Ahead of the inaugural USL Division III season in 2019, South Georgia Tormenta FC and FC Tucson are set to kick off and excel in their respective Premier Development League campaigns this summer.
FC Tucson kicks off its season against Albuquerque Sol F.C. at 7:30 p.m. PDT on May 12, and Tormenta FC begins its third PDL campaign against Peachtree City MOBA at 7:30 p.m. ET on the same day.
“We look forward to watching FC Tucson and Tormenta FC succeed this summer as they prepare both on and off the field for the professional level,” USL Division III Senior Vice President Steven Short told USLD3.com. “Each team already operates at a high level within the PDL, so their campaigns this summer afford each side the opportunity to not only finetune their practices but also offer high-caliber players the opportunity to try out for a professional contract next year.”
Tormenta FC has improved on the pitch year after year in the PDL, recording a 6-5-3 record in the South Atlantic Division in 2016 before finishing just outside of the PDL Playoffs with a 7-3-4 record in the same division in 2017. The South Georgia-based side will also participate in the Lamar Hunt U.S. Open Cup for the first time in its history when it plays the Myrtle Beach Mutiny at 7:10 p.m. ET from North Myrtle Beach Sports Park in Little River, South Carolina, on May 9.
Head Coach John Miglarese, who will lead the team for a second consecutive year, is eager to kick off the new campaign, as he enjoys being able to help the development of players at this important stage of their careers and enjoys the challenge of demanding a high standard of performance and professionalism each day.
“I expect our team to be very competitive this season because we have done a good job of attracting some talented players.” Miglarese told USLD3.com. “However, talent isn't the only factor in winning championships. We also have to have the right culture and competitive personality that can handle pressure. That is why I love our schedule. We play the 2017 South Atlantic Division champions in the Myrtle Beach Mutiny, the 2017 national champions in the Charlotte Eagles, a national semifinalist in Mississippi Brilla FC, some familiar rivals, as well as two PDL expansion teams in Birmingham and Memphis that are operated by USL franchises. This is what we need to get better.”
Acquired by the USL’s Phoenix Rising FC at the end of 2017, FC Tucson will kick off its seventh PDL season when it faces off against Albuquerque Sol F.C. at 7:30 p.m. PDT, as well as participate in the U.S. Open Cup for a fifth time in its history when it hosts La Máquina FC at 7:30 p.m. PDT from Kino North Stadium on May 9. Tucson has a long history of success in the PDL, amassing a record of 53-15-18 in the regular season, while also garnering four division titles (2014-17).
“FC Tucson looks to continue to provide top quality competition, results and development,” FC Tucson Head Coach David Cosgrove told USLD3.com. “What we are looking forward to the most is to maintain the same standard of excellence. The expectations never change for FC Tucson. We expect to compete for a conference title and a regional championship. At the same time, we want to expose our players to the highest levels of training available in the PDL. Additionally, it is our hope to be a stepping stone to the USL and MLS for players.”