Chattanooga Football Club announces opening dates for first professional season with more player signings ahead

Chattanooga FC forward Joao Costa reacts to a play during the NPSL Southeast Conference final against the Atlanta Silverbacks in July 2018 at Finley Stadium. CFC has moved to the new NISA this year for its debut professional season. / Staff photo by C.B. Schmelter

The Chattanooga Football Club will make its National Independent Soccer Association debut next month in California, then play its 2020 home opener in March.

The 12th-year club, which is preparing for its first professional season, announced the first two dates of its upcoming schedule Thursday.

CFC will visit the Oakland Roots for an 8:10 p.m. Eastern match on Feb. 29, then face the Michigan Stars at 3 p.m. on March 14 at Finley Stadium, with each date a Saturday.

CFC played Michigan twice last fall in the National Premier Soccer League Members Cup event, with the teams tying 1-1 at Finley and CFC winning 4-1 in Pontiac.

Richard Dixon, who played for the Chattanooga Red Wolves of USL League One in their debut season last year, is the only player signing CFC has announced for its 2020 roster. CFC expects to announce two to four more signees within the next week.

photo Richard Dixon goes up for a header while warming up for a Chattanooga Red Wolves practice in February 2019. The former Red Wolves defender was the first player signed by the Chattanooga Football Club for its 2020 roster. / Staff photo by C.B. Schmelter

"We have been spending a lot of time since October with exit meetings, looking at possible new players coming in and traveling all over to look at them, too," CFC coach Peter Fuller told the Times Free Press on Thursday. "We are seeing the light at the end of the tunnel.

"We had 18 foreign guys on our roster last year, and now this new league only allows seven. It's been a lot of bad news for guys who we have a world of respect for. Now it's like going into an expansion team and starting all over again. It's nice to have a schedule out now and see where we will be going. We are excited."

Fuller is entering his first season as CFC's full-time head coach after leading the team for several matches last season as the team's associate head coach. That move was announced last month, along with former head coach Bill Elliott taking over as the club's technical director.

In November, Jeremy Alumbaugh took over as the club's general manager.

"We couldn't be happier to get the season underway," Alumbaugh said in a release announcing the matches. "Our team has worked tirelessly this offseason to provide our fans and players a best-in-class experience, and I'm looking forward to seeing us in action."

According to the release, the NISA will release its full schedule later this month. Annual passes and group hospitality packages for CFC matches are available for purchase at, and single-game tickets will go on sale Feb. 24.

Contact Patrick MacCoon at Follow him on Twitter @PMacCoon.