NASHVILLE, Tenn. (WKRN) – To some, it’s just a jersey, but to these loyal soccer fans, this jersey means “major league.”
“This is exciting for the city,” said Valair Shavilla, “This is more than just a jersey reveal because it shows how much people care about the club.”
“We’ve watched them go all the way up from NPLS four-tier, up to USL and now MSL, since the beginning, founder member, 1779 member, all the way,” said Jeff Walter.
Shavilla and Walter are just two of more than a thousand fans who waited hours to get into the Wildhorse Saloon Saturday for the debut of the first official Major League Soccer Nashville team and kit reveal.
“We’ve had a soccer team here for years, but we’re actually going to MLS so that’s what I’m super pumped about,” said another fan, Steven Wimple.
The gold jersey represents the beginning of another major league team to call Nashville home and the players are ready to meet the city’s winning expectations.
“To see all the people out there, it kind of gives you butterflies a little bit, hearing them chant your name, hearing the crowd, we can’t wait to get going,” Midfielder Dax McCarty said in an interview.
“I know a lot of teams don’t have the luxury of being able to play in front of a passionate fan base like this in a venue that we have across the street here, across the river,” said Defender Daniel Lovitz.
For now, the team will play at Nissan Stadium; plans for a soccer stadium at the old fairgrounds stalled in December when Mayor John Cooper began to question how much weight taxpayers would have to carry.
The franchise president says the world is looking at Nashville.
“One consistent message I got from all the media domestic and international was, ‘Wow you guys know how to throw a party,'” CEO Ian Ayre told the crowd.
And the fans are ready to host.
The team’s first game will be in Nashville at Nissan Stadium against Atlanta United on February 29th.