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Jul 092013

What’s a soccer fan in Nashville, Tennessee to do after their local team folds?

Chris Jones, Robby Johnston, and many other Nashville-based supporters of the beautiful game found themselves asking that question after the Nashville Metros ceased operations in 2012. The Metros had been founded back in 1989 and could be found playing in the United Soccer League’s (USL) Premier Development League before ceasing to exist after their 2012 season.

Chris Jones, however, was dreaming of a 100 percent supporter owned club in Nashville as early as 2008. It was only after the Metros folded that Jones started having serious discussions with Johnston (and many others) about actually organizing such a club. Jones doesn’t have an official title yet, but he has taken up a lot of the day-to-day duties for Nashville FC. He operates the club’s website and social media and is actively trying to help the team establish itself within the greater Nashville community first and foremost.

“Our first goal was to establish a close relationship with the community, youth programs, & charities. We feel we have laid a solid foundation with some local soccer associations, both adult and youth, along with partnerships with Autism Speaks & Autism Society of Middle Tenn to provide soccer camps with those children with Autism.”, said Jones.

Despite the amount of work he puts in, you’ll always find Jones, who also runs a sports-themed website called Has Been Sports, using the word “we” quite a bit. He and the other founding members are quite serious about their intentions of turning Nashville FC into a 100 percent supporter owned, semi-professional soccer team. He has looked to other similarly organized sports teams for inspiration and advice.

“We have been in contact with multiple teams/clubs with supporter group founding such as FC United of Manchester, Darlington FC, Sons of Ben (Philadelphia Union Supporters group), Memphis RedBirds (Triple A baseball team) and even Birmingham Hammers an upstart like ourselves (minus supporter ownership).”

FC United of Manchester is a semi-professional team that was created by Manchester United supporters who are more than displeased with the way the Glazer family took over the club in 2005. Darlington FC, now known as Darlington 1883, was dissolved in 2012 after they bankrupted themselves trying to fund a new arena in 2003. Out of the ashes rose Darlington 1883, whose ownership breakdown is 52% Darlington Football Club Community Interest Company (DFCCIC), who represent around 800 fan-members, 15% Darlington 1883 Supporter’s Club, and 33% from 28 individual fans. These two teams in particular represent exactly what Nashville FC is trying to accomplish.

The team has only been organized for about two months, so Jones declined to mention the exact number of members at this time but says it is “strong” given the short time frame. A visit to will show that there are two options available for anyone interested in helping create the team. A basic “Member” will receive a vote on all major decisions for the club as well as a free Nashville FC supporters t-shirt. Those who wish to be considered a “Founder” receive a vote as well as free admission to all regular season home games and a very limited edition Nashville FC founders scarf. Only 150 of those scarves have been produced.

Although the club has “existed” for such a short amount of time, Jones and the other founding members have already made significant strides to help grow their visibility in the community. According to Jones, the club has already reached an agreement with “an international brand for soccer uniforms” and they are currently “in talks with some possible local corporate sponsors and once those are made official, things will pick up speed quickly”.

As far as on the field concerns go, Jones says, “It will be a mix of invites, tryouts, etc. We have already had numerous requests sent in for both player and coach positions, so that is promising.”

He also mentioned that there are several playing venues interested, each with its own pros and cons, but more information is still being gathered on that front. The same holds true when it comes to finding a league to play in, although he seems pretty sure it will come to down either the National Premier Soccer League (NPSL) or the USL Premier Development League (PDL) that was home to the Metros. The NPSL is very much a geographically organized league with over 50 teams broken up into four regions: Northeast, South, Midwest, and West. This allows teams to play regular season games against the teams closest to them, thus cutting down heavily on travel costs. The USL PDL has a bit more prestige as it houses the U-23 squads for several Major League Soccer (MLS) teams and USL Pro’s Orlando City. USL PDL teams have also had some success in recent US Open Cup tournaments.

