On April 21, 2012, Chattanooga FC met Carson Newman at Finley Stadium for a pre-season scrimmage, giving the Chattanooga FC players a chance to face an organized opponent for the first time this year.
Karter Smith, a newly christened defender on the Chattanooga team, played impressively, even scoring against the Eagles’ top-notch goalie. Karter walked off the pitch with the feeling that his team had revealed the level of talent that will cause other NPSL teams to struggle, but he reports there is still room for improvement: “It will be important for us to find a balance of possession, to figure out when to play more directly.” He noted that his team is still getting acclimated to their new configuration, but made the bold prediction that there would once again be a championship team in Chattanooga.
Richard Moodie, the new head coach of the Carson Newman Eagles, also saw the potential of the 2012 Chattanooga FC team. After watching a most probable Eagle goal get scooped out of the net by Russell Courtney and after noticing how systematically the Chattanooga team kept the ball out of their own backfield, Moodie confessed that “they controlled the tempo of the game and were hard to break down.” But he was most impressed with how quickly the newly constructed team has gelled: “It looks as if they have practicing together for a while.”
In addition to new payers, like Karter, who made their presence known, old crowd favorites, like Russell Courtney, played remarkably well: Ivan Heredia brought the solid basics; Michael Brooks brought the flashy tactics; and Thomas Hunter brought his ability to shut down the best of offensive strikes.
Moodie predicts that the Chattanooga fans will be pleased with their 2012 team: “Based on what I’ve seen today, it’s going to be an exciting year for Chattanooga FC.”
The excitement starts on May 5. For more information click here.