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Chattanooga FC Falls to Birmingham Legion in Penultimate Preseason Test

March 2, 2024 - MLS NEXT Pro (MLS NEXT Pro)
Chattanooga FC News Release

Chattanooga Football Club fell to USL Championship side Birmingham Legion 3-0 in a preseason test at Finley Stadium.

Chattanooga FC were defeated by USL Championship side Birmingham Legion 3-0 in the club's penultimate preseason match before the 2024 MLS NEXT Pro season starts in earnest.

Birmingham opened the scoring in the 18th minute through Tabort Etaka Preston, whose long-range effort from the right wing flew fortuitously over Jonathan Burke and into the top corner.

Tyler Pasher doubled Birmingham's lead eight minutes later when he converted from the penalty spot after Mohamed

Buya Turay was brought down in the area.

Turay scored his second of the afternoon shortly after the half-time break when he slotted in a cross with his first touch from close range.

Chattanooga FC created a handful of chances late in the second half but were ultimately unable to find the back of the net.

CFC will prepare for their final preseason test against UPSL side Tennessee Tempo next Saturday, March 9th at 3:00 p.m. in a closed-door friendly.

Coach's Corner

Head Coach and Sporting Director Rod Underwood gave his post-match reaction following the preseason defeat.

"It was exactly what we wanted: good competition," said Underwood. "I have a lot of respect for Birmingham and the coaching staff. They came in organized, with a desire and a way to play.

"I thought we did a good job in the first 20 minutes or so, and then something went away, but that's part of being a new team and meshing. We still have a few trialists here. No excuses, right? But that's a game we needed to experience."

There were positives to take from portions of the match to give Underwood and the coaching staff optimism heading into the final two weeks of preseason.

"In the first 20 minutes we had the ball, which we always want. We tried to play our way and we did. We created a good chance with Luis [Garcia Sosa]. Jesus [Ibarra] was really active. Late in the second half, Darwin [Ortiz] came in and had some nice combinations. Some of the trialists showed us some things we want to keep looking at. It's a game we needed. We never want that result, but it's a game we needed in preseason.

"I told the guys to stay focused, stay the course, stay prepared. We will work hard. We have two weeks to really fine-tune some things. These next two weeks are really important because we want to work on the team component."

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