Chattanooga Football Club to host national semifinal

Chattanooga Football Club to host national semifinal

July 22nd, 2014 by Gene Henley in Sports - Professional

CFC's Niall McCabe (14) shoots on the goal as MUFC's Andrea Grieco (3) defends during the region playoff match held at Finley Stadium on July 18. The Chattanooga Football Club won over the Miami United Football Club with a final score of 2-0.

Photo by Dan Henry/Times Free Press.

The Chattanooga Football Club wanted it, and they have received it.

The club announced Monday that the South Region champions will host seventh-ranked Sacramento Gold FC, who won the West Region in the semifinals of the National Premier Soccer League playoffs. The match is scheduled to begin at 7:30 on Saturday at Finley Stadium.

The other semifinal has top-ranked New York Red Bulls' U-23 team -- the Northeast Region champs -- hosting eighth-ranked and Midwest champs Lansing United in New York City. The NPSL championship match will be held next week at a site and time to be determined, but will most likely be held on the field of the highest-ranked club.

"We are extremely pleased to be able to host a national semifinal here in Chattanooga," said board member Tim Kelly in a press release. "The club has worked so hard to reach this round, and our fans have been so supportive, we could not be more excited to play here at home."

It will be the seventh consecutive weekend that the club has been able to play at Finley, a surface on which they haven't lost this season to a NPSL opponent.

"All of us at Finley Stadium Davenport Field are proud of the amazing job Chattanooga FC has done this year," said Paul Smith, Executive Director of the Stadium Corp, in a release. "They are a great winning organization that does a tremendous job, they create a great fan experience, attract great crowds, not to mention the amazing team they field. I am just so excited that we have them playing here at Finley."

Second-ranked CFC (12-2-2) won the South Region this past weekend with 2-0 wins over Miami United FC and Tulsa Athletics. They will be facing a Sacramento club that defeated them 3-1 in the 2010 national championship.

"We know absolutely nothing about Sacramento now, but they won the West, so they must be good," CFC coach Bill Elliott said. "There's not much we can do but research them online and do the best we can do at that."

Tickets will be $10 Saturday, both online and at the gate. CFC season passes will be honored.

"It's always a good thing to be able to host," Elliott said. "It's huge not having to travel to the West Coast like we had to two years ago; we'd much rather host and be able to play in front of our fans."

Contact Gene Henley at ghenley@timesfreepress.com or 423-757-6311. Follow him at twitter.com/genehenleytfp.