Posted on: May 17, 2018
Nashville, TN - TSC Associate Boys Director Greg Warden approached his day just like every other TSC staff member on Wednesday, continuing to plan for upcoming tryouts and ensuring that all teams underneath his guidance transition smoothly from the end of the 17/18 season into the 18/19 season.
It was when Greg left the office late in the afternoon that he was no longer on the same page as the rest of the staff. Every other TSC coaching staff member was planning for their teams' training sessions, but Greg was preparing to play in the oldest ongoing national soccer competition in the United States as his Inter Nashville FC team faced Nashville SC.
The Lamar Hunt U.S. Open Cup dates back to 1913 (then known as National Challenge Cup) and is a knock-out cup competition consisting of professional, semi-professional and amateur teams from around the country. Teams from Major League Soccer (MLS) enter the tournament in the fourth round, with the first two rounds consisting of teams from amateur and lower leagues and the third round introducing teams from the United Soccer League (USL). It is a big deal in the soccer communities across the country, largely because it provides a unique opportunity for amateur and semi-professional players to compete against professionals from the USL and MLS.
Greg got to experience this unique opportunity first hand and didn't take it for granted. "It was great experience for our team to play against a professional team and experience that environment," said Warden. "In many ways it is a once in a lifetime opportunity to get to play an Open Cup game in front of my friends and family. It was really special playing in front of my 2005 Showcase Girls and 2004 Showcase Boys teams who came out in great numbers to support me."
This was a great night for soccer in Nashville. A nearly capacity crowd was in attendance, proving that this community both desires and supports soccer at the highest level. We are fortunate to have two teams who compete at a high level representing Nashville in their respective leagues.
Although Greg's Inter Nashville FC lost the match 2-0, they played well against a strong Nashville SC team who is getting better and better as each week of their USL season comes and goes.
At TSC we are fortunate to have players, coaches and staff from both Nashville SC and Inter Nashville FC involved with our club. Today those Nashville SC players and coaches will go through their post game recovery process and get back to work preparing for their next game. We are fortunate to know that Greg is coming back to our office to continue pushing our club forward by supporting our players, coaches and member families.
*thanks to Lea Grundler for sharing some of these images for our use!