L-R: John Prutch, Jean Antoine, Rod Underwood, Markus Naglestad, Davis Grizzard
The Commissioner for the National Independent Soccer Association only had to make one stop to present the league’s top awards for the 2022 season.
Chattanooga Football Club’s Markus Naglestad earned the Golden Boot for most goals scored as well as the Golden Ball, an award that honors the most valuable player for the season. CFC Men’s Head Coach Rod Underwood earned Coach of the Year honors as well. CFC Goalkeeper Jean Antoine earned the Golden Glove award for his standout season with Cal United in 2022. Antoine joined CFC for the 2023 season.
NISA Commissioner John Prutch visited Chattanooga to present these awards to Underwood, Naglestad, and Antoine just before the Chattanooga FC vs Flower City Union match at Finley Stadium Saturday, April 22.
"It was an exciting season that produced many electric performances," said Prutch. "It's the players and coaches at the heart of the league and its growth."
Naglestad played in 23 league games last season and scored 19 goals, the most in a single season for any player in CFC history. He also scored at least one goal against every team in NISA.
“Winning the Golden Boot is every striker’s dream so achieving it means a lot,” said Naglestad.
Jean Antoine was nothing short of a brick wall last season. As the starting keeper for Cal United, he played 16 games and kept opponents scoreless in 12 of them. Allowing just five goals all season, he posted a miniscule .31 goals per game average.
“I’m thankful for the honor… but at the end of the day I’m playing a team sport. It’s not about me, it’s about the team. About the players,” says Antoine.
Coach Rod Underwood led CFC to a season record of 14-7-3 in his first year at the club. Under his direction, the club led the league in goals scored (44), pass completion (85 percent) and average possession (59 percent), tied for most wins (14), tied for fewest losses (3), and secured the no. 2 seed in the playoffs, earning a Quarterfinal bye and Hamilton County’s first pro soccer Semifinal berth at home.
"The award shows the support of my family, the coaching staff, the players, the club and the fans' support," said Underwood.
"Everyone has a part of the award. As a coach I never work to get recognized. But to be recognized and have your work appreciated drives me to be even better because of all the quality coaching in the league."
The Golden Boot is a statistical award for most goals in a season. The Golden Ball MVP Award, Golden Glove, and Coach of the Year Awards are voted on by coaching staffs around the league.
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.