The Chattanooga Football Club's roster for its first season as a professional team continues to take shape ahead of next month's National Independent Soccer Association debut, with the club announcing two more additions Wednesday, both of them names familiar to CFC fans.
Speedy striker Joao Costa from Brazil returns for a third season after starting 19 of 25 games he played last year, when he scored 11 goals and had three assists. Now seventh on the all-time goals list for CFC, which debuted in 2009, he won the "golden boot" as the overall leading scorer during the National Premier Soccer League Members Cup last fall.
"I am very grateful to be part of this historic moment that CFC is going through," Costa said in a release announcing his signing. "I am very happy with my first professional contract and even happier for being with CFC, a team for which I have a lot of affection and respect."
First-year CFC head coach Peter Fuller said the team is "pleased and fortunate to have Joao returning to us" for the transition to pro competition.
Also coming back is defender Jordan Dunstan from Canada, who first played for CFC in 2014. In addition to his contributions on the back line, Dunstan had two goals and two assists last season.
Fuller, who took over as head coach in the offseason but is not new to the CFC staff, pointed out Dunstan has been around for some of the team's biggest highlights.
"It's great to have Jordan returning to us at Chattanooga FC for another season," Fuller said in the release. "He has been a part of some great teams and moments in the club's history. He brings great experience having played in the USL Championship with Nashville previously and will be counted on heavily to provide that experience leadership to our back line."
Said Dunstan: "I always said that I would have loved to play professional soccer for Chattanooga FC. Now I can as we head into Chattanooga FC's inaugural professional season. I am very excited and these are exciting times for Chattanooga as a city. I'm glad to be part of this fantastic organization and I can't wait to get to Chattanooga to start!"
CFC's website now lists six players on its roster, with Costa and Dunstan joining goalkeeper Phil D'Amico, defender Richard Dixon and midfielders Juan Hernandez and Cameron Woodfin. Those signings were previously reported by the Times Free Press.
Compiled by Marty Kirkland. Contact him at firstname.lastname@example.org or 423-757-6478.