The Savannah Clovers are ready to kick some grass with a St. Patrick's Day Soccer Showcase.
The soccer club is hosting Lowcountry United from Charleston, S.C., for a match March 19 at Floyd E. Morris Field on Victory Drive. Their goal is to bring attention to Savannah as a potential host city for larger events.
"Our mission is to represent the Hostess City in the National Premier Soccer League," said founder and lead director Brian Sykes. "Operating as a nonprofit, we hope to engage players, fans and local businesses in an effort to give back to our community."
"We were kicking around ideas on how to move the needle on soccer in Savannah," Sykes said. "We figured a friendly match versus a soccer club from outside of the city would be a draw, we just needed to find the right club."
Sykes works with Phillip Higgins, director of soccer operations, and Logan Spencer, director of marketing. The team's goal is to show Savannah is a soccer city, with support from the fans.
"We'd like to show that league soccer is viable in Savannah," Sykes said. "We hope this game and others generate enough buzz to get the ball rolling on our goal of representing Savannah in the National Premier Soccer League. The NPSL represents the 4th division of U.S. soccer. NPSL clubs are growing and are now attracting Major League Soccer and international opponents to their cities."
In addition to the match, the halftime event features Savannah Battle Ball.
"Those that are not familiar with bubble soccer will get a first-hand look," Sykes said. "We also have the soccer blog Non League America coming down from Atlanta to help us with the event. They plan to live stream the match on their social media platforms."
Ma-Maw's BBQ from Eden, Ga., will have a food truck at the game, as well.
Sykes said they enjoy engaging and giving back to the community. They plan to work with different charities, hosting events for food and clothing drives. "We want this club to be community focused, and what better way to do that than with soccer?"
"This event is the first of many for us," Sykes said. "We plan on hosting clubs from the National Premier Soccer League. We will also be traveling to Charleston, Atlanta and Asheville, N.C., to participate in friendlies."
"The game itself is going to be really fun," Higgins added. "Lowcountry United is on the same path as the Clovers as far as goals to franchise in the NPSL. We have been working tightly to help each club benefit from our experiences. You can say despite all the help, we are local rivalries. These matches are always fun to be a part of."
"For me it's all about the community," Spencer said. "Soccer is a sport that brings together communities around the world. I hope we can bring together people from all parts of life as fan of the Clovers."
IF YOU GO
What: Savannah Clovers vs. Lowcountry United
When: 4 p.m. March 19
Where: Floyd E. Morris Field, 1500 E. Victory Drive