Darin and Netra Van Tassell, Tormenta FC's majority owners, have plans to build a 5,000-seat soccer-specific stadium in Statesboro.
“This is an exciting time for South Georgia soccer fans, as we prepare to join USL Division III and bring professional soccer to our region in 2019,” said Darin Van Tassell, who has an extensive background in Olympic baseball. “Elevating the club to the proven model of the USL professional ranks allows us to increase the impact our organization can have in the local community, region and country.”
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The USL has spent the last year meeting with civic and soccer leaders in potential markets for the new third division league. It is expected to launch with 10-12 teams in 2019.
“Today’s announcement is the culmination of years of hard work from our organization to develop and launch a successful third division built on the principles and foundation that made the USL one of the most prominent second divisions in the world,” said USL CEO Alec Papadakis. “We are thrilled to welcome South Georgia Tormenta FC into the USL Division III as a founding member and expect the club to continue its success from the PDL."
The USL's Steven Short went on several tours of the Carolinas, Southeast and Midwest to look at mid-sized markets for the new DIII league. In some cities, the teams might be start-ups; in others they'd grow out of existing PDL teams.