount of support that we get. Clubs are built from supporters, and ours are the best out there. They’re our twelfth man on game day. Thank you for all your support.”
Contributor: Zachariah Tollison/Greenville FC
Photo Credit: Darwin Pineda
GREENVILLE FC AND ASHEVILLE CITY SC, ALONGSIDE THE MILL TOWN OPERATIVES AND THE SOUTH SLOPE BLUES, ANNOUNCE THE INAUGURAL CAROLINA CLASICO… THE WORLD’S FIRST RIVALRY COMPETITION DECIDED IN PART BY THE SUPPORTERS THEMSELVES.
Divided by state lines but only 60 miles, Asheville City SC and Greenville FC will face off for the first time in a highly anticipated matchup on Saturday, June 23rd at Memorial Stadium in downtown Asheville. Sporting some of the largest and most passionate fan bases in the country, the two clubs will put their playoff aspirations on the line in the first of two legs, the second of which will be played on July 4th at Eugene Stone Stadium at Furman University.
Like most rivalry trophies this one will be decided on aggregate goals across the two legs, however, there is one significant twist: The South Slope Blues and the Mill Town Operatives, the supporters’ groups for each club, will be directly involved in who takes home the trophy and the bragging rights. Before each match the supporters will compete in a series of events, such as soccer pool and cornhole, with the winner earning valuable points (worth .5 goal each) toward the aggregate score of the series.
“Our supporters are the heartbeat of Asheville City” said Ryan Kelley, ACSC President. “In discussing a series with our counterparts in Greenville, whom we feel align closely with the mission and intent of ACSC, we quickly embraced the idea of supporter participation in the competition. The South Slope Blues are behind us regardless of the circumstances, and we can’t wait to cheer them on to victory just as they do for us game in and game out.”
“In the early stages of planning Greenville Football Club, I always knew this would be the match I looked forward to most” said Marco Carrizales, Greenville FC President. “I think for us, as well as our supporters, it’s a match that means much more than a score line. Separated only by 60 miles, this is an opportunity to continue to grow the sport we all love and show how clubs can really have an impact in our communities, and I think that will shine through in the Carolina Clasico.”
Greg Cooper, leader of the South Slope Blues, offered his thoughts on the new series: “Personally I’m excited about what this rivalry will mean to not only our clubs, but for our fans. Because of our proximity, this rivalry will be a whole different ballgame for home games. No more small away sections. No more golf clapping fans. We have two passionate sides with similar views chasing after the same thing. The Clasico. COYB!”
“The Carolina Clasico is a soccer dream come true for me! Growing up watching Derby Days like Manchester United versus Manchester City, Liverpool versus Everton, always seemed so cool” said Blake Holloman, leader of the Mill Town Operatives. “The Carolina Clasico allows me to be part of something like that in my own city and a city not so far away is just incredible. I’m most excited about going chant for chant with the South Slope Blues knowing how much this rivalry means to us both. On top of the fact that our boys are clicking at the right time and are prime for a late season push! I know this is something Greenville and Asheville will both enjoy for years to come! Greenville Til I Die!!”
Stay tuned to @GVLFC and @AshevilleCitySC social media channels for more information about the Carolina Clasico.
Greenville, SC – Paul Tyson has made an impact in Greenville FC’s inaugural season. Every Saturday it seems Paul finds ways to pull Greenville out of the depths. Whether it’s a penalty save against Atlanta or a diving save against Chattanooga it seems like a match doesn’t go by where Paul doesn’t do something miraculous, and the fans have taken notice. As you can hear them cheer on an matchday in Furman’s Eugene Stone Stadium, “He’s big. He’s tall. He’s Paul The Wall.”
Paul grew up in Liverpool. A large port town in the northwest of England that many call Merseyside. Home to giants of global soccer: the reds of Liverpool F.C. and the blues of Everton F.C. Most houses in Liverpool are divided between the two clubs, and Paul’s home was no different. Paul grew up in a household where red was the color of the day. Paul was raised on a passion for soccer idolizing Liverpool legends like Steven Gerrard.
