STATESBORO, Ga. (WTOC) - Tormenta FC should be preparing for the club’s season opener these days. It was originally scheduled to played in Statesboro on March 28.
That game, like so many others in sports, is currently postponed. A make up date is still to be determined.
The team continues to train, though in a much different fashion. Players take the field in groups of three or four, most of the time as roommates. They’ll work through individual drills and small groups, though only if they can participate from a safe distance.
Such is life for a pro soccer club during the Coronavirus outbreak. But the players aren’t sweating their new training regiment.
“We can still come out here in the morning, as long as we stay two to three meters apart,” notes midfielder Mikie Rowe. “We’re doing some longer shooting. We’re alright.”
For most of them, soccer can be a much-needed distraction from what’s happening in the rest of the world. That’s even more true for Tormenta’s European natives.
“If anything happens at home, we’re always just a flight away," Rowe says. "Well, that’s not the case anymore. It’s definitely a weird situation to be in.”
Rowe is just one of Tormenta’s players with family living in Europe. He is from Ireland, where COVID-19 cases have risen in the past week.
Marco Micaletto is dealing with the issue in three countries. The midfielder is doing his part to stay healthy in Statesboro. His parents are in England, and the rest of his extended family live in Italy.
Both players say their families are healthy and following guidelines to isolate and stay inside. But Rowe and Micaletto will admit it’s been an anxious time. Keeping up with family and friends has kept them grounded.
“I speak to them two, three times a day. I call my mom and dad. I call my grandma and my uncle," Micaletto says. “They give me the news on what they see and what they’re feeling and how they’re doing. That’s all you can do right now.”
Micaletto says seeing pictures of his native Italy all over the news and the emptiness of the country’s streets has been jarring.
“It’s surreal. It’s incredible,” he says. "But it makes you realize it’s happening and it’s real. It’s a little scary.”
More than anything, Micaletto says he and Rowe have a global perspective he hopes influences his teammates to approach this situation with proper respect.
“We’ve seen and heard from home what the situation is,” Micaletto says. "So we all try and stress the importance of being safe in America right now because we don’t want to be having the same issues as them.”