Greenville Triumph signs two CESA players to Academy contracts for remainder of 2019 season

Local high schoolers and CESA players Ben Erkens (l) and Conor Dowler (r) join Greenville Triumph

Greenville Triumph SC has signed two local youth players to academy contracts for the remainder of the 2019 season, marking the first academy signings in the club's history. Both players come from Carolina Elite Soccer Academy (CESA), one of the largest youth clubs in the state.

Ben Erkens is a Clemson University commit and current senior at Wade Hampton High School in Greenville. In June, Erkens, a 6'2" defender, was named the South Carolina Gatorade Player of the Year. Conor Dowler, a 6'0" midfielder at TL Hanna High in Anderson, has committed to Furman University for the 2020 season. Both players played for CESA's ECNL team, the top level of competition at the Upstate academy. In addition to playing for CESA, Dowler spent time this summer with Greenville FC of the NPSL.

"Anytime that you get an opportunity to showcase younger players, especially local, it's really special," said Triumph SC Head Coach John Harkes. “It creates a good training environment and a potentially good feeder system, but overall it's extremely important for the community – to have them involved, with the enthusiasm they bring, it's special.”

Both players will continue training with CESA but are eligible to play with the Triumph on the 18 man, match day roster.

Triumph SC has four matches remaining in the 2020 regular season, continuing a home stand this Friday, September 20, at Legacy Early College Field against Toronto FC 2. Gates open at 6:00pm, with kick at 7:00pm. Tickets can be purchased by clicking here.

For more information the Greenville Triumph, visit

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