Debating which league to join ultimately brings up the fact that the United States Soccer Federation does not currently use the concepts of promotion and relegation between its various levels of play from MLS at the top all the way down to the NPSL and USL PDL. Jones says he would love to see it instituted one day down the road.

“Personally, I would love to see it. I think the recent success of the upper tiers (North American Soccer League & USL Pro) against the MLS make a strong case for it. However, you are going to be hard pressed to find a MLS owner/ownership group willing to concede the possibility of not playing in the top US league. These men and women are about the business and to be relegated is to lose money and sponsorships.”, he says.

While it certainly sounds appealing, immediate promotion may not necessarily be the best thing for a club like Nashville FC ; or even clubs more established than them for that matter.

“It’s not without reason to have a scenario under promotion/relegation where a team in the NASL or USL Pro has a tremendous year, wins a ton of games, but also has weak financial owners relative to those in MLS right now. Having said that, until we do have a promotion/relegation system in place, I don’t think we can say soccer in the US has arrived.”

Jones’s first concern, however, is to get Nashville FC off the ground regardless of where they play and start putting Middle Tennessee soccer on the map. He feels the best way to do that is to simply let the supporters themselves run the team and vote on all major decisions.

“We will have a supporter elected board that will gather and present pressing topics for vote. By doing it this way, we do not rely upon a majority owner and always have a large passionate group that not only wants to grow the club but, the Nashville & Middle Tennessee soccer community.”

His enthusiasm for the cause is absolutely infectious and if his vision comes to fruition, Nashville soccer supporters will have pulled off a truly historic accomplishment that will earn a place in the annals of US soccer history.

If you’d like more information about how to become a member or simply donate to the club, you can visit


Jul 062013

Yes every CONCACAF Gold Cup since 2005 has pitted Mexico v USA but for the likes of Martinique and Belize this is as good as it gets. So, lets look at the possibilities.

Group A has heavy weight Mexico, good Panama, a YOUNG Canada, and surprise Martinique. Mexico better roll in every game as their manager is sitting on a really hot seat at the moment. Canada is in search of direction so they are playing an extremely young squad. Panama is still in the race for the World Cup but need to find some more depth for further success. Martinique is happy to be here and willing to upset the apple cart if they can, remember Cape Verde in the African Cup of Nations? Winners: Mexico, Runner-up: Panama, 3rd and possibly in quarterfinals: Canada, Last: Martinique

Group B is the best of the three with El Salvador, Haiti, Honduras, and Trinidad and Tobago. For Honduras the focus is building more depth for a side  that could seriously make the World Cup. Haiti sees themselves as being able to take the mantle of best in the Caribbean from Jamaica, who didn’t make the Gold Cup, and will see this side as one who will be ready to make a push and develop over the next few years. El Salvador is kicking themselves for not making the hexagonal but with a very young side will look for the future to build on. Trinidad and Tobago made the hexagonal in qualification for 2010 but missed a generation so are having to rebuild and will look to this tournament for assisting in that. Winners: El Salvador, Runner-up: Honduras, 3rd and possibly in quarterfinals: Haiti, Last: Trinidad and Tobago.

Group C is like A with a heavy weight in the USA, a newcomer in Belize, with Costa Rica looking for qualifying depth, and Cuba just looking for something. Cuba is a weird one. They do well at making youth tournaments for a county that is very much baseball and boxing first. They always seem to have a player defect during the tournament but are one of the best in the Caribbean. Whenever Communism falls on this island and helps develop soccer they could become formidable indeed. This is just a looking for depth USA team that has a lot of players who have been out of the loop, play in smaller leagues, or just have had recent bad luck. Enough said. Belize is making their first major tournament as they did so and caused Guatemala to miss out. Costa Rica is looking for more players to help in qualification. With the hex as it usually is that leaves few places in Brazil outside the USA and Mexico. Winners: USA, Runner-up: Costa Rica, 3rd and possibly in quarterfinals: Cuba, Last: Belize

Best Group Stage Match: Honduras v El Salvador, as much history as the football itself. In 1969, after a World Cup qualifier playoff game that was won by El Salvador and had massive violence surrounding the previous two matches that the playoff was played in Mexico City.

