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Media coverage shines light on Chattanooga FC success

By, 01/29/23, 11:15AM EST


Press conference after CFC and Atlanta United draw 3-3

Chattanooga Times Free Press

Chattanooga FC impresses in draw with Major League Soccer’s Atlanta United

Damian Rodriguez experienced something completely different than he is used to at Finley Stadium on Saturday afternoon.

The 20-year-old former Dalton High School soccer superstar was a decisive factor in a stunning 3-3 draw for the Chattanooga Football Club in a preseason match against Major League Soccer's Atlanta United FC.

In the 44th minute, he set up the equalizer and final goal of the exhibition, faking out defenders on the right sideline and speeding into the box, where he sent a pass through the legs of an incoming slide tackler to Alex McGrath for the score from close in.



Luiz Araujo scores 2 as Atlanta United plays Chattanooga to draw

There were no injuries and a lot of goals, and there will be a lot of work to do for Atlanta United after it opened its 2023 preseason with a 3-3 draw in a friendly at Chattanooga on Saturday.

Wearing black arm bands to honor former teammate Anton Walkes, who was killed last week in a boating accident in South Florida, Atlanta United’s offense was led by Luiz Araujo, who scored two goals in the first half. Machop Chol scored the other. They were offset by three goals scored by Chattanooga, all in the first half against Atlanta United’s first-teamers, none particularly well-defended. The announced attendance was 7,513 at Finley Stadium.

We were working specifically on the defensive side of things, and we didn’t show well,” Atlanta United manager Gonzalo Pineda said. “So obviously, we will correct that. We talked about that already in the locker room. But there were some multiple good things.”



Chattanooga FC shines in 3-3 draw against Atlanta United

To Paraphrase Chattanooga FC head coach Rod Underwood, Atlanta should dominate, should win, and should look good doing it.

But Chattanooga FC made sure that wasn’t the case.  which Underwood had something to do with it.

Over 7,000 fans attended to see both teams score 3 goals each in the first half and the game ended in a 3-3 draw with Markus Naglestad scoring two.



CFC and Atlanta United each score three goals in the first 45 minutes of play, as the teams finish in a draw in their preseason friendly.

7500 fans were on hand at Fort Finley for Chattanooga FC and Atlanta United FC's third-ever meeting.

It was an offensive explosion in the first half. CFC's Markus Naglestad gave the Boys in Blue a 1-0 lead seven minutes in. Atlanta United's Luiz Araujo tied the match five minutes later.

Machop Chol put Atlanta in front in the 20th minute, but Markus Nagelstad had the equalizer eight minutes later.

Atlanta United, once again, went in front with Luiz Araujo's second goal of the day. Right before the break, Alex McGrath tied the match at 3.



Chattanooga FC, Atlanta United Play to 3-3 Draw

Scarves of light blue and jerseys of dark red spewed through the gates of Finley Stadium as Chattanooga’s Southside became a hub for southeastern soccer enthusiasts on sunny Saturday afternoon. An excitement-filled first half provided all of the offense in this one, and the game ended in a 3-3 draw.

Frigid weather subsiding just in time for the weekend friendly allowed fans to cram themselves into the stands where they were met by spirited chants and the impassioned banging of drums that created prototypical soccer hullabaloo which rebounded from the pitch, echoing through signal and lookout mountain, and leaving metropolitan Chattanooga in a frenzy all afternoon.

“That’s what a football town needs to be,” said Chattanooga head coach Rod Underwood. “Hopefully that continues to grow because it’s so important that you have that feel,” said Underwood.


About Chattanooga Football Club
Chattanooga Football Club was founded in 2009. The CFC Men's team competes in the National Independent Soccer Association (NISA), which is in the third division of professional soccer. The CFC Women's team is a summer amateur team that competes in the Women's Premier Soccer League (WPSL). Chattanooga Football Club became the first soccer club to offer true ownership to the fans in 2019 with 3,200+ investors from Chattanooga, all 50 states, and 31 countries. CFC plays all home games in Finley Stadium in Chattanooga.