GREENVILLE, S.C. (WSPA) – In a few short seasons, the Greenville Triumph has established itself as one of the best teams in the USL League One, and that’s in large part due to their defense and the play of Brandon Fricke. Fricke quickly emerged as a leader when joining the team, and achieved career-best marks with the Triumph.
“I got started in kindergarten, started playing rec league soccer,” Fricke said. “I played every sport, really, growing up up until high school.”
From growing up in Iowa as a child with a dream to becoming a League One champion, Triumph defender Brandon Fricke has experienced a lot in the game of soccer. And there were plenty of surprises along the way, including the day he got drafted by the Colorado Rapids back in 2015.
“I wasn’t really planning on it. It kind of came out of the blue. I was actually driving home from rehab and got a text from my assistant college coach just saying ‘congratulations.’ And I was like ‘for what?’ And he’s like ‘you just got drafted.’ And I was like ‘oh that’s cool.’”
After four years playing at Butler University, Fricke was thrust into the professional arena. He competed for the Rapids affiliate in Charlotte before spending time competing overseas. In 2019 he joined the brand new USL League One. But after a season with the Lansing Ignite, Fricke was once again looking for a new club.
“Played against Greenville several times and really respected the way they played [and] the organization,” he recalled. “They left a good impression on me. So when I was looking for a team after that first year, and John reached out, it was definitely a situation I was very interested in and glad I made the choice to come here.”
In his first year with the Triumph, he had his breakout season tying for the league lead with 17 blocks and was pivotal to the side allowing a league low 11 goals. Greenville was crowned league champion and Fricke’s efforts earned him Defender of the Year honors.
“For me it was a group thing. Obviously it’s an honor to win the award myself but you know I think we were just such a solid unit working together. I think we all take it as an award for ourselves and hope to build on that…It’s just a great group of guys; really hard-working, down to earth… It’s a fun town. Our ownership group, front office are great people and they really take care of us and let us do our greatest on the field.”
The Triumph currently sit in third place in the league standings. And Fricke and that vaunted defense have posted seven shutouts, tied for the league lead.