SOUTHEAST CONFERENCE PLAYOFF PREVIEW #1
Chattanooga FC (Home) vs. Knoxville Force (Away)
Game Details: Friday, July 8th, 7:30 pm at Finley Stadium in Chattanooga, live stream available at www.chattanoogafc.com
Ticket Details: $10 for one-day pass, $15 for weekend bracelet, available online at http://chattanooga-fc.myshopify.com/collections/matchtickets
Chattanooga FC enters the playoffs as the league’s top seed with a 9-0-1 record. Finley Stadium, which was home to the U.S. amateur soccer record for attendance at last year’s national title match, has become a fortress thanks to massive crowds and the Chattahooligans, one of the NPSL’s largest and best-known supporter groups.
Offense: CFC’s potent attack is led by veteran striker Luke Winter, who finished the regular season with six goals and one assist.
Defense: Defender Jake Young and goalkeeper Greg Hartley are the backbone of Chattanooga’s stout defense. Young made nine starts for CFC with Hartley playing in seven matches. Hartley, who is a two-time NPSL Golden Gloves winner, allowed only two goals in league play for a 0.29 GAA. Tom Halsall has filled in admirably during Hartley’s absence with an injury.
Notable Quote: “To finish the regular season without a loss against the most talented group of teams in the country is something we are incredibly proud of. Every team in the Southeast conference is good so to come out unblemished against great competition is a testimony to our players and our coaching staff.” – Sean McDaniel, Chattanooga FC General Manager
The Force faces a difficult opening match in the playoffs, but they have the talent and skill to take on the very best. They finished fourth in the ultracompetitive Southeast Conference with a 4-6-0 record.
Offense: Striker Yinka Lawal leads the way for Knoxville with five goals. The Force attack was responsible for 13 goals in the regular season, also good for fourth in the conference.
Defense: Knoxville are expecting a big game from goalkeeper Marty Baker and defenders Duncan Foster and Tim Baker. They have been the anchors of the Force defense all season long.
Notable Quote: “We have constructed a very talented group of young players this season with about 95% of them being from Knoxville. We should be a team to reckon with for years to come.” – Derrick Long, Knoxville Force General Manager