Big things are happening in the world of Chattanooga FC. The fourth-tier semi-professional soccer team has had tremendous success in their young existence. Since their debut season in 2009, Chattanooga FC has managed to collect six conference championships, three regional championships, and has been to the national finals on four different occasions. Their early success has drawn a large and enthusiastic fan base.
CFC managed to attract 18,227 fans in the National Premier Soccer League national championship game in 2015, setting a record for the largest soccer crowd in an amateur soccer match in U.S. history. The attendance was no coincidence as CFC has broken the 10,000 mark on multiple occasions and regularly entertained an average of 5,000 fans in the 2016 season.
The attendance of CFC is unlike any other non-Major League Soccer team in the nation. It’s rare for any non-MLS team, let alone a fourth tier team, to put together a crowd of more than 1,000 spectators.
Speaking of Major League Soccer, Chattanooga will play a scrimmage against Atlanta United FC on February 11. They will be playing against the highest level of soccer in the U.S. Again, very impressive for a team composed of college kids and amateurs.
Perhaps even more impressively, Chattanooga FC announced a partnership on January 10 with the top-tier German Bundesliga team—VfL Wolfsburg. Wolfsburg is one of the most successful teams in the world. The “trans-Atlantic partnership between the two clubs is not limited to youth development, women’s soccer, and local social responsibility. There is also hopes of an international friendly between the two clubs, but no dates have been set” (chattanoogafc.com).
All this is pretty exciting, especially if you know soccer, but why should Covenant students care? Chattanooga FC was actually founded by a few Covenant alumni including current General Manager—Sean McDaniel. McDaniel studied business at Covenant and was an all-conference soccer player for the Scots.
In addition, the founding coach of CFC in 2009 was our very own Dr. Brian Crossman, who started the club’s success with a conference championship in 2010. We also have a number of Covenant soccer players who have spent time with the team including recent graduates Snoopy Davidson and Daniel Kubin. Davidson, in particular, has earned significant time in his three seasons and has been a key contributor to the club's recent success.
Between playing an MLS team and landing a deal with Wolfsburg, Chattanooga FC is already off to having a landmark year. If you are in the Scenic City this summer, come on out to support Chattanooga’s favorite team! For more information and to see the full schedule, visit chattanoogafc.com.