Southern States SC is playing host in their first-ever U-19 match on Saturday, facing off against Florida’s Pensacola FC.
Southern States SC forward Romar Smith, a two-time JUCO state champion at Pearl River Community College, will be counted on for leadership as one of the team’s overage players. He’s looking forward to taking the field this weekend.
“Of course being at home is always nice,” Smith said. “We are fortunate to have a phenomenal facility. Everyone has put a lot of work in to be ready for our inaugural NPSL season with the team. Expectations are a cruel thing, particularly in soccer. But we will be ready. Preparations and training has gone very well.”
Pensacola FC is looking forward to their first road trip of the pilot.
“We are hoping to pick up where we left off last week, and keep the level consistent as we move into the second game of the season,” Pensacola FC coach David Kemp said. “Our approach is always the same, no matter the opponent or game, to be at our best.”
Southern States SC is led by head coach Carl Reynolds, assistant coach Jade Reynolds, Director of Goalkeeping and NPSL GK coach Antonio Marriel, and assistant coach Sid Reynolds. They have built a roster that is full of homegrown talent.
“18 of our 24-man roster have been with us throughout our academy, with 15 of those having been with us from the moment the club formed,” Carl Reynolds said. “These are players that understand our way of doing things and all possess the ability to have a great impact on the game and in this pilot.”
Kemp is looking for strong performances from two players that were impressive in their opening win against Mobile.
“Ty Ferguson was solid at the back, and he provides great communication and leadership on the field for the team,” Kemp said. “Carson Hickok had a standout performance vs. AFC Mobile, and we hope he continues to show what he can do.”
The U-19 pilot has proven to be of the utmost importance to the Southern States SC organization.
“The U-19 pilot will bridge a gap between our academy players and the main NPSL adult team,” Southern States SC General Manager Nigel Boulton said. “This allows our pathway to extend all the way from our Little Kickers at under six right the way through the age ranges with no breaks. The pilot allows the teenagers to play with the overage players in practice and games and to learn from their experience as well as from the added coaching.”
The match will be streamed live on MyCujoo.
Photo Credit: 3SMedia and 30thirtyvision, Jay Garcia