SCU Heat (Columbia, SC) Take Down Charlotte FC MLS NEXT Pro 2-1 in Pre-Season Friendly
Every year as part of their pre-season preparation, SCU Heat from Columbia, South Carolina travel around the region playing top-level opposition in order to prepare for their upcoming UPSL season. This year, they received a surprise phone call from a brand-new MLS team in the area—Charlotte FC.
Club owner Nick Lewis tells us how the preseason friendly against the local MLS team came about.
“We have a deep connection with the local community. It’s our fourth season with the UPSL and the club has a great relationship with nearby colleges and local youth programs, and a history of developing talent for the next level. The coaches over at Charlotte FC, working with the MLS NEXT Pro group heard about us and were willing to travel to play us for preseason preparation. It was certainly a proud moment for the club”
From the first whistle of the match, SCU Heat put constant pressure on their opponents and the first half ended 0-0 with the home side looking a bit more energetic than their MLS NEXT Pro counterparts. In the second half, Charlotte FC made substitutions in response to SCU Heat’s constant offensive threat.
With two close-ranges finishes, one from a corner and the other from a cross into the box, SCU Heat were finally able to break through to make it 2-0. Before the end, Charlotte FC’s lone goal came from a huge deflection from outside the box on a powerful shot from 20 yards out.
Coming off a spring season in which they dominated the UPSL Premier Division Mid-Atlantic conference, SCU Heat are known to be fearless in attack after finishing a spring season with 9 wins out of 10 games and an undefeated home record.
“When we first started our goal from day one was to win a UPSL National title and bring together the best players in the area. These games are a huge opportunity for the players, because you never know who’s watching. We’re looking to do friendlies such as this multiple times a year.”
Christian Fuchs, Charlotte FC first-team Captain and owner of FSA Pro who have a first team and a second team competing in the UPSL Northeast American conferences, spoke about the matchup before kickoff.
“It’s great to see the impact it has on the local soccer community, and the matchup is an intriguing one. Charlotte FC have a great academy put in place with a competitive MLS NEXT Pro side and to see how that matches up against a top local UPSL side is very interesting to see. UPSL teams are competing at a very high-level in the UPSL Northeast American Conferences, so it’s no surprise to see SCU Heat pull out a narrow victory against a top MLS NEXT Pro team.”
When asked what to expect of SCU Heat moving forward, club owner Nick Lewis tells us “Expectations moving forward are stay focused on the season no matter the result of one game, and not be complacent. Our ultimate goal is to make it to the UPSL National Finals for the first time.
About United Premier Soccer League
The UPSL was formed in 2011 and occupies the unofficial fourth tier of US Soccer. Across its Premier, Division 1 and Womens leagues there are more than 400 teams competing nationwide. The UPSL is now the largest Pro Development League in North America and is a National Affiliate member of the U.S. Soccer Federation (USSF). Each UPSL team is individually owned and operated. UPSL teams are eligible to participate in the U.S. Open Cup Qualifying Rounds through the league’s affiliation with USSF.
More information about UPSL can be found at www.upsl.com or by following the league on Facebook (facebook.com/upslsoccer), Instagram (@upslsoccer) and Twitter (@upslsoccer).