KNOXVILLE, Tenn. (WATE) — One Knoxville SC is one of eight remaining soccer teams competing for the USL League Two National Championship and will now prepare to host the next two rounds of playoff competition.
One Knoxville capped off their inaugural regular season with a South Central Division championship and hosted three playoff games at West High School over the weekend. After West Virginia United upset Nona FC in the first Southern Conference quarterfinal on Friday, One Knoxville took on Texas United in front of a record crowd of 2,342.
The hosts twice took the lead with goals from captain James Thomas but finished regulation tied 2-2. Knoxville took the lead in the first extra time period with a goal from Canadian striker Stephen Afrifa before Alex Abril sealed the victory with another goal in the 117th minute.
On Sunday, One Knoxville and West Virginia United squared off for a spot in the Southern Conference final. The Blue Ridge Boys got off to a quick start with a goal in the sixth minute by Lukas Sunesson. Afrifa scored his second goal in two playoff matches with a stunning volley in the 64th minute.
One Knoxville will now play North Carolina Fusion U-23’s on Friday, July 29 at 7:30 p.m. for the Southern Conference title and a spot in the National Semifinals.
Following the conclusion of Sunday’s matches, the league announced that Knoxville was selected to host the Southern Conference Final, Eastern Conference Final and National Semifinal between the two conference winners. All three games will be held at Austin-East High School, the site of One Knoxville’s first-ever match.
The Southern Conference champion will face the winner of Long Island Rough Riders versus Seacoast United on Sunday, July 31 at 7:30 p.m. for a spot in the USL League Two National Championship on August 6.
Tickets are on sale at oneknoxsc.com/tickets/ for all matches.
USL League Two is a developmental league that allows college-level and elite high school soccer players with professional aspirations to participate in high-level competition while maintaining NCAA eligibility. The team aims to move up to USL League One, a fully professional league recognized as the third tier of American soccer.