Quarterfinal matchups:

Panama v Honduras: Each team will need this for the same reasons, to find more depth for their ongoing World Cup qualifying campaign. Honduras seems to have more talent but Panama the better squad cohesion. Going with Honduras in a talent comes through.

Mexico v Haiti: Should Haiti make a massive upset there would be riots all over Mexico and a certain few head will roll and be on spikes or worse. But honestly the talent is so vast in diversity that it would be farcical to say Haiti would win. Mexico through.

United States v Canada: In hockey this would be a different story but this is soccer. Since 1986 the fortunes of Canada and USA have gone in opposite directions. Canada will be happy with their quarterfinal appearance but no shot against the US unless this was played in Montreal, Vancouver, Toronto, or Edmonton. USA through.

Costa Rica v El Salvador: This is a fun one. Costa Rica is looking to find more depth while El Salvador is trying to usher in a new generation. The distinct advantage El Salvador will have will be they could fill M&T Bank Stadium and make the 12 man felt. Need an upset somewhere. El Salvador through


Mexico v Honduras: Mexico has the better talent but if they don’t make the final it is because Honduras finds it in them to replicate what they did against Mexico early in the year and possibly one better, a 2-2 draw in Honduras. Common wisdom says Mexico will find a way to get a winner but this will be the most nerve racking of the semifinals. Mexico through.

USA v Costa Rica: the United States will see this as just another step in asserting their dominance of the region as they pry it away from Mexico. Costa Rica will give them all they can handle but it will be more of the same from the group stage match. USA through.

Finals: The big two will go at it again and depending on what comes from an all Liga MX side and the pressure their coach is under will mean what kind of opposition the US will face. The States gained so much confidence from winning at Azteca last August and the draw in March. Mexico has totally lost the mojo they had coming away from the Olympics. As feisty as this usually is the relatively inexperienced Mexican side will have difficulties dealing with the enormous pressure. USA as Champions

Jun 302013

My original intention was to watch the Columbus Crew Academy teams and see what the future looked like for my favorite team. It’s not often any Columbus Crew team is in my neck of the woods and I couldn’t help but take some time after work to come up to the beautiful complex that sits adjacent to FC Dallas Stadium.

I arrived midway through the first half of a game between the Crew’s U-15/16 academy team and IMG Academy. Both teams seemed to have a good understanding of what to do tactically, but I couldn’t help but wonder if their technical abilities left more to be desired. Regardless, Columbus wound up winning 3-1.

After that game I wandered around the complex checking out some of the other games in action. I was drawn to a game between the U-15/16 academy teams from San Jose Earthquakes and Montreal Impact. The first thing that struck me was that the entire Montreal coaching staff spoke French. Obviously Montreal remains heavily influenced by its French roots to this day, but I was still a little bit surprised that their academy team wouldn’t use any English. This team also happened to be the most diverse team I encountered. I saw a number of kids from a variety of ethnic backgrounds. As for the game, both teams seemed a lot more bold in terms of taking chances going forward. Forwards made diagonal runs through the box and wide players tried to take their defenders one-on-one. It was very encouraging to see, even if one team doesn’t actually represent the United States.

Then it was time for the Crew’s U-17/18 academy team to square off against the hosts (and defending National Champions) from FC Dallas. Columbus spent the majority of their warm up period stretching out, while Dallas stretched momentarily before breaking out into small sided scrimmages in tight spaces for the majority of the buildup to the match. I didn’t stay for the whole thing, but Columbus wound up scoring and hanging on to win 1-0.

And although I didn’t see them in action, the Crew’s Michigan Wolves U-15/16 academy team wound up winning their group.

