On April 28, 2012, Chattanooga FC took on Nashville Metros in a scrimmage at Finley Stadium. Even though it was the first time that the majority of the rostered team has been able to play together, Chattanooga FC proved to be a formidable foe with a dedicated fan base.
Matt Hudnut, a.k.a the Wolfman, was pleased with his team’s effort: “The level of communication was good for the first time we were able to play as a team.” And he is extremely proud of his new fans: “The Chattahooligans provided a good start to the season. It is encouraging to have such enthusiastic fans who truly enjoy the game and the team as much as they do.” The Wolfman was welcomed onto the field with an uproar of howls from the Chattahooligans, who were not disappointed when he played impressively and hit the net.
Chattanooga hit the net often. The scrimmage, which ended 6 - 2, included goals from John Carrier and Carl Reynolds, assists from Moises Drumond, steals from Fynn Glover, and tackles from Andy Stewart. The goalies were an impressive lot, even when playing for the Metros. Thomas Hunter and “Greggaa” Hartley learned just how loyal the Chattahooligans are, as they enjoyed the super fans’ cheers when playing for Chattanooga and derision when playing for Nashville.
Nashville’s new head coach Brent Goulet, who has played for the U.S. Men’s National Team, was impressed with the Chattanooga squad and the Chattahooligans. “I wish that every team in America could have fans like that, starting with Nashville. They were not only supportive; they were very entertaining with their chants.” As far as the team was concerned, Goulet found them remarkable, especially for the pre-season: “You could see that CFC had some continuity with their players. They have a good player pool to choose from because they’ve built that up over the years.” Goulet felt Chattanooga FC would do well this season because of their deep pool of talent and good coaching; he even hinted at returning to Chattanooga to watch a regular season game.
Bill Elliott, head coach of Chattanooga FC, also felt the Chattanooga squad has a promising regular season ahead of them: “We have several strong individuals now, including at least two good keepers.” But he felt the team could benefit from better fitness and on-field coordination. Additionally, Bill remarked that the Metros scrimmage helped him to “evaluate most of the local players” but did not necessarily prepare the team for the high level of play they will be facing this season, such as the level of competition that will be afforded by rival Knoxville Force during the season opener.
The season opens on May 5, when Chattanooga FC takes on Knoxville Force at Finley.