Professional soccer returns to the Scenic City this month as NISA announces the Independent Cup, a tournament bringing together clubs from NISA and established amateur leagues in a regional format together to play in a round robin tournament starting Saturday, July 11th. The teams with the best record will be seeded in a playoff format, with the finals taking place on August 1st. The clubs have been in frequent discussions to plan the return to play as safely as possible.
“We couldn’t be happier to get our guys back on the pitch, but it is imperative that we take every precaution to ensure the health and safety of every player, coach, and staff member” said Jeremy Alumbaugh, Managing Director, Chattanooga FC. “Discussions are ongoing to determine what potential limited attendance scenarios may look like at Finley, and we are appreciative of the support we continue to receive during this pandemic. We are confident in our ability to host matches in a safe manner with reduced capacity and will continue to finalize those plans with local officials.The Independent Cup will be a tremendous pre-season type of event as our full focus is on beginning the NISA 2020-21 season in August.”
The players have been practicing in small groups for the last few weeks, and will begin contact practice next week. Having a definitive match list for which to prepare gives the team an added spring in their step.
“I would echo Jeremy’s sentiments about getting back on the field” said Peter Fuller, Head Coach, Chattanooga FC. “We are excited to be back training and looking forward to the Independent Cup. Obviously, we are concerned about everyone’s health: players, coaches, staff members, and our great supporters. We hope everything goes as planned and we are able to get back on the field on the 11th against Georgia Revolution. They beat us here during the NPSL season last year so it will be great to have another crack at them during this cup competition.”
The schedule for the Independent Cup will be as follows:
CFC vs Georgia Revolution 8:00pm (Finley Stadium)
Soda City at Savannah Clovers
Soda City vs Georgia Revolution 5:00pm
CFC vs Savannah Clovers 8:00pm (Finley Stadium)
Georgia Revolution vs Savannah Clovers 3:00pm
CFC vs Soda City 6:00pm (Columbia, SC)
Aug 1 (Finley Stadium)
3rd Place Game 5:00pm
1st Place Game 8:00pm
It is confirmed that the matches on July 11th and July 18th will be held without fans in the stadium. Plans for fan attendance on July 25th and August 1st will be announced at a later date as details are finalized.