Lowcountry United continues to make headlines ahead of 2018 UPSL season
The story of soccer in Charleston continues to grow as Lowcountry United prepares for thier first season in the UPSL.
Lowcountry United FC is preparing for their first season in the newest conference of the UPSL. LUFC will play in the Southeast conference of the UPSL. The league is starting to make its way east and the Southeast conference will announce more teams soon. LUFC currently has teams in the Charleston Soccer League, SCASA League of Champions, USASA Region 3, and soon the UPSL.
So why the UPSL?
Lowcountry has been committed to serving Charleston and the soccer community. Lowcountry may not be ready to make the big jump of joining other leagues like the PDL/NPSL, but the UPSL offers something different. In a region that has been growing with soccer, the UPSL is coming in and offering a different experience. The UPSL, when having enough teams, allows Pro/Rel which isn't currently offered in another league. The league also is bringing in many teams to the area that will help grow the game in the area.
So far, there are currently five teams in the new conference. Lowcountry United, FC Cardinals, Sparta 20/20 FC, C-Ville FC, and Savanna Clovers FC will start in the spring time of 2018. Expect more announcements to come in the near future about more teams.
Growing The Game
2017 has been a big year for the club. Being SCASA Champions and St. Patrick’s Cup Champions, the club has made several big announcements off the field as well. Recently, the club was able to partner up with Charleston Kix. “Charleston Kix is a Charleston area non-profit that provides opportunities for kids who don’t have the money to afford the cost of play”. For a club who’s goal is being local, this is huge. This shows their commitment to serve the Charleston area and help bring soccer to everyone.
LUFC announced a partnership with a local youth soccer club, Charleston United Soccer Club. In doing this, Lowcountry is now able to help fill the gap in between semi pro/pro development soccer. This allows for a path for young players to grow from a youth to be able to become a professional one day. CUSC does a great job with providing great youth development, with is important in growing the game.
The club has done a great job of getting local companies to help sponsor the club. One of those being Centurum Companies. The club also has been able to get a sponsorship with Mankiewicz Coating, a local company in the Charleston area since 2010.
Lowcountry did something different this past summer that I loved. It was the #GeorigaTour2017. The club traveled down to Georgia to take on of the states lower divisions teams. Atlanta Silverbacks and Georgia Revolution are both in the NPSL while as Savanna will be in the UPSL in 2018. Even though these were all friendlies, the club still went down south and built their name. It’s a great way to grow the name in the area, and to show that Lowcountry doesn't mess around.
Not The Only Team in Town
Now for anyone who keeps up with professional soccer knows about the Charleston Battery. The Battery have been around for a very long time and just finished up another season in the USL. The club ranks in the 2nd division of US Soccer while LUFC lies in the “fourth division”. Now there is no bad blood between the two clubs, both clubs are moving in the right direction. The Battery have the resources and the money but Lowcountry is moving as a grassroots movement.
To fully conquer all the local talent the area has to offer, I think that a partnership of some sorts will be key to growing the game and taking it to the next level.
This is the complete schedule for Lowcountry for their first UPSL season. The inaugural season will have 8 clubs, 3 more pending offical UPSL announcement. LUFU will take on C-Ville FC, FC Cardinals, Savanna Clovers, and Sparta 20/20.
So What’s Next?
The future is bright in Charleston. Lowcountry has done a great job at sticking to their roots and gone the local approach. The club has the desire to go the next level and move up in the soccer world in the US. As there is no financial group backing the club, they still strive to help grow the game with what they got. One key in doing this is having a very strong social media presence. The club has done an excellent job in connecting with the local community and connecting with other amatuer soccer clubs across the country.
The club is entering new grounds in the region. The UPSL has never been here before and Lowcountry gets to help it grow. Only time will tell how this will help the club.
LUFC has a goal of becoming the flagship club here in the southeast for the UPSL. They want to be the standard for new clubs coming into the league. The club wants to build off of the 2018 season to build their brand even more.
But having multiple teams in different local leagues is great to help develop the players in the area. It will serve more players, and help grow the game in South Carolina.