NASHVILLE – On Thursday night, Nashvillians gathered at SandBar to listen to some good music and kick around a soccer ball at the latest Nashville Soccer Club Fan Jam event.
An event like this, based around a professional soccer club, would have been unheard of just a few years ago according to Teddy, a local collegiate soccer player at Trevecca Nazarene University and soccer fan who grew up in Mt. Juliet.
“It’s great because we’re kind of getting the vibe of what soccer can bring to a community,” Teddy said. “I think the world’s game coming here is really going to bring different people together from different places in the area, and really bring them together to show what we can come and be happy about.”
Teddy came out to SandBar with his two friends Jake and Andres, who played high school soccer in the area and are both off to local colleges next year. The three of them enjoyed the beach soccer, while others enjoyed free drinks, music from DJ Logan Garrett, and the abundance of dogs that joined their owners at the event.
Teddy, Jake and Andres have all loved soccer for years, but couldn’t watch high-level professional soccer without making lengthy drives to Columbus or Atlanta. Now, they’ll have the chance to watch an MLS club in their own city.
“To have a team here in the center of Nashville really means something, especially for the youngsters that are coming up through the system,” Teddy said. "To have an academy that’s going to come through the MLS club, it’s just going to bring something that other states and other cities have gotten to cherish.”
While the three of them are excited to see Nashville SC in MLS for themselves, they are also excited for the young kids that will be able to grow up idolizing the players that wear Nashville blue and gold.
“I remember being 10 or 11 and going to games at Belmont and Lipscomb and trying to meet the college players thinking that was the greatest thing ever,” Teddy said. “Now, kids will be able to meet professional players who you see playing some of the best MLS teams, and now we’re going to be playing against players like Michael Bradley, Jozy Altidore, Zlatan Ibrahimovic and Wayne Rooney, players who are at the grand stage. We never got that opportunity.”