A scenario is playing out across the American soccer landscape. It’s synonymous to many of the cultural battles we’re seeing across society, and a plot worthy of place on the big screen. One where the people are pitted against capitalism. One where communities are pitted against corporations. And I unknowingly walked right into the middle of it, at the worst possible moment for those involved.

A year ago, when I started this podcast, I wanted to profile owners and GMs of teams from across the country. Thanks to my FC Dallas themed podcast, I had watched as a small NPSL team from Tennessee fought MLS side FC Dallas to a 1-1 draw in the preseason of 2018. So, I reached out.

That team is Chattanooga FC.

Little did I know that my reaching out to them coincided with them learning of the founding of a new team in Chattanooga, funded by owners outside of Tennessee, and who would be competing in a league higher in the US hierarchy than them. Not only that, but this new team had hired away the staff member I was attempting to interview.

Not surprisingly, I was asked to wait for an interview. Well, it’s been almost a year since then, and in that time Chattanooga FC has made national news for both its on-the-field and off-the-field triumphs! They’ve played international friendlies against elite teams from La Liga and Guatemala (and held their own, I might add). They’ve also run a wildly successful ownership campaign.

Recently, I was able to chat with Chattanooga FC co-founder and president, Sheldon Grizzle. What I learned from him was that despite all of the drama, the real story of Chattanooga FC is the community they’re building and the support that their community returns to them.

Music: Avicii – Fade Into Darkness (Instrumental Radio Mix)