COLUMBIA, S.C. (WIS) - The NFL crowned its champion Sunday in Miami. This weekend a Midlands team competes for another football title in South Florida.
Soda City FC is a semi-professional soccer club in Columbia. On Saturday, they’ll compete in the United Premier Soccer League Final Four with hopes of coming home as national champions.
“It’s something no one can take away from us,” said Soda City FC keeper Jack Pondy.
Pondy played his high school soccer at A.C. Flora. Everyone on the roster either is from the Midlands or competed collegiately in the Palmetto State. It creates a family-like atmosphere on the pitch.
“I know a lot of other teams probably have not played together like we have,” said Soda City FC center midfielder Gian Ortega. “I’m talking about from high school to now.”
The 22-year-old Lexington native loves the family vibe amongst the team. And, that’s what head coach Asher Quave-Robinson, a former Dreher soccer standout, had in mind when putting this group together.
“We’ve done well to keep the corps group, local guys,” added coach Quave-Robinson. “Who know each other and are passionate about the local soccer community.”
“It’s something unique that I think we have over a lot of other teams,” added Pondy. “And, that’s why we’ve succeeded.”
This healthy culture has Soda City FC on the cusp of claiming a national championship.
“I know they’re ready for it,” said Quave-Robinson. “I think they’ll represent Columbia really well.”
This weekend the team heads to Miami to play in the UPSL Final Four. Early on in the season, the group began to believe championship dreams were realistic.
“Late September, I felt it,” said Soda City FC defender Dominik Byars. “It’s happening. There’s something special with this team.”
One ready to represent our community proudly in South Beach.