Nashville SC Announces 2023 ‘Kick Childhood Cancer’ Fundraising Campaign

Photo: Courtesy of Nashville SC

Nashville Soccer Club, in partnership with Cumulus Media and the Monroe Carell Jr. Children’s Hospital at Vanderbilt, has announced the beginning of their fourth “Kick Childhood Cancer” campaign. Running through Sept. 30, the club will rally behind efforts to increase awareness and garner funds for pediatric cancer.

For the 2023 campaign, Nashville SC is embarking on an exciting journey with Cumulus Media to introduce a special radio campaign throughout their five stations (103.3. Country, 95.5 Nash Icon, 92Q, 104.5 The Zone, and 99.7 WTN). The stations will feature special interviews, guest appearances and auctions throughout the month of September.

Fans and radio aficionados tuning into Cumulus stations will have the opportunity to directly contribute by bidding on singular experiences with top radio personalities or memorable events at Nashville SC matches at GEODIS Park. Every penny raised will benefit Monroe Carell, whose program sees almost one new childhood cancer diagnosis a day—about 300 children each year. Through research, training and clinical programs, Monroe Carell is making significant advances in improving survival and outcomes for children with cancer.

Some of these unique auction experiences include:

  • Warmup Watchers Experience: Join Nashville SC at pitch-level at GEODIS Park during pregame and witness both teams in action, gearing up for the match
  • Post-Game Group Photo Experience: Following the match, lead your group onto the pitch and capture a group photo
  • Post-Game Bench Photo Experience: Relive the players’ intensity by taking your group’s photo seated on the very bench of the Nashville SC players postmatch
  • High Five Tunnel Experience: Secure an unmatched opportunity to greet the Boys in Gold personally in the high-five tunnel before their grand entrance onto the pitch
  • Multi-Artist Signed Guitar: Bid on a guitar featuring signatures from Morgan Wallen, Chris Lane, Morgan Evans, Gabby Barrett and more
  • Live Broadcast: 3HLand The Kenny Smoov Morning Show will broadcast live from a Middle-Tennessee business.
  • Studio Experience: Join syndicated morning show hosts Big D and Bubba live from Silverfish Studios in the heart of Music City and see get a first-hand look at all of the behind-the-scenes morning radio action
  • Tennessee Titans VIP Package: Pre-game with Titans Radio at the VIP Tailgate at The Bridge Building, right by Nissan Stadium

To bid on these experiences or to make a donation, visit Alternatively, supporters can join the NSC Kick Club with a monthly pledge of $10 or a one-time gesture of $120. Donations are accepted by texting “Kick Cancer” to 615-488-4401.

Also, in recognition of Childhood Cancer Awareness Month, Major League Soccer, MLS WORKS–the league’s social responsibility platform–and Continental Tire are renewing their commitment to the “Kick Childhood Cancer” initiative for their 10th consecutive season. This year, along with fellow MLS Clubs, players, coaches and fans, they’ll donate over $100,000 to Children’s Oncology Group (COG), supporting global pediatric cancer research.

College Corner: Lipscomb Soccer, Tennessee Basketball, Blue Raiders Hall Of Fame

Lipscomb Men’s Soccer Ranked No. 25 In Preseason Poll

Photo: Courtesy of Lipscomb Athletics

Lipscomb Men’s Soccer is starting off the 2023 season ranked at No. 25 in the College Soccer News Preseason Top-30 Poll.

The recognition comes after a season that saw the Bisons ranked in the Top-25 all last season, climbing as high as No. 10 and earning the No. 9 overall seed in the NCAA Tournament. Lipscomb finished last season 14-3-2, losing just one game at home while winning eight. In the ASUN championship game, they defeated No. 2 seeded Central Arkansas 6-2, capping off their historic season. They fell to Western Michigan 1-0 in the second round of the NCAA Tournament.

The Bisons will kickoff its regular season on Thursday, Aug. 25 against FAU. Kickoff is set for 8 p.m. CT at Lipscomb Soccer Complex.




Tennessee & Food City Partner On 10-Year Basketball Arena Naming-Rights Deal

Tennessee Vice Chancellor/Director of Athletics Danny White announced a multi-year naming-rights agreement with longtime Tennessee Athletics corporate champion Food City that rebrands UT’s on-campus arena as Thompson-Boling Arena at Food City Center.