A few other quick observations…

-It seemed like every single American college in the country was present; from the University of Michigan down to tiny Denison University from Granville, Ohio.

-Paris-Saint Germain, who have recently taken to spending like world beaters, had their Chicago Magic academy teams competing.

-There appeared to be (in my humble opinion) a distinct difference in the flow of the games that were played on turf and those that were played on grass.

-The participating teams’ coaches were able to attend a futsal presentation from the head coach of the US’s National Futsal Team.


Jun 272013

As always, these deals have been confirmed by multiple outlets…

Carlos Tevez

The controversial Argentine striker has completed a three year move from Manchester City to Juventus. Much to the chagrin of some, he will wear the No.10 starting next season.


The Spanish U-21 international midfielder has sealed a five year move from cash-strapped Malaga to Real Madrid. Madrid are battling speculation that Cristiano Ronaldo could depart while Malaga have been hit with a European competition ban for their financial woes.

Andrei Arshavin

The Russian winger has completed a two year move from Arsenal to his hometown club of Zenit Saint Petersburg after a tumultuous spell in London.

Andre Schurrle

And speaking of London, Chelsea have signed German winger Andre Schurrle to a five year deal from Bayer Leverkusen of the Bundesliga.

Andy Carroll

The English international forward departs Liverpool after a big money move from Newcastle and joins West Ham United for a new six year deal. Carroll spent the entire 2012-13 season on loan with the Hammers.

Iago Aspas

Liverpool have made several moves this week, starting with the signing of Celta Vigo striker Iago Aspas for a reported £7.7 million ($11.75 million) transfer fee.

Luis Alberto

The Reds also purchased Sevilla forward Luis Alberto, who is capable of playing anywhere across the front three of Brendan Rodgers’ preferred 4-3-3. Alberto, who spent last season on loan with Barcelona’s B team, cost Liverpool a reported £6 million ($9.1 million) transfer fee.

Simon Mignolet

Liverpool’s third and final signing this week came in the form of Belgian goalkeeper Simon Mignolet. He arrives at Anfield from Sunderland amid speculation as to whether or not current Liverpool No.1 Pepe Reina is departing England this summer.

Dries Mertens

Speaking of Belgium, Dries Mertens has completed a move from PSV Eindhoven in the Netherlands to Napoli in Italy’s Serie A where he signs a five year deal.

Giulio Donati

The Inter Milan right back has sealed a move to Bayer Leverkusen and signed a four year deal with the German club.

Royston Drenthe

The 26 year old Dutch winger, who spent this past season on loan with Everton, has seen his contract expire and will join recently relegated Reading on a free move. He signs a two year deal.

Leonardo Bittencourt

The 19 year old midfielder departs Borussia Dortmund after just one season and will join Hannover 96.

Sead Kolasinac

The German U-21 international and Schalke youth product will remain with Schalke after signing a four year deal with the senior team.


Jun 222013

The 36 program from NBC Sports Network now features Sporting KC as they look at the defenders Matt Besler and Aurelian Collin.

Proper credit to what Sporting has done in developing into the blueprint of how to build a club. Being there at the Community America Ballpark years the transformation has been epic.

MLS 36 with Sporting KC

Jun 172013

Remember when Robert Lewandowski to Bayern Munich was a “done deal”?

This is why we at Global Football Today only reported CONFIRMED moves.

Jesus Navas

The Spanish winger (who bears a striking resemblance to the world’s worst teenage tyrant) has completed a £15 million ($23.4 million) move from Sevilla to Manchester City, where he’ll play under the newly hired Manuel Pellegrini.

Maarten Stekelenburg

The Dutch international goalkeeper will join Fulham in a few weeks to start a four year deal after several seasons with Roma in Italy.

Franck Ribery

The French midfielder has signed a new four year deal to remain at Bayern Munich. He teammate, Daniel Van Buyten, has signed a 1 year extension as well.


