The title is a play on one of the early posts I made on this site, but it’s more true now than ever – and that reputation will only continue to increase.
Certainly, fans of FC Cincinnati – home to a USL franchise two entire years before Nashville SC’s USL side debuted – will continue to crow about a lack of history, Louisville City fans will cry about something as it relates to being sellouts, but there’s no denying that Nashville’s beginning to build plenty of buzz.
Yes, there’s the news that they’ll be hosting an MLS team in the fourth round of the US Open Cup (and the small fact that it happens to be the most-beatable MLS team of 2018 certainly doesn’t hurt that buzz). That’s not it, though. Nashville SC also hired a bigtime General Manager for when the MLS days begin in 2020, and that’s something that has generated attention well beyond the Metro area – indeed, it’s made major waves overseas as well. And it says Nashville means business.
So too does hosting FC Cincinnati July 7 in Nissan Stadium. The Boys from Queen City like to brag incessantly about their ability to fill a venue (in between complaints about Nashville’s lack of soccer history, of course), and it’s time to help put their money where their mouth is. The venue’s soccer record of 56.232 fans – set last Summer for a friendly between Manchester City and Tottenham hotspur – should be in serious danger. With the right marketing push, it should absolutely fall. Given that Cincinnati will be a fellow future MLS team by then makes it all the more exciting.
The club isn’t directly involved, but that Nissan Stadium will also host an international friendly in September is exciting. That it’s far and away the No. 1 rivalry game in Concacaf is even better. Nashville soccer fans turn out for the Men’s national team, and they’ll definitely turn out for a contest against the hated El Trí.
As if that’s not enough, the combination of all the above factors has led to another major move. European clubs are reaching out to the Boys in Gold about a friendly this Summer, knowing that they’ll be able to play in front of tons of relatively new (and plenty of existing) soccer fans:
There’s a buzz about town, and it’s up to not only Nashville SC – which currently sits tenth in the USL (though with two games in-hand on more than half the teams ahead of them) – but also Inter Nashville FC – playing tonight at International Indoor Soccer in Antioch – and fans, players, and supporters of the beautiful game to make it all stick.
It doesn’t start with any one particular factor in play. Only through the combination of multiple avenues coming together to grow the game, grow the support, and grow the local clubs, can greatness be achieved. Then, Music City may just be supplanted as the nickname of choice.