The agreement with Food City was negotiated by Tennessee Athletics’ multimedia rights partner, LEARFIELD/The Vol Network. Food City’s overall commitment to Tennessee Athletics will allow the University to invest in excess of $20 million over the next 10 years and will aid new and needed renovations of the arena and upgrades to the facility’s interior and exterior. These improvements will significantly enhance the fan experience while attending any Thompson-Boling Arena at Food City Center event on the UT campus

Among the planned additions to the venue will include new club amenities, updates to the Ray Mears Room and a state-of-the-art center-hung video board. The exterior façade of the facility will be modernized and the look will be more in line with Tennessee’s other athletics venues.

Complete details of the enhancements to the venue will be announced at a later date.

“We are thrilled to partner with Food City on this transformative naming rights opportunity, the first of its kind for Tennessee Athletics,” says White. “Food City is a neighborhood partner who knows our state and region extremely well and has been a key partner for Tennessee Athletics for nearly 30 years. Food City is a valued member of our community and bleeds orange, and we look forward to taking this partnership to another level. I want to thank the Smith family, as well as the Food City team for this long-term partnership.”

Opened in the Fall of 1987, Thompson-Boling Arena at Food City Center is home to Tennessee’s volleyball and men’s and women’s basketball programs. The arena is named for the late B. Ray Thompson and former UT President Dr. Edward J. Boling.

In addition to delivering an incredible homecourt advantage for the Vols and Lady Vols, the facility hosts dozens of highly attended events annually, including concerts featuring world-famous recording artists, professional wrestling showcases, monster truck and professional bull-riding competitions, conferences and more.




Blue Raider Sports Hall Of Fame Induction Set For Sept. 22, Open To The Public

Middle Tennessee Athletics has opened the induction of the Blue Raider Sports Hall of Fame Class of 2023 to the public on Friday, September 22 at 6:30 p.m. in the Murphy Center Auxiliary Gymnasium.

The induction ceremony will take place on Friday evening again prior to the weekend’s football game on Saturday, to allow this year’s induction class to partake in all of the Homecoming festivities set for the weekend. The induction ceremony, as always, will be open to the public and will feature refreshments after the ceremony.

The Class of 2023 features Blue Raiders from four different decades of Middle Tennessee Athletics, with inductees recognized for their on-the-field achievements and for being outstanding representatives of the MTSU community. The Class of 2023 includes:

  • Anne Marie (Lanning) Brentz was an integral part of one of the greatest eras in Lady Raider basketball, helping lead the team to four postseason appearances, including three straight NCAA Regionals. Brentz is a member of the program’s 1,000-point club, and after her career, ranked second for 3-point field goal percentage, third for 3-pointers made, and second for games played.
  • Anthony DeLuise is another great in a long line of Middle Tennessee tennis players. The highly decorated netter earned All-American status in 1996 when he was also the Ohio Valley Conference Player of the Year. DeLuise made six singles appearances in Collegiate Grand Slam events, tying for the most in program history, and capped his career ranked in the Top 10 of all five career categories.
  • LaRon Dendy makes history as he becomes the only Blue Raider ever to be inducted into the hall after playing just one season. Dendy led a resurgence in the men’s basketball program in 2011-12 when he was named the Sun Belt Conference Player of the Year and a Lou Henson Award Finalist and was also a Portsmouth Invitational participant. Dendy’s dominant play led the Blue Raiders to the Sun Belt Conference regular-season title.
  • Melanie (Manley) Durham was the rock for MTSU’s first softball championship in 2000. The hard-nosed catcher was a pioneer for MTSU softball and continues to be one of the top performers of all time as evidenced by her standing in the career record books. More than 20 years following the completion of her career, Melanie continues to rank in the Top 10 of 12 all-time categories. She was the 1998 OVC Medal of Honor recipient.
  • Jeff Littlejohn was a defensive force for the Blue Raider football team in the early to mid-2000s. Littlejohn was named Sun Belt Conference Defensive Player of the Year in 2005, becoming one of just five Middle Tennessee conference players of the year at that time. He was a force at defensive tackle leading one of the top run defenses in the nation in 2005.
  • Janet Ross helped lay the championship foundation for Middle Tennessee women’s basketball as its point guard in the mid-1980s. Ross was the court general for Lady Raider basketball teams that captured four Ohio Valley Conference Championships and three NCAA Tournament berths. Ross still ranks among career leaders for assists and 3-point field goal percentage. She would go on to become a Lady Raider assistant following her decorated playing career.

