GREENVILLE — A pair of former high school soccer standouts became the first players to join the new Greenville Triumph W League team on Thursday afternoon.
Caroline Conti, a former soccer star at J.L. Mann Academy and now Clemson women's soccer player and Carly Thatcher, who played at Riverside are the first players to be signed to the clubs inaugural roster.
Thatcher, who was The News' Upstate Girls Soccer Player of the Year last spring, just finished her freshman season at Auburn. The announcement came via a release on Thursday afternoon and per the release, the signings are "pending league and federation approval."
The club, which was announced in June 2021, will play its first-ever match this May with a schedule of 12-14 matches.
Conti, a junior forward at Clemson, was The News Upstate Girls Soccer POTY each of her four years in high school. She's started 66 matches across three seasons for the Tigers.
"I’m so excited to get the chance to be a part of the new USL W-League team here in Greenville," Conti said in a release. "I can’t wait to get the chance to play with all of the amazing other girls and make memories of a lifetime."
Conti was one of the best soccer players Greenville County has seen in recent years. Her senior season for the Patriots, she recorded 32 goals, 45 assists and led Mann to the Class AAAAA state title. She was also named first team USA Today All-American and the Gatorade Player of the Year in South Carolina, an award she won twice at Mann, after her senior season.
Thatcher, a midfielder, scored 12 goals and assisted on 13 more during her senior season at Riverside. She was four-time All-State team selection while in high school and appeared in 17 games this past fall for Auburn.
She also is only the second freshman in Auburn women's soccer history to record a hat trick.
"The addition of Caroline has such a positive impact on the start of our team. She brings many characteristics with her. Not only is she a talented player both in skill level and field dynamics, but she’s also very hard working," the teams head coach, Julie Carlson, said in the release. "She will bring a high level of Soccer IQ quality to our team and will possess an enjoyable energy that fans will love to watch."
The Triumph's USL W League team, which is considered pre-professional, does not pay its players currently.
The announcement comes a short time after the club, which has yet to announce its nickname, selected its coach: Carlson, who was an assistant at Clemson and previously head coach of Anderson University's women's soccer team.
Thatcher and Conti are the first two players to be announced officially to the clubs roster. The team held open tryouts the weekend of January 8-9 and, according to the release, anticipates filling more roster spots in the coming weeks.
Joe Dandron covers high school athletics and more for The Greenville News. Contact him at firstname.lastname@example.org with story tips, feedback, ideas, results and stats from high school sporting events. Follow him on Twitter: @JoeMDandron.
This article originally appeared on Greenville News: Former Mann, Riverside stars sign with Greenville USL W League club