The National Premier Soccer League (NPSL) has granted a franchise to the newly organized Knoxville Force semi-professional soccer team that will play its inaugural game in the NPSL’s Southeast Conference beginning in May of 2011. The Knoxville Force’s home games will be played in UT’s Regal Stadium.
Why Soccer? Soccer is the largest “field team sport” played in the world today. According to FIFA, the United States has more official soccer players than any other nation in the world (almost 18 million players). Soccer is also the largest and fastest growing field team sport in the U.S. No other sport crosses so many cultural boundaries. The Knoxville area already has between 25,000 and 29,000 youth and adults that are playing in organized leagues and teams.
How did this start? The Knoxville Force was recently formed by Knoxville Soccer LLC, a Knoxville-based sports business. The mission of Knoxville Soccer LLC is “to serve as a focal point for social change by offering soccer programs and projects that enhance the health and well-being of a broad and diverse population of the Knoxville community”. We view soccer as a powerful venue for developing self- esteem, self-confidence, leadership skills, teamwork, respect for others, and the inherent benefits of physical exercise. Knoxville Soccer LLC also plans to establish a women’s soccer team, the Knoxville Lady Force, in the 2012 season.
What is the NPSL? It is a highly competitive national league that includes professional, U.S. National Team, university, amateur and international soccer players. The NPSL is sanctioned by the United States Adult Soccer Association (USASA) as an affiliate of the United States Soccer Federation (USSF), the ruling body for soccer in the United States, and Fédération Internationale de Football Association (FIFA), the world’s ruling body for soccer.
What other teams are in the Southeast Conference of the NPSL? Atlanta FC, Georgia Revolution, Chattanooga FC, Rocket City United (Huntsville).
When does the season start? The formal NPSL season starts mid-April and concludes with playoffs and regional and national championship matches at the end of July. Each team plays a minimum of 10 to a maximum of 16 regular season games.
Where will the Force practice and play their home games? The Knoxville Force will play at the Regal Stadium on the campus of the University of Tennessee during its 2011 inaugural season. The team will train at Johnny Long’s Training Academy in West Knoxville.
Who are the members of the Force Management team? The General Manager for Knoxville Force is Jason Goss, a former all-Knoxville Interscholastic League (KIL) soccer standout at CAK. Goss graduated with a Bachelor in Business Administration degree from Elon University in North Carolina and dual Masters degrees in Business Administration and Sports Administration from Ohio University. He has worked with the professional Italian soccer team, Ascoli Calcio, and for Major League Soccer (MLS) at its headquarters in New York.
Derek Broadley has been recruited to be the Head Coach of the Force. He has achieved the highest level of coaching licensure in the United States and Europe. Broadley holds a Union of European Football Associations (UEFA) “A” license, is a graduate of the National Soccer Coaches Association of America (NSCAA) “Master Coach” program, and most recently has served as Technical Director of the Bermuda Football Association. He has worked successfully to improve player, team, and coaches’ performance in Bermuda, the United Kingdom, and North America.
The Force’s Assistant Coaches are Stephen Lyons and Josh Scott. Stephen Lyons has played and coached soccer in England and the United States. He played for Tennessee Wesleyan College and is currently the men’s soccer coach there. Josh Scott has been a part of various professional academies in England and Finland as well as playing in semi-professional and professional development leagues. He is currently the men’s soccer coach and recruiting coordinator at Emory & Henry College.
Who will play for the Force? The Force will showcase the region’s top collegiate players as well as national non-collegiate and international players. The team roster formation process is underway. Initial player tryouts were held on February 26 with over 115 players seeking positions on the team.
How do I contact the Knoxville Force? Please see our contact page. Also, interact with the team and its fans on facebook and twitter. If you are interested in helping the Force launch its inaugural season, please see the website and join our Volunteer Force, where you can make a difference.
Some general notes about the Knoxville Force.
The Knoxville Force is owned by Knoxville Soccer LLC, which plans to also establish a women’s soccer team, the Knoxville Lady Force, in the 2012 season.
The Mission of Knoxville Soccer LLC is to serve as a focal point for social change by offering soccer programs and projects that enhance the health and well-being of a broad and diverse population of the Knoxville community. Through the formation and fielding of professional men’s and women’s soccer teams in the Knoxville area, Knoxville Soccer LLC will offer soccer programs and projects that enhance the health and well-being of a broad and diverse population of our community, including the underprivileged youth living in high-risk areas and under-represented social and ethnic groups.