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Aug. 15, 2014

COLUMBIA, S.C. – South Carolina kicks off its men’s soccer exhibition season on Saturday at 7 p.m., hosting the Spartans of USC Upstate. Fans can get in free to Stone Stadium for the affair.

The Gamecocks went 7-7-5 last season with nine starters back from that team. Both center backs, seniors Mahamoudou Kaba and Braeden Troyer, earned a spot on the Preseason All-Conference USA Team after making the first and second team, respectively, a year ago. Also included among the returners are C-USA All-Freshman Team members Kurtis Turner and Marco Velez. Eighty percent of the goals from last year are back, while Velez returns in goal.

USC Upstate went 1-11-2 last season, finishing ninth in the Atlantic Sun under long-time head coach Greg Hooks. The Spartans lost their top goalkeeper and most prolific scorer from last season.

The exhibition comes after only three days of practice for the Gamecocks, and head coach Mark Berson, entering his 37th year at South Carolina, is ready to get going. “We’re moving along at a pretty good clip,” Berson said. “Tomorrow night will give us a good measure of where we are.”

Posters will be available for pickup for free as well on the concourse of Stone Stadium during the free exhibition.