published Saturday, June 15th, 2013

Chattanooga Football Club sitting in a good spot

  • photo
    -Chattanooga head coach Sean McDaniel is seen on the right in this file photo.
    Photo by Robin Rudd /Chattanooga Times Free Press.

The Chattanooga Football Club has four games left on its schedule. Thanks to a pair of road wins last weekend, CFC is in a position of strength as it purses a second straight National Premier Soccer League division championship.

Chattanooga FC beat the New Orleans Jesters last Saturday and the Mississippi Storm less than 15 hours later, pushing the club's Southeast division record to 4-1-1. CFC heads into tonight's game against the Knoxville Force at Finley Stadium with a division-best 13 points.

The Gulfcoast Texans, who defeated CFC last month, 1-0, in Pensacola, Fla., are in second with 12 points and Rocket City United is in third with 10.

Chattanooga FC's big advantage is that three of its final four are at Finley Stadium, where the club is averaging more than 2,000 fans a game.

"We're in a very enviable position," general manager Sean McDaniel said.

It's a good position, CFC coach Bill Elliott said, but finishing with a flourish won't be easy.

"It's nice being at home, but there are some hard games ahead of us," Elliott said. "There's not a whole of difference between the level of our team, [Gulfcoast], New Orleans and Knoxville and even Rocket City. There's a separation from all of us and Mississippi, but the rest of us, there's really not much -- it's just who is sharp and who does well on the day."

There will be a "Pink Out" at Finley tonight as CFC partners with Memorial Health Care System and the MaryEllen Locher Breast Center to support breast cancer awareness. CFC will be wearing one-of-a-kind pink jerseys, which will be auctioned off during the game and the proceeds will go to the MaryEllen Locher Breast Center.

"Our team will be in the one-game-only pink uniforms and the fans are encouraged, if not forced, to wear pink," McDaniel said with a laugh. "We'd love for people to come to the match, come see CFC and support a very, very strong organization and a great cause, and then go watch the fireworks down by the river."

CFC is not only chasing a Southeast title and a spot in the four-team playoff to determine who represents the South Conference in the NPSL championships, it's also trying to host the South playoff. The division champion with the most points will host and as of Friday the points leader is Tulsa Athletics of the South Central with 16 points.

No other division leader has more than eight points, so it will likely come down to Tulsa and the South division winner.

Contact John Frierson at jfrierson@timesfreepress.com or 423-757-6268. Follow him on Twitter at twitter.com/MocsBeat.

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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