Friday, May 04, 2012
- by B.B. Branton
There is something special about opening day. Excitement and optimism fill the air and every team is even in the standings.
Saturday night about 10 o’clock at Finley Stadium, members of the Chattanooga Football Club hope to be tied for first place in the South-Southeast Conference West and its foe, Knoxville Force will be 0-1.
The Chattanooga-Knoxville match starts at 7 p.m. with general admission tickets set at $5 and the CFC administration is working to have 5,000 fans in attendance for the opener to its fourth season in the National Premier Soccer League.
The two teams meet Sat. May 12 at the UT Soccer Stadium at 8 p.m.
Two of the CFC players who have been with the club since its first season in 2009 are Bryan College alums, Moises Drumond and Russell Courtney.
“I think we have a excellent team and I am looking forward to the start of the season,” said Drumond who also is the head boys and girls soccer coach at Soddy Daisy High School.
“I enjoy coaching high school soccer, but I enjoy playing more than coaching,” stated Drumond who guided his Trojan girls to back-to-back state tournament appearances in 2010 and 2011.
At 34, Drumond sees himself playing 20-30 minutes a match off the bench.
“No way I can play 70 minutes a night,” he said with a smile, “but playing soccer at a high level is still fun and we are hopeful for another great season.”
In 2010, CFC was NPSL runner-up before missing the playoffs a year ago with a final regular season loss to Knoxville.
“I don’t know a great deal about Knoxville, but I do know that with Stephen Lyons as the head coach they will be ready for us on Saturday,” said CFC first year head coach Bill Elliott who led the Hixson Wildcats to three appearances in the state high school soccer final four in the mid-1980s.
Courtney and Drumond have not only been teammates with CFC, but were teammates in 2000 at Bryan College when Drumond was a senior and Courtney was a freshman.
Drumond was a three-time NCCAA All-American and region player of the year, while Courtney was an honorable mention All-American and NCCAA Kyle Rote Jr./National Player of the Year in 2003.
“My wife and I were living in Colorado four years ago and looking to move back to Chattanooga when the opportunity arose,” said Courtney.
“My brother, Drew (who played college soccer at Lander College), told me that Chattanooga was forming a pro team so we moved back here in the spring of 2009.”
Courtney, 30, has played soccer since grammar school and earned all-city honors at Chattanooga Christian School, and follows in the footsteps of his dad, Lee, who played at Covenant College.
Team Depth: “This is the best depth we have had in our four years,” said assistant coach Jimmy Weekley. “It will be tough to pick the 11 starters for Saturday, but that is a good problem to have.”
Next Home Match: Sat. May 26, 7 p.m. – Finley Stadium vs. Rocket City United.
June Home Schedule: (all home matches are played on Saturday at 7 p.m.)
June 2 - ATL Silverbacks Reserves
June 9 - Myrtle Beach FC
June 23 - Mississippi Storm
Tickets: General Admission - $5, ages 6 and older
Full Season - $25
Full Season + CFC Jersey - $75
contact B.B. Branton at email@example.com