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Backers of Major League Soccer hope for big turnout at Gold Cup


Backers of Major League Soccer hope for big turnout at Gold Cup

Local business and civic leaders highlighted new details regarding a key opportunity for Nashville to strengthen its bid for a Major League Soccer expansion team.

The U.S. Men’s National Team (USMNT) will play Panama on July 8 at Nissan Stadium in Nashville, according to a Tuesday announcement.

The news follows CONCACAF’s announcement last December that Nashville would be one of only 13 cities selected to host the prestigious international soccer tournament. With Nashville among 12 cities currently competing for a Major League Soccer expansion team, a strong turnout to the Gold Cup match will help distinguish the Nashville market as a top soccer destination.

“This is Nashville’s chance to shine,” said Will Alexander, co-founder of the Nashville MLS Organizing Committee. “We were thrilled when Nashville was among the handful of cities selected to host the Gold Cup. With our bid for Major League Soccer in full swing, the Gold Cup match represents an opportunity to prove why we belong among the top soccer markets in the country.”

The USMNT has a history of success in Nashville, drawing almost 45,000 to see their last match here in 2015 against Guatemala. MLS Commissioner Don Garber in remarks to media last year noted Nashville’s exceptional turnout for international soccer events.

Local soccer and civic organizations will play a key role in galvanizing ticket sales and interest in the game at the grassroots level.

“Nashville’s soccer fan base is energized for an international tournament of this stature to come to town. This city loves soccer, and the US Men’s National team has always been a strong, regional draw here. You can count on our club and the larger soccer community to be supporting them in the stands” said Court Jeske, CEO of Nashville S.C., the city’s professional USL club that begins play next March.

“The youth soccer scene in Tennessee looks for every opportunity to see our national teams. The wind up to the Gold Cup and this World Cup cycle are very important for soccer in the U.S. Our organization will spread the word and work with U.S. Soccer to give youth clubs ticket opportunities and to build awareness of the match,” said Hans Hobson, a committee member and executive director of the Tennessee State Soccer Association.

Tickets for the match are available at www.concacaf.com/category/gold-cup/tickets.

The committee also plans to release additional details regarding its efforts to support the Gold Cup and advance Nashville’s MLS bid in the coming weeks.

The Nashville Major League Soccer Organizing Committee includes leaders from across Middle Tennessee. For more information, visit www.mls2nashville.com or follow them on Twitter at @MLS2Nashville.

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