Training camp wraps up as Nashville SC returns home to prepare for Atlanta United
NASHVILLE – The groundwork is done. Now it’s time to take the pitch on the big stage.
With Nashville SC supporters on hand to greet them, the Boys in Gold returned from training camp at Nashville International Airport on Friday after spending the better part of the last month and a half in Florida. The welcome party of fans gave the players even more fuel for what will be an exciting week leading up to the club’s Major League Soccer debut on Saturday, Feb. 29.
“There’s always something special about coming home from a long trip, especially preseason,” said defender Walker Zimmerman. “The guys are buzzing that preseason is over with, and we’re a week away from our first game. Having the fans here to welcome us definitely gives us even more of a home feeling. We’re excited for next week.”
Nissan Stadium is filling up and the excitement is building, which gives Zimmerman and his teammates the greatest motivation to put on a show for the Nashville faithful.
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“We want to capitalize on the excitement and energy that’s been building for a few years now,” he said. “Now since the announcement of players coming in, a new stadium that’s going to get built, all of these things are build-ups and now we’re finally here a week away from our first game. We’ve got to make sure we do our part.”
With a new expansion club, there are plenty of unknowns leading up to kickoff. That’s why Zimmerman is ready to approach this unprecedented match week with lots of energy. After nearly two months of laying the foundations for success in training camp, this week will be about building habits to execute under the bright lights on Saturday night.
Today, we welcomed our players back from training camp.— Nashville SC (@NashvilleSC) February 22, 2020
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“It’s about getting into Nissan Stadium, seeing the field, seeing how it plays, getting used to that gameday routine,” he said. “The preparation and hard work was taken care of in Florida. Now, it’s about ‘how do we game prep? What do we look like?’ We got a few chances in preseason, but the schedule is a little bit different. This will be a good run-through this weekend. I think we’re ready, we’re excited, and now it’s just doing our part on the field.”
Head Coach Gary Smith will now turn his attention to getting the players ready for a stiff test against Atlanta United. With lots of work laid out for him and for the club, receiving a warm welcome from the fans on Friday renewed his belief in what the club can accomplish.
“To see these people here supporting us, it’s fantastic,” Smith said. “I think it just inspires everyone to push on and hopefully achieve something more worthwhile down the line.”
Tickets are available here for Nashville SC’s MLS Debut, presented by Renasant Bank.