Manchester City didn’t stop with Navas. They’ve also added Shakhtar Donetsk midfielder Fernandinho for a mere £34 million ($53.3 million) transfer fee.

Bruno Alves

The Portuguese center back has left Zenit Saint Petersburg and joined Turkey’s Fenerbache on a three year, €5.5 million ($7.3 million) deal.

Anatoliy Tymoshchuk

The Ukraine holding midfielder has seen his contract at Bayern Munich expire and will join Zenit Saint Petersburg on a two year deal.

Guillermo Varela

The Uruguay U-20 fullback has signed with Manchester United from his native Penarol for a €2.8 million ($3.74 million) transfer fee.


Shakhtar Donetsk signed the Gremio midfielder on a five year, €11 million ($14.7 million) deal to replace the departing…Fernandinho…


The Real Betis goalkeeper completed a free move to West Ham United and signed a three year deal.

Miralem Sulejmani

The Ajax forward has seen his contract expire and will sign a five year deal with Benfica on a free move.


The Spanish winger departs financially strapped Malaga for Italy’s Fiorentina.

Son Heung-Min

The South Korean striker has completed a five year move from Hamburg to Bayer Leverkusen.

Igor De Camargo

The former Borussia M’Gladbach forward has completed a move to fellow Bundesliga side Hoffenheim.

Mohammed Abdellaoue

The 27 year old Norway international striker moves from Hannover to Stuttgart for a four year deal.

Lorenzo Reyes

The Chilean midfielder completes a move from his native Huachipato to Real Betis for a four year deal.

Maynor Figueroa

The Wigan striker departs recently relegated Wigan Athletic for newly promoted Hull City and signs a two year deal.

Wayne Bridge

The former England international defender has completed a free move from Manchester City to recently relegated Reading.


The 21 year old Sao Paolo rising star, who spent this past season on loan with Real Madrid’s B team, will make his move permanent and sign a four year deal.


The now former Real Madrid B team winger completes a three year move to Real Betis. He is 24 years old.


Stay tuned for more updates throughout the summer!

Jun 142013

When Nigeria ended the long drought in the African Cup of Nations it was with a squad that was talented but devoid of the superstars.

As with most countries this is the stage to test themselves in a competitive atmosphere where they can see what to expect from the different teams from different regions. Friendlies cannot suffice, this is what is needed.

Stephen Keshi has constructed a squad that works well for him. Being a former player he knows how to bring the best out of his players and has earned their respect from his time as a Super Eagle.

This is a test squad seeing how the up and coming talent will do against the powers of each continental power.

But without the ‘stars’ who will be the leaders?

Unheralded striker with German second division leader Koln Anthony Ujah scored quite a few via good positioning and if the rocket shot of Ogenyi Onazi can be controlled then young Ahmed Zusa won’t need to be relied on to provide action from the wing.

This will be a fun side to watch. Each player will be eager to prove themselves and will be looking to be the first to bring a senior FIFA title to Africa.

Likely hood as not. Progress to the semifinal is as much as can be expected as the weakness of Nigeria.

Come on the Super Eagles

Jun 142013

It has been well documented how good this Spain team is. Lets look at what they have accomplished.

At the youth level the U-21 side won the 2011 European title and quite a few members of that side are now on the Spain squad.

The last two European Championships have been won by the senior side, added by a World Cup title in-between.

This is the best international side ever based entirely by their successes and deserving the praise.

That said this current squad looks to be the pinnacle of its dominance as this and the World Cup look to be the last major tournament for many members of this squad as major members of previous winners are most likely coming to the end of their contribution for the national team.

That doesn’t mean that this side could be called weaker than the team that won last summer’s Euro’s.

At every position is a player who is a fixture on their club’s 11 in major leagues.

But it must be said that there are questions at the back with the captain Iker Casillas who was removed from the Real Madrid goal by his manager in a fight that resulted in the manager leaving and Casillas staying, a sign that player power is at its strongest.

