published Saturday, July 9th, 2011

CFC can clinch title tonight

A win tonight against the Georgia Revolution would earn the Chattanooga Football Club its second straight National Premier Soccer League Southeast Conference championship.

That would be back-to-back titles for an organization in its third year of existence.

“The formula initially was to find the best young talent, guys who were playing at the collegiate level, and mix it with guys who have some experience, who live here, who can play a leadership role, and put them together on the field,” CFC general manager Sean McDaniel said. “That has worked extremely well, to the point that now it’s not nearly as challenging to go find those players. Those players are finding us.”

Chattanooga FC (5-1-1) heads into tonight’s game at Finley Stadium with 17 points, three more than the second-place Atlanta Silverbacks Reserves (4-2-2). A win clinches the conference crown and earns CFC a return trip to the NPSL Final Four in Madison, Ala. CFC lost in the NPSL title game last season.

Goalkeeper Thomas Hunter said CFC is in an ideal situation, playing for a title at home against the Revolution (3-2-3), whom CFC tied 1-1 last week.

“You can’t ask for more than playing in front of our fans that are amazing,” Hunter said, “and we’re playing against a team we just tied, so we know what to expect.”

The perfect scenario for CFC would be to seal the championship tonight, which would make next week’s season finale at the Knoxville Force little more than an exhibition.

Hunter sat out CFC’s 3-2 win Monday against the under-20 squad from Club de Futbol Monterrey. He was a very busy goalkeeper on Wednesday, however.

Instead of practicing with CFC, Hunter was getting a tryout with the Philadelphia Union of Major League Soccer.

“It went well. I played well and I actually played against their starters for 45 minutes,” he said. “It was a little nerve-racking at first, but overall it was a great experience.”

CFC has one home game remaining after tonight. On July 23, it will host D.C. United’s under-23 squad. McDaniel said United is sending two scouts down for the game to evaluate Chattanooga FC’s players.

about John Frierson...

John Frierson is in his seventh year at the Times Free Press and seventh year covering University of Tennessee at Chattanooga athletics. The bulk of his time is spent covering Mocs football, but he also writes about women’s basketball and the big-picture issues and news involving the athletic department. A native of Athens, Ga., John grew up a few hundred yards from the University of Georgia campus. Instead of becoming a Bulldog he attended Ole ...

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