Just a few years ago, Mt. Juliet’s Chris Jones sent out a tweet asking would anybody be interested in starting a soccer club in Nashville.
Jones got the idea from a YouTube video, which showed Manchester United fans pulling their money together and starting their own team. They were tired of the high ticket prices from the prestigious English Premier League team.
Nashville had the Metros for many years, but they ceased operations a few years back. Jones had dreams of getting soccer back to the Music City, and hopefully growing it into what one day might become a Major League Soccer team.
The problem is where do you start. How do you know how to start a soccer club?
“You don’t” joked Jones.
After the tweet was sent out, several people responded that they were interested too. After a few meetings, the group hammered out what they wanted to do, bought up a website domain, started selling yearly memberships to Nashville FC, and within a week, memberships started rolling in.
“I said to myself, this is crazy,” said Jones.
Jones said people didn’t know anything about him, but they were willing to hand over their money to help fund and run the organization. The passion and want for a soccer club in Nashville was there.
“It just snowballed from there,” said Jones.
By the end of the first year, Nashville FC had over 800 members. They played their games their first year in Vanderbilt University’s soccer complex, but they have taken a big step into their second year. They will now be playing their games at Vanderbilt University’s football stadium.
Nashville FC is a member of the NPSL, which is the fourth tier of United States soccer with MLS at the top, followed by NASL and USL. Another league, the PDL, is also considered fourth tier.
Nashville FC plays in the Southeast Conference of the NPSL. They battle against the New Orleans Jesters, Knoxville Force, Georgia Revolution, Chattanooga FC, and the Atlanta Silverbacks Reserves. Nashville FC will play a 14-game season starting May 9.
The team is made up of players from all over the world. Most have a tie to Nashville in some way, whether they played their college ball here in middle Tennessee, or some are still playing.
Jones big hope is to one day bring MLS to the Music City, but he thinks a reasonable goal at this time would be take Nashville FC to the USL. There are several different things a FC has to do to reach that level, one of them being finding a person who has a $20 million net worth that owns 35 percent of the team.
Jones is still very much ingrained in Wilson County, as he brings the Nashville FC Youth Camps to Wilson County. They are held at the Wilson United fields in Lebanon.
If you want to become a member of Nashville FC, there are a few options to choose from. If you are a Tennessee resident, you can pay either $75 or $150. At $75, you get season tickets, a vote in major club decisions, car decal and lapel pin. At $150, you get those things, plus a jersey, a book and more. To find out more information, check out www.nashvillefc.net.