Right now it's just a plan on paper, but in the coming days, the newest MLS soccer team could send waves across Tennessee.
"I think it's fantastic, not just for Knoxville, but Tennessee as a whole,” soccer coach Derek Broadley said.
MLS officials are expected to announced Wednesday that Nashville has been awarded a new expansion franchise. They're slated to make an announcement along with Nashville Mayor Megan Barry and Tennessee Gov. Bill Haslam in Music City Wednesday afternoon.
Broadley has spent his life in soccer. He spent four years as academy director for Crystal Palace, even developed the national academy for soccer players in Bermuda, and now trains soccer players right here in Knoxville.
He believes pro teams are exactly what's needed for soccer to continue to grow in the states.
"Kids from Knoxville will want to play for Nashville and the MLS against Philly, LA, and all the big clubs. Now all the players have a great target to aim for since they pick up their first pair of soccer boots,” Broadley said.
We've seen the hype train come and go when the World Cup brings out our region's soccer fans.
"Four years ago we had so many people in here the fire marshal came and we actually had to have 40 to 50 people leave,” said Crown and Goose manger JT Baker.
The excitement typically dies down after the Olympics or World Cup, but fans in Knoxville have adopted European teams to cheer for. Baker believes adding a team in Nashville will have a readymade fan base.
"They’re going to be thrilled to have a local team to root for,” he said.
Broadley believes putting a pro team in our state will push high school and college players to be better now that they'll have the ability to turn pro and not leave the region.
"America needs to be self-sufficient with their soccer stars. They need to develop here play here and we need to develop the next soccer LeBron James. American heroes the kids can aspire to,” Broadley said.