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Sunday's USL Academy Slate Featured Pro Pathway Panel, Premier Division Matchups

By CAMERON KOUBEK -, 02/16/20, 3:30PM EST


Tormenta FC and Pittsburgh Riverhounds SC earned their first victories at the event

Tormenta FC beat Louisville City FC 3-1 in Premier Division play. Photo by Cameron Koubek

USL Academy action continued on Sunday at Premier Sports Campus in Lakewood Ranch. With only two games taking place, many teams used the time off to recover from earlier games, and to further their development at the Pro Pathway Panel.

After having the day off on Saturday, the four Premier Division teams returned for their second matches. South Georgia Tormenta FC and Louisville City FC played a competitive contest, which got off to a flying start for the Kentucky club when 14-year-old Joshua Wynder’s world-class volley from outside the box found the top corner in the 1st minute.

Tormenta responded impressively, equalizing 15 minutes later through Terrell Headman. Headman rounded off an excellent first half by assisting teammate Thomas Stoever for his side’s second goal, and adding a third (his second) before the break.

Both teams had more chances throughout the second half, but the 3-1 result ultimately held for Tormenta.

Pittsburgh's defense improved from its opening game, keeping a clean sheet in a 2-0 win. Photo by Cameron Koubek

Elsewhere, Pittsburgh Riverhounds SC bounced back from an earlier defeat with a 2-0 win over FC Miami City. Will Sangpachtanaruk opened the scoring on 37 minutes for the Riverhounds, and bagged a second just before the final whistle to complete his brace and seal the victory for Pittsburgh.

Louisville City FC's Mario Sanchez speaking on the Pro Pathway Panel. Photo by Cameron Koubek

After the two matches concluded, players returned to the Premier Sports Campus stadium field for the Pro Pathway Panel, featuring coaches and academy directors with years of experience in youth development and professional soccer.

North Carolina FC’s John Bradford, Louisville City FC’s Mario Sanchez, Tormenta FC’s Ian Cameron, and Tampa Bay United Rowdies’ Blake Wagner spoke on the panel, many of whom have roles with their club’s professional, U23, and youth levels.

The panelists spoke of the potential obstacles in building a professional soccer career, but highlighted that more opportunities exist to pursue the sport than ever before in the United States thanks to increased structure created by programs like USL Academy.


With a number of players at the Eastern Conference Event already signed to Academy contracts and integrating into their clubs’ professional environments, gaining professional knowledge and experience will benefit all USL Academy players as they pursue their goals of one day playing for their respective senior teams.

The USL Academy Eastern Conference Event concludes on Monday, with all 12 teams back in action for their third and final matches of the tournament. Games begin at 8 a.m. ET and are open to the public.