Who: Chattanooga FC vs. CF Monterrey
Where: Finley Stadium
When: Tonight at 7
The Chattanooga Football Club wants to put on a very good show tonight when it hosts a highly talented Under-20 squad from one of the top clubs in the Mexican Premier division, Club de Futbol Monterrey.
Chattanooga FC opened its 2010 season by beating the U-23 team from F.C. Atlas, of Guadalajara, Mexico, in front a crowd of 6,317 at Finley Stadium. Monterrey is expected to be a higher-caliber squad, with several players that will suit up for Mexico’s U-20 national team.
The challenge for Chattanooga FC in this late-season friendly comes from the fact that it is in the midst of trying to capture a second straight National Premier Soccer League Southeast Conference championship.
“I think we’ll definitely put on a good event for the fans and of course it’s important to always be competitive,” CFC general manager Sean McDaniel said. “But we’ve got to find that right balance to play well against Monterrey, but also keep our guys healthy and fit.”
Last Saturday, CFC (5-1-2) tied the Georgia Revolution 1-1, adding a point to its league-leading total of 17. With two conference games remaining, including Saturday against the Revolution, CFC has a 3-point lead in the standings.
A win over the Revolution will clinch the title for CFC.
Because tonight’s game is an exhibition, both teams will be allowed unlimited substitutions, which should spare CFC’s starters’ legs a bit. For CFC, coach Brian Crossman said, that means getting playing time for 18 field players and two goalkeepers.
“We’re still trying to establish our depth at the end of the bench [in NPSL games], so we probably have eight or nine guys battling for four spots for Saturday’s game,” Crossman said. “[Against Monterrey] we want to get some guys some playing time so we can see who’s doing it out there against really top-notch competition.”
Monterrey, which is touring the United States, played the Knoxville Force on Sunday and tied 2-2.
Chattanooga Sports Ministries will have collection bins set up in the stadium so fans can donate equipment (balls, cleats, etc.) to be used in its inner-city summer league.
John Frierson is in his seventh year at the Times Free Press and seventh year covering University of Tennessee at Chattanooga athletics. The bulk of his time is spent covering Mocs football, but he also writes about women’s basketball and the big-picture issues and news involving the athletic department. A native of Athens, Ga., John grew up a few hundred yards from the University of Georgia campus. Instead of becoming a Bulldog he attended Ole ...