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Preview: A New Era Begins for Chattanooga FC

March 15, 2024 - MLS NEXT Pro (MLS NEXT Pro)
Chattanooga FC News Release

Chattanooga FC hosts Huntsville City FC on Saturday, March 16th at 3:00 p.m. ET in the club's first-ever match competing in MLS NEXT Pro.

Chattanooga Football Club is ready for launch.

The Boys in Blue welcome Huntsville City FC to Finley Stadium in a highly-anticipated Southeast Division Eastern Conference match, which will be the first of three encounters between the clubs during the 2024 MLS NEXT Pro season.

Huntsville City will host the other two matches on April 20th and August 10th.

It's been a busy week on and off the field for CFC, with two new signings completed in former Ghana youth international Jude Arthur and former Orlando City and New York Red Bulls forward Carlos Rivas.

Sporting Director and Head Coach Rod Underwood and his coaching staff have been busy implementing the style of play and tactical principles throughout the 2024 preseason.

"We played Huntsville City in a friendly last year and got to see them play during preseason a month ago," said Underwood. "But we're expecting a lot of changes from there. I think they will try to keep the ball a bit but also be direct, too.

"The goal is always to win everything, but the goal is also to make sure we build for the long term."

One newcomer to the team is English midfielder Callum Watson, who signed with CFC after spending 2023 with Canadian Premier League side Halifax Wanderers. The Essex-born midfielder is looking forward to being part of a new era with his new club.

"There's a real excitement around the place," said Watson. "There's been a suspense as well because we obviously want to start strong and win a game that really, truly means something. Training's been really positive and everyone's anxious to get going for Saturday.

"From the film we've studied we know Huntsville are a good side. They will be a more experienced side than some teams we expect to go up against this season. They have some really good individual talent, some good wide players that can definitely cause trouble. But we don't have to focus on them too much, because we will focus on ourselves and what we will bring to the table and make them adapt to us."

Three points is always the objective but from Watson's perspective there's a bigger picture objective as well.

"We want to show our identity and begin to show what we're looking to do for the rest of the season. That means getting the ball down, playing our style, which is possession with a purpose. It's not just going to be pretty, pretty football, it's going to be pretty with a purpose. We are going to get after teams, press high and be on the front foot and play the game with the ball in the opposition's half."

Match info

Tickets: Fans can purchase match tickets here.


JC Griggs

Head Referee

Christian Little

Assistant Referee 1

Andrew Charron

Assistant Referee 2

Promise Adebayo-Ige

4th Official

Broadcast: The match will be broadcast on Apple TV MLS Season Pass

Audio stream: Fans can enjoy play-by-play audio of the match here.

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MLS NEXT Pro Stories from March 15, 2024

The opinions expressed in this release are those of the organization issuing it, and do not necessarily reflect the thoughts or opinions of OurSports Central or its staff.

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