published Wednesday, February 8th, 2012

New-look CFC season begins May 5

Robbie Hill of the Chattanooga Football Club moves the ball up the field in Chattanooga's final game of the season against  the Under-23 squad from D.C. United of Major League Soccer. D.C. United went on to win 2-1.
Robbie Hill of the Chattanooga Football Club moves the ball up the field in Chattanooga's final game of the season against the Under-23 squad from D.C. United of Major League Soccer. D.C. United went on to win 2-1.
Photo by Alex Washburn.

CHATTANOOGA FC 2012

May 5 Knoxville Force

May 11 at Rocket City United

May 12 at Knoxville Force

May 19 at Mississippi Storm

May 26 Rocket City United

June 2 Atlanta Silverbacks Reserves

June 9 Myrtle Beach FC

June 23 Mississippi Storm

June 30 at Georgia Revolution

July 7 at Jacksonville United FC

In a little less than three months, the Chattanooga Football Club will begin its fourth season.

The amateur soccer team went through its share of trial and error during the first three years, with more successes on and off the field than disappointments. Chattanooga FC finished last season 5-3-2 and was a win away from advancing to the National Premier Soccer League Final Four for the second straight season.

The Knoxville Force upset CFC in the season finale at Finley Stadium, and the Force will return to Chattanooga on May 5 for this season's opener.

"We do open very early against Knoxville at home," CFC general manager Sean McDaniel said. "That was not ideally what we wanted, but we're glad it's Knoxville. They knocked us out last year, and we think that with enough marketing we can build a lot of interest in that first match."

Season four will be unlike the first three in many ways. Bill Elliot, the men's soccer coach at the University of West Florida, is CFC's new coach, replacing Brian Crossman. In addition, the NPSL's Southeast Division has new teams and a new format.

Beginning with the opener against the Force, CFC will play a nine-game, all-NPSL schedule. The club will be on the road for three straight games after the opener, but three of its four June games are at home.

CFC has scheduled international friendlies in the past, such as last season's game against the Mexican Club de Futbol Monterrey. There is no marquee game on the schedule at the moment.

"There's still the potential to add that," McDaniel said. "We have a couple of dates where we'll pursue that opportunity. I don't know that it's imperative to have an international match."

Joining the Southeast are Myrtle Beach (S.C.) FC and the Biloxi-based Mississippi Storm. The eight-team Southeast will be broken up into East and West divisions, with Chattanooga FC playing in the West alongside the Storm, Knoxville Force and Rocket City United.

The East will feature defending NPSL champion Jacksonville United FC, Myrtle Beach, the Atlanta Silverbacks Reserves and the Georgia Revolution.

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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