FLORENCE, S.C. – Three Francis Marion University men’s soccer players – senior defender Willie Hunt, junior midfielder Kyle Clinton, and sophomore forward Juan Rivas – are spending their summer playing for the Mississippi Brilla FC squad, while sophomore defender Julian Ramjohn is playing for the Toronto Lynx.
Mississippi Brilla FC is the minor league soccer franchise of Brilla Soccer Ministries, Inc. The team competes in the Southeast Division of the Southern Conference of the Premier Development League, a division of the United Soccer Leagues. The Toronto squad (0-2-0) plays in the Great Lakes Division of the Central Conference.
The Mississippi team, which currently owns a 4-1-1 record, plays its home matches at Robert P. Longabaugh Soccer Stadium on the campus of Mississippi College in Clinton, Miss. The team has a 16-match regular-season schedule which runs from May through July. The team recently qualified for the upcoming Lamar Hunt U.S. Open Cup.
Hunt has played every minute of the team’s six matches, while Clinton has appeared in two contests. Rivas is rehabbing from an injury and has yet to appear in a match.
Hunt, a native of Greer, S.C. was the only senior on FMU head coach Kevin Varnado’s 2008 squad. He started all 22 matches for the Patriots, scored four goals, including the winning overtime tally in the PBC Tournament championship match, and recorded two assists. As importantly, he anchored a Francis Marion defense that posted eight shutouts and a 1.35 goals against average.
Clinton, a native of Safety Harbor, Fla., led Francis Marion last fall with 10 goals and 25 points. He was tied for third on the team with five assists.
Rivas tallied nine goals and five assists for 23 points. Among the Clearwater, Fla., native’s nine goals were three match-winners.
Ramjohn, a native of Brampton, Ontario, Canada, started 18 matches in the defensive back last fall and recorded one goal and one assist.
The four helped lead Francis Marion to a 14-5-3 record, both the Peach Belt Conference regular-season and tournament titles, and an invitation to the NCAA Tournament, where the Patriots advanced to the second round.