The Myrtle Beach FC Mutiny, a first-year franchise in the National Premiere Soccer League, makes its debut Saturday night at Doug Shaw Memorial Stadium. The Mutiny kick off their inaugural campaign at 8 p.m. against the Rocket City United.
Despite several unsuccessful attempts to launch a pro soccer franchise on the Grand Strand in recent years, team co-owner Trum Hogner believes the area is ripe for the Mutiny.
“We know Myrtle Beach has had some failing pro franchises in the past, but we also know the soccer community has grown a lot over the past few years,” said Hogner, citing the start of adult and youth soccer leagues like Beach United FC and Coast FA.
“The most important thing for us is to get the locals involved and hopefully the tourists will follow, but we’re realistic about what it’s going to take. We’re approaching this from a long-term standpoint, not just the first year.”
The Mutiny has laid the groundwork for a successful start by signing talented players from 11 different countries as well as some with local ties. Hogner hopes the product on the field will ultimately win over Grand Strand sports fans.
“We have a very good roster for an NPSL franchise,” he said. “We have 11 different nationalities represented and we scouted local talent from up in Wilmington to down to Charleston.
“We have some guys who were invited to tryouts by the MLS but haven’t made it yet and others who (haven’t been invited but) are trying to make it. We’re going to have a very competitive team.”
But winning over locals requires more than winning games on the pitch. Mutiny players have been making appearances at local youth soccer fields and tournaments to convince locals to come check them out, and they’re even offering free admission to Beach United and Coast FA players who wear their uniforms to the game. Children 10 and under also are admitted free and adult tickets are $9.
MBFC Mutiny 2012 Schedule
Sat., May 5 vs. Rocket City United
Sat., May 12 at Jacksonville United
Sat., May 19 vs. Knoxville Force
Sat., May 26 at Mississippi Storm
Sun., June 3 vs. Jacksonville United
Sat., June 9 at Chattanooga FC
Sat. June 16 at Georgia Revolution
Sat., June 23 vs. Atlanta Silverbacks
Fri., June 29 at Atlanta Silverbacks
Sat., July 7 vs. Georgia Revolution
- Photo courtesy of Hernandez Photography