Saturday night will see soccer in the upstate getting back to some semblance of normal as fans will be allowed back to Legacy Early Field for the Triumph’s match against the Chattanooga Red Wolves. The team has put some very conservative protocols in place to keep fans, players, and staff as safe as possible.
While the big story will be fans in the stands, this Triumph team is a quarter of the way through the season and currently sits well atop the league standings. A win on Saturday at home could start to cement this team as the team to beat in the league this year.
What to Watch For:
- A Home Crowd: For the first time in the 2020 season, the Greenville Triumph will have up to 2,000 fans in attendance on Saturday. Things will look different and feel different, but for many it will be exciting to get back to some normalcy by heading out to Legacy Early to watch this team under the lights.
- Rested vs. Wearied: The Red Wolves played on the road in Texas on Saturday and have a match on Wednesday evening at home prior to traveling to the upstate for Saturday’s matchup. The Triumph meanwhile have not played a match since last Wednesday (8/5) and haven’t been away from Greenville since July 31.
- Battle of Golden Boot Contenders: Chattanooga’s Greg Hurst has four goals through three matches. Our own Jake Keegan has three goals through four matches. No doubt both of these men will look to add to their total on Saturday and keep themselves in the conversation for the prestigious honor of scoring the most goals for the season.
Highlights from our opponents’s last match:
Key Players for Chattanooga:
- Greg Hurst — #11 — forward: Hurst is currently tied atop the Golden Boot race with four goals through three matches. If Greenville decides to use the high pressing back line in this match, they could see Dallas Jaye getting his reps in early.
- Ualefi — #7 — midfielder: The Brazilian defensive midfielder is a key returning piece for the Red Wolves who have all but completely retooled their back line this year. Ualefi will continue to make it hard for the Triumph to link up centrally, but if they can get around him, we may see better chances in this match.
- Alex Mangels — #24 — goalkeeper: If you are hitting the reset button on your back line between seasons, you better have a pretty decent keeper between the pipes. Mangels was strong last season but he is probably a step down from the likes of Jaye and Jara (Tormenta). Let’s hope he doesn’t have a Team of the Week worthy performance against the Triumph on Saturday.
The CASHINHO “Take It To The Bank” Prediction:
In the first draft of this preview I had this match as a 1–1 draw. On paper, these two teams match up very well with each other. And it probably should and would be a draw…
If Greenville wasn’t coming off of a ten day rest since their last match.
If Chattanooga wasn’t getting ready to play their third match in seven days.
If those matches weren't against the number 5, 2, and 1 teams in the standings.
If this match were being played in an empty stadium.
But none of those ifs are true. And all of those things give the Triumph an edge here. I think it will be hard for Greenville to keep a clean sheet with Greg Hurst playing out of his mind right now and with Coach Harkes pushing the back line up the field. But at the end of 90 minutes on Saturday, I suspect the fans in the stands will go home happy.
Greenville Triumph SC: 2— Chattanooga Red Wolves SC: 1
The match will take place at Legacy Early College Field in Greenville, SC at 7:00pm EST on Saturday August 15, 2020. The game will be available on ESPN+ in the US and YouTube internationally.