In a busy, news-filled day across the women’s soccer landscape, South Georgia Tormenta FC and the USL revealed a new league, USL W League, and eight founding teams, one of which will be in Statesboro, Georgia.
The women’s team adds a fourth branch to the Tormenta FC organization, joining the professional USL League One side (who were also a founding member of their respective league), the semi-pro League Two team, and the Tormenta academy system. With the new addition, the club can now offer a pathway to upper level soccer for women and girls across the region, and adds an outlet for the best academy products to continue their professional development.
The USL W League will kick off in 2022, and will look similar in structure to USL League Two, running from May to July and consisting of amateur status players, many from college teams. The league revives the older W-League, which ran for 20 years from 1995-2015 and included the Atlanta Silverbacks women’s side in their ranks. Seven other founding members were announced to join for the inaugural season, with many coming from current USL members.
Greenville Triumph SC and Chattanooga Red Wolves SC are included in the list, and will help in growing the southeastern soccer hotbed even more on the women’s side of the game. Other members involved in the league are MLS’s D.C. United, USL Championship’s Queensboro FC and Hartford Athletic, USL League Two’s Kaw Valley FC, and an independently run team from Minnesota which will offer community ownership of the club. The eight founding members will be joined by many more in the months ahead, as the league expects to have around 30 teams for their inaugural season next summer.
South Georgia’s new women’s team will call Tormenta’s new stadium their home when they kick things off next year. The currently under construction 5,300 seat soccer specific stadium will host all of Tormenta’s teams, along with Georgia Southern’s men’s and women’s programs and other big events.
As for a name, the team has delegated that responsibility to the fans. A form on the team’s website asks fans for name suggestions, with the goal of being unique yet fitting with the Tormenta theme.
It’s an exciting time for women’s soccer as the landscape continues to grow in terms of audience, quality, and professionalism. Today’s announcements prove how well the south specifically has become attached to the game, and has the ability to support soccer at any and all levels, with room for more.
(Any day now, ATLUTD.)