Away Days: Nashville
On December 20, 2017, news broke that Nashville Soccer Club would be awarded Major League Soccer’s 24th franchise. Nashville SC is scheduled to begin MLS play in 2020 and began their season in the United Soccer League this year. Of course, being a short 4-hour drive, FC Cincinnati fans knew this would become a rivalry that would progress into the MLS.
Many of you have probably been to Nashville before. The home of pedal wagons and fried bologna sandwiches. Nashville really isn’t that bad. To be able to have a rival that is so close and allows us to bring hundreds of fans to an away match is most definitely a plus. It is just too bad that they also play on a baseball field like those Sluggers in Louisville.
On our first night in the Music City, Nashville SC’s supporters group, The Assembly, invited us to their night before partying at Tailgate Brewery. Since I was unable to take any time off work, I showed up a little late but was still able to enjoy the delicious Coconut Blonde that was available on tap. Tailgate also has a Strawberry Rice Crispy beer that is a dangerous 9.5% ABV. Would not recommend. Also, the beer doesn’t taste like Rice Krispies which was very disappointing. I was not able to try their pizza but fellow FCC supporters mentioned that it was delicious and they would highly recommend it. Overall, a cool spot to hang and a great opportunity for us to meet up with The Assembly and few members from their other supporters group, The Roadies.
The next morning, my friends and I stayed in and watched England vs. Sweden. After watching the match, we made our way to Acme Feed and Seed for an FC Cincinnati World Cup watch party. Based on the name, you would not imagine this to be a restaurant/bar, but it happened to be very enjoyable. We parked ourselves on the second floor where TV’s lined the walls and FC Cincinnati fans of all ages stretched from one side to the other. I enjoyed the pulled pork nachos and some beer from a local brewery called Millcreek; both of which I would recommend. It was stunning to see the sheer number of FCC supporters that made the trip out and it provides some excitement for when we meet in the MLS.
After our World Cup watch party at Acme, we were invited to stop by The Roadies tailgate. As difficult as it is to maneuver through all the pedal wagons on the road, it is even more difficult to find which of the 20+ lots surrounding Nissan Stadium we needed to be. I will say that once we reached The Roadies tailgate in Lot R, I was excited and a little jealous to see that they were offering free drinks and free hot dogs (brought to you by Heineken). It was a great turnout for fans on both sides and an opportunity to mingle found itself to be enjoyable.
This would be the first time in regular season play that Nashville SC and FC Cincinnati would meet. I was very happy to hear that we would be playing at Nissan Stadium instead of the baseball field they usually play on. Tensions were definitely high between players and supporters alike. Nashville’s supporters had a clever tifo they displayed at the beginning of the match and at no surprise to us, they referenced Skyline chili.
Though we would end in a draw, both the players and supporters worked hard all match. Also, Koch used all his opportunities to substitute players so that made me a happy camper. I was pleased to see the support Nashville fans were providing their team and the friendly banter we shared with them.
Overall, this is the type of experience I expect at away matches when we enter the MLS. Big city with lots to do and opportunities to meet up with other supporter’s groups. I want to thank all the FCC supporters who came out and cheered their team on. I also want to send a thank you to The Roadies and The Assembly for their hospitality. With my competitive nature, it is hard to befriend supporters of your rivals but once you remember they are not as full of shit as Louisville, you tend to make exceptions. I look forward to playing Nashville SC at Nippert on August 4th. Be sure to come out and help show Nashville how we support our city and team.