Photo courtesy of Nashville SC
The USL’s expansion over the past three seasons has been deliberate, and at the same time rapid. That acceleration cooled somewhat in 2016, but the scene on July 1 at Nashville’s Bridgestone Arena, home of the NHL’s Nashville Predators, was definitely one to behold as Nashville SC put its plans in place to join the league for the 2018 season.
Having seen a club succeed strongly in American soccer’s amateur ranks, the DMD Soccer ownership group led by LifePoint Health President and COO David Dill, Provider Trust co-founder Chris Redhage, and Marcus Whitney, the founder and president of Jumpstart Foundry, brought professional soccer to the city on a festive afternoon. The event included both the NFC Roadies supporters group and Mayor Megan Barry among the numerous attendees.
“We couldn’t be more excited about the enthusiasm and momentum we are witnessing here in Nashville,” said USL Chief Executive Officer Alec Papadakis at the time. “We are proud to officially welcome Nashville SC to the USL and even prouder of the commitment we have seen from the ownership group, Mayor Barry, the Nashville City Council and the area’s many soccer supporters.”
The club has since gone on to make major strides as it builds a club that will be embraced by the Music City’s diverse culture, retaining a link to the past with the hiring of General Manager Chris Jones, but also pulling off a major coup with the addition of veteran soccer executive Court Jeske from Soccer United Marketing as its CEO. While there’s more than a year to go before Nashville sees its first USL action, the future appears very bright for the league’s first club in Tennessee.
Photo courtesy of Nashville SC / L-R: Owners Chris Redhage, Marcus Whitney and David Dill, USL President Jake Edwards