Ian McGrath has yet to play a match in front of a lively Finley Stadium, but the young midfielder/striker is already feeling the love around town in his first season with the Chattanooga Football Club.

Fans hope to be able to file into Finley to watch the NISA Independent Cup championship game on Aug. 1, when CFC will try to win what it hopes will be the first of many trophies as a professional team. CFC defended its home turf well against a Georgia opponent for a second straight weekend in the four-team event, beating Savannah Clovers FC 3-0 Saturday night minus fans in the stands due to the coronavirus pandemic.

CFC returns to competition next Saturday at 6 p.m. against Soda City FC in Columbia, South Carolina. That will complete round-robin play, and Finley will host both the third-place match and the title contest the following weekend. Soda City, a 2-1 winner against Savannah on July 11, is second in the standings after playing Georgia Revolution FC to a 2-2 draw earlier Saturday evening.

We want to win the cup, and I think by doing that it will get us flying for the rest of the year in the NISA summer and fall seasons,” said McGrath, who turned 24 on Friday. “We have a great group of guys here who have different levels of experience and skill sets. I am excited to be here with a club that has such a tremendous support system. The support from the community, team and staff is unreal and really special.”

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