Professional soccer a possibility for Greenville - FOX Carolina 21

Professional soccer a possibility for Greenville

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In April, the United Soccer League announced it would launch a new third division that will begin play in 2019. A petition to bring a team to Greenville is gaining support and the market is a contender to be the home of a new expansion team.

“Soccer itself is the world's game. It brings together people from all walks of life to rally around one thing,” says Andrew Phillips, Vice President of the local chapter of American Outlaws, a club which supports soccer in America. “We promote fellowship and watching soccer whether it’s the national men’s team, the women’s team or soccer locally."

When Phillips realized the United Soccer League was considering Greenville for a Division III team, he started rallying support through an online petition.

“We have over 500 signatures already in 2 weeks so the reaction has been really positive a lot of excitement building about it,” he said.

There’s also excitement from the USL and some of its officials who visited Greenville a few months ago on a tour of potential markets.

“I fell in love with Greenville and I think the league did as well," said Steven Short, Vice President of the USL’s Division III. "You can definitely tell it’s a town that wants professional soccer.”

Short says the league must consider three main components including market size, finding a local owner and identifying a suitable stadium or facility. Short visited Fluor Field during his first trip to Greenville and when he returns in the near future he said he’ll also check out Sirrine Stadium where the USL’s Greenville Lions played soccer in 2001 to 2003.

The United Soccer League says franchise team locations, branding and other information about the league will be announced later this summer. Until then, people who want to help bring a team to Greenville are encouraged to engage the league on social media and sign the petition.

Click here to view the petition.

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