South Georgia Tormenta FC celebrated a successful first year in the Premier Development League in 2016, and on Tuesday, the club's city – Statesboro, Georgia – celebrated an achievement of its own.
Statesboro was recognized as one of nation's premier cities in the America’s Best Communities Competition on Wednesday, earning the $1 million third-place prize. More than 50 cities submitted applications in the nationwide contest.
"Last year we celebrated first games, first goals and first wins, but our success as a franchise is completely linked to the momentum of our city," Tormenta FC President and Owner Darin H. Van Tassell told USLPDL.com. "America's Best Community competition is yet another example that others are taking notice of what’s going on in Statesboro, Georgia.
"That’s incredibly satisfying. It’s great to think that we have these amazing impressions that now span all over the country, but it’s even better to know that all of those bridges started being built right here. And we did it in that classic way that Statesboro tends to do things. From the mayor’s offices, to county offices, to Georgia Southern University and our community businesses, everyone banded together in their support to help lift things off the ground."
Following a strong first year of operation, Tormenta FC was named PDL New Franchise of the Year at the 2016 PDL Winter Summit. On the field, the team narrowly missed out on the PDL Playoffs, finishing the season with a 6-5-3 record in the South Atlantic Division.
The Georgia-based club, led by Head Coach John Miglarese, will again compete in the South Atlantic in its second year. Tormenta FC will begin its 2017 PDL campaign with a matchup against the Myrtle Beach Mutiny at Erk Russell Park in Statesboro on May 13.
"At Tormenta FC, We have never been shy about our intentions to be successful and strive to take on the best," Van Tassell said. "With support from surrounding counties, our city and team is able to be talked about in the same breath as teams in bigger cities. That’s the kind of support and faith that we are grateful for and that will continue to make Tormenta FC and Statesboro a great team for our fans to enjoy while making it a desired destination for prospective players.
"So, from the players, coaches and front office of South Georgia Tormenta FC, please accept our congratulations that Statesboro was named one of the Best Communities in America."