SAVANNAH, Ga. (WSAV) – The Savannah Clovers will be one of the first soccer teams in Georgia to play a live non-exhibition soccer game when they take the field this weekend at Memorial Stadium.
“It’s definitely quote, unquote ‘hype’ to live up to,” goalkeeper J.W. May explained. “It’s for sure exciting to know we are on the tip of [bringing back] live sports here.”
Saturday night — the Clovers will host Soda City FC to kick off the NISA Independent Cup — a round-robin tournament involving teams from multiple leagues competing in regional matches.
The Savannah United Premier League Soccer team has played two exhibition matches since getting the green light to return to play. In those games, players say life starts to feel slightly normal again.
“Just coming out here takes the rest of the world’s problems away from an hour and a half,” Clovers’ captain Darren Spong added. “It’s been a massive boost for everyone.”
If the prospect of live sports in Savannah isn’t enough to get fans out, the Clovers are hoping their explosive offense will be.
“It’s quick as a rattle snake strike,” May said with a smile. “There’s a lull and then ‘boom’ it hits you. It’s real exciting.”
In their last time out against Charleston United, the Clovers exploded for six goals. Five of them were from star striker Timo Mesa.
“If you get scored on, even if it’s our own mistakes, you gotta change it up,” Mesa explained. “You’ve got to have that spark.”
The Clovers are hoping to find that spark again Saturday night and have a good showing and lay the groundwork to bring live sports back to the Coastal Empire.
Kickoff against Soda City FC is set for 8 p.m. Fans can come watch, but are asked to social distance from other groups. Tickets to Saturday night’s match can be found here.
WSAV’s Connor DelPrete has more.