The Chattanooga Red Wolves officially began their time in the city earlier this April. In their inaugural home opener on April 6th they defeated Forward Madison 1-0. The one goal came in the 66th minute on a beautiful shot from Éamon Zayed, a veteran forward who has previously played professionally in Ireland for the Bray Wanderers, among many other clubs. The home opener boasted a crowd of around 3,500 people at David Stanton Field of Chattanooga Christian School, the Red Wolves’ home for their first season.
The Red Wolves play in the United Soccer League (USL) League 1, the third tier of the U.S. soccer pyramid, below the Major League Soccer (MLS) and the USL Championship. The Red Wolves join nine other teams in the new league, with the league planning to add two additional teams next season.
In their first season the Red Wolves have assembled a team which includes several players who have spent time on MLS teams or elsewhere on other professional teams. Their head coach, Tim Hankinson, a veteran coach, has spent time managing several clubs, perhaps most notably serving as the head coach for the Colorado Rapids of the MLS for several seasons.
The Red Wolves have been received well by some in their new hometown. The quality of soccer and their potential new stadium have been attractive to many local soccer fans.
The players, many new to the city, have also quickly made themselves comfortable in town. Defender Tony Walls, who is known for his aggressive play and captainship at one of his prior clubs, the Rochester Rhinos, was an impressive addition to the team, bringing experience from higher leagues. Earlier in the year, prior to the season, he was quoted by the Chattanooga Times Free Press as saying, “I think we will be able to bring a lot of excitement to the city.” And he has done just that. Early in April he appeared in court after an incident at local eatery, Clyde’s. The Times Free Press reports that he was causing a disturbance and was asked several times to leave, refusing to do so. He did finally leave, but not before spitting on the manager. She proceeded to call the police, who found him a block away, clearly intoxicated and smelling of alcohol. He was taken to the County Jail and made bond.
The Red Wolves season is just getting started though, with several more home games to come, all to be played at the David Stanton Field. They offer a range of ticket prices, from $10 all the way up to $30 for their best seating. They did generously offer a 75% off discount to Covenant students, faculty, and staff for the opening game, but without this for the remaining games, it may get a bit pricier than the other local soccer club, Chattanooga Football Club, and their across the board $10 prices.