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TFC Academy Teams Gain National Experience at MLS NEXT Fest

December 9, 2021 - United Soccer League One (USL1) - South Georgia Tormenta FC News Release

STATESBORO, Ga. - South Georgia Tormenta FC Academy's U16 & U19 MLS NEXT teams traveled to Norco, California, to participate in the inaugural MLS NEXT Fest. The teams gained invaluable experience competing with the nation's top youth academies and were seen by collegiate and professional scouts.

Proving themselves on a national level, the Tormenta FC U19 team went undefeated with three draws in three games. The team recorded one clean sheet, four goals scored and four goals conceded. TFC U19 finished the weekend in third place for their group.

"The U19 team is the pinnacle of the boy's academy at Tormenta FC," U19 MLS NEXT head coach David Proctor said. "The Fest showed us that we can compete with the best. Leaving the Fest unbeaten is a huge accomplishment for the entire team.

"We have seen many years of dedicated work come to fruition with this current group. To compete at the highest levels in this country is a great achievement. We strive every day in our work to get players to the next level, and we hope to see players progress through the Tormenta Pathway into the professional ranks from this group and future groups in the academy. We still have work to do, we need to win. I cannot wait to come back next year."

The TFC U16 side also gained crucial experience with many of the athletes making their debuts in a national tournament. Although the results did not go as hoped, the players gave their all and left everything on the field.

Notably, 15-year-old standout Shafer Gottlieb was chosen to play with the top U16 stars in the MLS NEXT Fest Best of U16 Showcase. Playing the first 45 minutes, Gottlieb helped his side maintain a clean sheet and was a vocal leader from the back line.

"It was a proud moment to see our Tormenta FC Academy teams compete in their first-ever MLS Next showcase," TFC U16-U19 Boys Director Jordan Melia said. "I thought our U16 and U19 teams represented themselves professionally and carried themselves with the values we hold dear here at Tormenta. Competing at this level in California shows the endless opportunities that are here at Tormenta FC, and it is a credit to all involved for their hard work and dedication over the years."

Committed to raising the level of soccer locally and across the country, Tormenta FC Academy has programs available from age two all the way up to age 19 and is the only youth academy in South Georgia and the Lowcountry of South Carolina with a path to the professional ranks. For additional Academy news and content, follow Tormenta FC Academy on Twitter, Facebook and Instagram.

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