GREENVILLE, S.C. (WSPA) – The Greenville Triumph have one final week of practice before the USL League One title game. And they’re taking a business-like approach into their third consecutive championship.
“You know we want to make sure we keep balance with the emotions,” said Head Coach John Harkes. “To get back there is fantastic, but you can’t rest on that. You can’t just be happy with that. We’ve got to go and finish it out.”
After hitting a rough patch midseason, the Triumph rallied to a second-place finish. And now find themselves in a familiar spot.
“I think it’s been our overall attitude,” Defender Tyler Polak said. “[It’s] us just persevering and knowing that we can come out on the other side.”
“It shows a mentality,” Harkes added. “It’s a team first mentality but also the resilience that;s in this group that even though we go through tough times in July and August that we can still believe in ourselves and turn things around.”
The championship match features the top scoring team in the league in Union Omaha (50 goals) against one of the best defensive units in the Greenville Triumph (29 goals allowed), who have garnered momentum over the last month plus. They haven’t given up a goal since late September and they’re hoping to continue that once again on Saturday.
“I think the biggest thing is just being consistent,” added Goalkeeper Paul Christensen. “At the end of the day we found our form. You can see it in the team that there’s the momentum behind it in defending as a group and attacking as a group. And we’ve been able to use that momentum to help run into the playoffs here.”
“We’re definitely starting to pick it up during the most important time of the season,” said Defender Abdi Mohamed. “Just seeing everything come together right now it’s a really good feeling.”
The Triumph shut out Union Omaha 1-0 back in October, and are in need of a similar performance in their return to Nebraska to complete the title defense. They’re 1-0-1 against the Owls this season.
“It’s going to be a battle,” Polak said. “I think just getting into them early and kind of setting the tone. I think it’s going to make a big difference. Just letting them know that we’re there.”