Leadership from the two largest competitive youth soccer clubs serving the Metropolitan Nashville area announced today that the organizations are exploring a merger and have entered into a due diligence process.
Club leaders said the merger discussion was the product of their collaboration to support the push to bring a Major League Soccer team to the city in 2017-18. Both clubs had coaches and volunteers on the MLS2Nashville Committee.
The clubs stressed the potential merger is designed to provide more opportunities for youth players in Middle Tennessee to develop and play at a higher level. Each club now has approximately 1,500 players at either the recreational or competitive levels with teams based in Davidson, Williamson and Rutherford Counties.
“Our goal in exploring this merger is to determine whether we are better together,” said Brian Carlson, Tennessee Soccer Club board president. “We believe there is a likelihood that by combining our player pools, staff, facilities and resources that we can create more opportunities for players to develop and compete.”
“We have been competitors for years, but the MLS process demonstrated the strength of our clubs when we work together,” said Tony McLarty, president of the Nashville FC Youth executive board of directors. “A combined club of over 3,000 players would create new opportunities for families and players across the region.”
Tennessee Soccer Club, based in Brentwood, is part of the Elite Club National League, one of the most prestigious youth soccer leagues in the country. The club has fielded three youth national championship teams on the boys and girls side.
Nashville FC Youth is based in Bellevue, and fields regionally competitive teams in the South and Midwest as well as a 1,000-player strong recreational league. The club also has performed outreach work to inner city youth to provide free soccer training.
Both clubs are members of the Tennessee State Soccer Association. The club boards will consider the merger during the first quarter of 2019.