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Local legend Sebastián Velásquez returns to hometown with Triumph SC

By Staff, 01/26/24, 10:45AM EST


32-year-old midfielder has amassed over 250 professional appearances, 60 goal contributions across 13 seasons

32-year-old midfielder has amassed over 250 professional appearances, 60 goal contributions across 13 seasons | Image Credit: Indy Eleven

GREENVILLE, S.C. – Greenville Triumph SC on Thursday announced the signing of midfielder Sebastián Velásquez to a contract, pending league and federation approval.

The signing returns one of Grenville's most accomplished players back to the Upstate to continue a professional career he began in 2012 after being selected in the 2012 MLS SuperDraft by Real Salt Lake following two collegiate seasons at Spartanburg Methodist College.

A native of Medellín, Colombia, Velásquez moved to Greenville as a child and played youth soccer with the Greenville Cowboys, Berea Fusion, and two clubs that eventually merged to form Carolina Elite Soccer Academy (CESA). He spent his freshman and sophomore years of high school soccer at Greenville High School, leading the team to a 50-2 record. He was named to the all-state team both seasons and won a Class AAA state title with a perfect 27-0 record as a sophomore. The team was additionally recognized by the NSCAA as the top team in the nation following their undefeated season.

Velásquez sat out his junior year after transferring to Eastside High School and left the program prior to his senior season to pursue professional opportunities after earning a trial with FC Barcelona. After multiple trials in Europe, he enrolled at Spartanburg Methodist College, spending two seasons with the Pioneers. In 55 games, he scored 55 goals and 33 assists, also being named a NJCAA Second Team All-American.

The attacking midfielder turned professional after his sophomore year, being selected 36th overall in the 2012 MLS SuperDraft by Real Salt Lake. He earned over 50 appearances for the club before moving to New York City FC. Since his last MLS appearance in 2015, he has made over 100 appearances with five current and former USL Championship teams (Real Monarchs, El Paso Locomotive FC, Miami FC, Memphis 901 FC and Indy Eleven). He also was the first signing of NASL club Rayo OKC in 2016 and made 16 appearances with the club.

Internationally, Velásquez spent time with then-K League 2 side Suwon FC in 2019, Israeli Premier League side Bnei Sakhnin FC in 2020-21 and second-division Israeli club Hapoel Umm al-Fahm FC in 2022-23.

He began his 2023 season in Memphis before moving to Indy Eleven, where he made 17 appearances, notching two goals and one assist in 942 minutes.

"Since the day the club was announced, I knew I wanted to come home and play soccer here," said Velásquez. "I moved here when I was three and feel like I have played on every single soccer field that's existed here, and have been part of tournaments, leagues and programs in every facet of soccer around Greenville.

"My dream was for Greenville to have a professional soccer club so I could come home and enjoy the game I love in front of my family and my friends. My dream has come true, and I'm excited to be home and try to help this team win a championship!"

Velásquez joins returning fellow Colombian, Leo Castro in the Triumph attack for 2024 after Castro’s team-leading 13 goals last season. The club also welcomes back Lyam MacKinnon in the attack and a veteran defensive core as it continues roster additions ahead of the season opener on March 9th.

"Sebastián's signing is probably one of the biggest in the club's history," said Triumph SC Head Coach Rick Wright. "He's from here, but he climbed the ladder to the top of MLS and created a legacy for himself playing overseas. I think it's noteworthy that he recognizes that part of his legacy is his desire to be back in Greenville leading us to a championship. He stated that he wanted to come back while he's still in his prime, and after watching him last year, I think it will be a very exciting time for our players and fans."

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