Also Xavi Alonzo is not present, due to injury. Sure it presents an opportunity to find the suitable replacement who will take over for the long term so for Spain it could be all for the good.

Triumph is all that should be expected by Spanish fans who will look to win the only international competition they have yet to win during this golden age for Spain.

Jun 132013

There have been plenty of questions surrounding Brazil’s preparation for the 2014 World Cup as well as the 2013 Confederations Cup that kicks off Saturday when the hosts take on Japan. Many of those questions have been completely justified. Stadium construction has been constantly behind schedule. Crime continues to threaten visitors. Prostitution continues to be a major talking point.

But when Saturday’s opening match between Brazil and Japan kicks off, there will be a tremendous amount of optimism. Brazil is second only to Spain as a favorite to win the Confederations Cup and given the success of previous World Cup hosts they would have to be considered a Top 5 contender for next summer’s title.


As hosts of next summer’s World Cup, Brazil is automatically entered into this tournament.


For the first time in a long time, Brazil has a plethora of young, talented players at all corners of the field. The defense is led by guys like David Luiz and Marcelo. The midfield features the likes of Oscar, Luiz Gustavo, and Paulinho. Then there’s the forward line which includes Neymar, Hulk, and Leandro Damiao. They are young, but they will also be inspired by the home crowd. They’ll ride the waves of emotion from representing their country in an international tournament that isn’t the Olympics.

And those are just the “youngsters”.

There’s also veteran European club stars like Thiago Silva, Dani Alves, Hernanes, and Julio Cesar. Although theirs is the tougher of the two groups, Brazil will still be favored to progress to the final. Luiz Felipe Scolari is back at the helm after winning the 2002 World Cup. Everything is lined up perfectly. There’s no reason to think they won’t meet Spain for the right to hoist the trophy, both now and next summer.


The best players on this squad have no experience in big pressure situations outside of the Olympics. They lost the gold medal match to Mexico 2-1 after rolling through the group stage and initial knockout rounds. Oscar, Neymar, and Hulk will play huge roles in the Confederations Cup and they will have to respond to failing in their first major title match.

They would also do well not to underestimate the task they face in trying to get out of their group. Italy and Japan are very disciplined sides that won’t allow Brazil to simply dribble the ball into the net. Mexico has already shown they aren’t afraid of Brazil, regardless of the stage. And if they do get out of the group, they’ll likely face a very talented Uruguay squad before they eventually meet the juggernaut that is Spain.


This tournament is the first opportunity for the dynamic forward to play on a big stage since he completed a move to Barcelona a few weeks ago. He dazzled with some brilliant goals while at Santos, but now everyone wants to know if he can do it with hundreds of millions of people watching. Despite the plethora of attacking options at this Brazil squad’s disposal, it’s Neymar who will be counted upon to score the goals that will take them to the final.


Goalkeepers (3): Julio Cesar (Queens Park Rangers-ENG), Jefferson (Botafogo-BRA), Diego Cavalieri (Fluminense-BRA)

Defenders (8): Dani Alves (Barcelona-ESP), Thiago Silva (Paris-Saint Germain-FRA), David Luiz (Chelsea-ENG), Marcelo (Real Madrid-ESP), Dante (Bayern Munich-GER), Filipe Luis (Atletico Madrid-ESP), Jean (Fluminense-BRA), Rever (Atletico Mineiro-BRA)

Midfielders (4): Fernando (Shakhtar Donetsk-UKR), Hernanes (Lazio-ITA), Luiz Gustavo (Bayern Munich-GER), Paulinho (Corinthians-BRA)

Forwards (7): Lucas (Paris-Saint Germain-FRA), Fred (Fluminense-BRA), Neymar (Barcelona-ESP), Oscar (Chelsea-ENG), Hulk (Zenit St. Petersburg-RUS), Bernard (Atletico Mineiro-BRA), Leandro Damiao (SC Internacional-BRA), Jadson (Sao Paulo-BRA)