I had the pleasure and privilege on Saturday to take a bus ride to see the Greenville Triumph take on Tormenta FC down in Statesboro GA, and nothing short of a blast. I started my morning drive heading to the Furman Paladin stadium doing a few National Lampoon Vacation video shorts just hoping it would make my day go easier not knowing what to expect. I was told by Gio with the Triumph we would have a pretty good crowd, and that to expect allot of fun, and he didn’t lie on that point.
I just wanna say real quickly, the Reedy River Riot group I met was just some of the most fun, down to earth fans you could ever be around. Passionate about their teams the Triumph and Liberty, having each others back, enjoying great back and fourth with the opposing fans who knew them and even fed us upon arrival. Once we arrived at the Stadium it looked like mother nature was going wash us out, but this group didn’t care, as we unloaded the tents and chairs, rolled out the DJ equipment, met the fans who was feeding us from Tormenta FC, grabbed a sledge hammer and helped raise money for their cause by destroying a junked car with GVL all over it but 1 side…..which we destroyed. I was really enjoying my experience so far, of by the way Gio had a trivia game on the bus and gave away Triumph gear and fed us Chick-Fil-a!
— Up The Mighty Triumph (@gvlgoals) July 22, 2023
We then headed into the stadium with the other team’s fans looking at us like here comes trouble, and we would soon find out how much trouble but let’s stay the course. Once we got to our seating which was at the other end of the stadium, the group quickly started cheering the team, heckling the Tormenta FC mascot BOLT, and created so much noise. Yes so much noise that after the Triumph scored the first goal, we were told by a guard that we needed to be quieter, and the video board even started showing the paragraph about respecting everyone at the game. Folks, nobody from the Riot was nasty, no cussing, just making noise for the Triumph, and doing normal heckling that every team fans normally do. The funny part is they would get loud, then apologize for it as even some of the Tormenta FC fans was enjoying the chants.
— Greenville Sports Media (@GreenvillSMedia) July 22, 2023
Then the second goal happened, and it was back to being loud as another Tormenta staff member said we could be our regular selves with the chants and songs. The Triumph players answered with great play and looked towards their fans for the energy, and they fed off of it. The complexing part was the group of 20 Reedy River Riot fans drowned out all 1000+ fans for the Tormenta and even a player said they couldn’t believe how much louder the Riot was as a small group. My word for it is LOVE, the Riot has the fan love allot of teams only wished they had, the kind of faithfulness you want from your fanbase. The see it in big pro team towns and experience it at other venues. The next point, this group travels to other cities, and sometimes across the country for its team and support is known.
It's 2-0 in the 25th minute @GVLRiot @gvl_liberty @GVLTriumph @DaFanboys
The 20 Greenville Triumph fans was told we are to loud. This is hilarious as a media person, I never seen or heard this happen. @USLL1Review pic.twitter.com/o1mIq1JSF0
— Greenville Sports Media (@GreenvillSMedia) July 23, 2023
I just want to thank the entire group for allowing me to be a part of this trip, to enjoy the game in a different way, to build a bond with such a great group was so awesome. Plus, a shout out to Gio for allowing me to be a part of such a great trip. The Triumph are a first-class team and are all about Greenville. Which leads me to the next small point, Greenville needs to build the Liberty & Triumph their stadium and let’s start that as soon as possible. Paladin stadium is a awesome place to watch Soccer, and is such a gracious host, but the Teams need their own stadium and place to grow the fanbase even more. I hope in the near future Greenville realizes just how lucky they are to have a Sports team franchise like the Liberty\Triumph.
24' – Allen Gavilanes finds Leo Castro's head for his second goal of the night!
— Greenville Triumph SC (@GVLTriumph) July 23, 2023
Finally here is the list of the names of the Riot, and yes, I want to thank each one for letting this reporter/fan tag along for such a great day and night as we didn’t get back till 2:30am. Thanks to Bobby, Alexander, and Andrea Anderson, Joe Bright, Andrew Phillips, Jon Santos, Gio Canas, Matt Whaley, Josh Wofford aka DJ Skrilla, Keith Johnson, Josh White, Ryan Nowland, Brandon Peeler, Jack Gorman, Nelson Alves, and Eve Hersch for all the fun I had and getting to know each of you. It was a honor to be apart and can’t wait till next season as we were told that this could possibly become a trip to other cities. Till Then… GTSC ola ola ola ola ola ola……..