However, Paul wasn’t always a goalkeeper. It wasn’t until he turned 16 one of his high school coaches saw how tall the 6’7 forward was and made him play in goal. He played two years in the academy at local pro team Oldham Athletic. A club (nicknamed the owls) that usually moves around between the third to fifth tier of English soccer. After failing to make the team after three years Paul went to now current Premier League darlings Huddersfield Town where he met a goalkeeper coach who linked him up with the Nike Academy. There he got selected for the world showcase, and soon thereafter moved to America to by play college ball in Pasadena, Texas, a suburb of Houston, at Saint Jacinto Junior College. Almost like moving to a completely different universe.
Paul moved from one southern city to another as in 2016 he transferred to Georgia State University located in Atlanta, Georgia. However, in 2017 Paul found little to no game time in a Georgia State squad that finished second in a competitive Sun Belt Conference. Paul, not content with just playing college soccer, looked for minutes in a higher level league and was able to link up with Greenville F.C. where he has found himself to be a fan favorite blocking shot after shot. Paul models his game somewhat after Chelsea player and Belgian national, Thibaut Courtois. “I really like Courtois,” says Paul, “just cause he’s tall and long like me.”
With his rapid success many fans have nicknamed him Paul “The Wall” Tyson. “It’s fantastic,” Paul says on his new moniker, “Never expected coming to an NPSL club to see good support and stuff like that from the fans. It’s unbelievable.” Fans have even gone so far as to unleash a tifo of Paul in front of a brick wall.
While in Greenville, Paul has taken to the city. “It’s really cool,” Paul states, “there are a lot of nice places to go and the people are amazing. I’ve become fond of it.” Paul lives in a local apartment with some of his teammates. They go to the gym, spend time at the pool, attend practice, explore downtown, etc. Along with soccer, Paul is currently studying marketing and taking an IT class this summer. “I’ve just been blown away by the support,” say Paul in his Mersey accent, “I can’t thank them enough.”
Contributor: Zachariah Tollison/Greenville FC
Photo Credit: Brittany Hildreth
Greenville, SC – March 20th, 2018 – Lee Squires will serve as Greenville Football Club’s inaugural head coach. Lee has served as head coach of Lander University since 2015. Under Squires, Lander has accumulated a 41-11-6 overall record.
“I’m very excited in being named the first head coach and being involved with the club in its first season,” said Squires. “It’s an exciting project that has a lot of potential. Greenville is a thriving city that loves its soccer, so it’s great to be able to bring high level soccer to the area. I have no doubt we can attract fans’ support and put out a great product on the field.”
In his three seasons at Lander, the Bearcats have made three appearances in the Peach Belt Conference Tournament championship and have advanced to the NCAA Tournament three times. His 2017 Lander team went 13-4-3 overall and won its second consecutive Peach Belt Conference championship with an unbeaten 6-0-1 record in conference play, extending its undefeated streak in conference play to 19 consecutive matches.
Squires, a native of Sheffield, England, who began coaching at Lees-McRae at the age of 23, is also an LMC graduate and played four seasons for the Bobcats. He earned his bachelor’s degree in business administration and was a member of the Sigma Beta Delta Business Honors Society.
When asked about the inaugural season, Squires says, “We are not in this year one to make up the numbers, but to be competitive right away. With a mix of local talent, experienced former pros and high level domestic and international players, as well as collegiate players, I am excited by the quality of our recruitment. That should put us in a good position to be successful in a challenging league. I can’t wait to get started!”
Lee Squires will make a public appearance with Greenville FC fans this Saturday, March 24th, from 4pm – 7pm at the Official Pre-Game Tailgate happening at the Village Green on Courtyard Marriot downtown Greenville. For more on this weekend’s event, fans can visit https://www.gvlfc.com/ to sign up for the weekly newsletter or follow their social channels, @gvlfc on Instagram, Twitter and Facebook for all of the latest.