Nashville SC Drops League Cup Trophy After Falling In Penalties

Photo: Courtesy of Nashville SC

The Boys in Gold are still on the hunt for their first trophy after losing to Inter Miami CF in the Leagues Cup Finals in a wild 11 round penalty shootout at GEODIS Park on Saturday (Aug. 19).

The world’s greatest player Lionel Messi showed up big time for Miami, scoring a screamer of a goal in the 23rd minute, despite Nashville SC’s defense holding off any Miami scoring opportunities for the first 20 minutes. The goal marked his 10th in seven games in the tournament, making him the Leagues Cup’s top scorer and MVP. But even Messi couldn’t help Miami win in regulation as Nashville’s defense continued to shutdown their offense.

Like most of the tournament, Nashville SC’s backline, featuring Walker Zimmerman and Dan Lovitz, were on point, holding Inter Miami to just one goal (which was an unreal strike from Messi), the least Miami has scored this entire tournament. They shutdown Josef Martinez and Robert Taylor, only allowing six shots and two shots on goal. The Boys in Gold also won 44 duels with great work in the midfield from Dax McCarty, Shaq Moore and Alex Muyl.

Fafa Picault celebrating his equalizing goal in the 57th minute. Photo: Courtesy of Nashville SC

Nashville would go own to equalize in the 57th minute off of a goal from Fafa Picault, which caused a sold-out GEODIS Park to erupt. Nashville SC’s offense made a ton of pushes in the second half with plenty of offensive chances created by Hany Mukhtar and Sam Surridge. Nashville had 11 total shots and six shots on goal, 11 crosses and six corner kicks. Sadly, they couldn’t capitalize on these opportunities and forced the championship game to go into a penalty shootout.

Nashville SC goalkeeper Elliot Panicco was given the start after starting against Monterrey and Minnesota United. He also proved to be the team’s savior in penalty shootouts against Club América and FC Cincinnati.

Starting off, Messi scored followed by Mukhtar drilling his goal. But it was Randall Leal, who hadn’t played in a few weeks due to injury, whose penalty was blocked. Panicco came up huge by blocking Victor Ulloa‘s shot which would’ve won Miami the game. The shootout would go into the 11th round with both keepers taking shots. But it was Panicco’s shot that was finally blocked, clinching the championship for Inter Miami.

The heartbreaking loss at home adds to the list of missed trophies by professional Nashville teams, but in perspective there not much Nashville should be ashamed of.

Inter Miami’s Leo Messi and Walker Zimmerman. Photo: Courtesy of Nashville SC

Nashville SC was coming into this tournament losing six out of seven games and only scoring three goals in that stretch. They were struggling, staying out of the books with players receiving four red cards in six games. They held their own defeating Colorado, staying close against Toluca and then taking out the leagues best Cincinnati in penalties, Liga MX powerhouse Club América in penalties and Monterrey 2-0 in the semifinals. It was an unbelievable run that not only put the club in the international spotlight, but built up a lot of confidence and even momentum heading back into MLS play.

They also played the greatest player of all time, and held him and his team to just one goal and took them into the 11th round of a penalty shootout. Not many teams can claim that.

Now, Nashville SC heads back into MLS play with a visit to Atlanta United this Saturday, Aug. 26. The Boys in Gold are currently sitting in sixth place in the Eastern Conference Standings with 38 points. They had to reschedule their planned Aug. 20 matchup against New England Revolution, so they are one game behind the rest of the league. The club will face Inter Miami again in Miami on Wednesday, Aug. 30.

Click below to watch Head Coach Gary Smith‘s full postgame press conference.

Nashville SC Defeats Monterrey & Will Host Messi, Inter Miami In League’s Cup Final

Fafa Picault vs. Monterrey in the League’s Cup semifinals. Photo: Courtesy of Nashville SC

The Boys in Gold pushed through to the very end of the first-ever League’s Cup, beating Monterrey 2-0 to face Inter Miami and World Cup champion Lionel Messi in the finale set for Saturday (Aug. 19) at GEODIS Park.

It’s been a tough journey, from losing to Toluca in the group stage, then beating rival FC Cincinnati in penalties, defeating Liga MX giant Club América in penalties, destroying Minnesota United and then out working Monterrey. All this to play just 90 more minutes in hopes of Nashville wining its first ever trophy.

But it was newest Nashville SC star Sam Surridge who would go on to score the game winner in the 67th minute to make it 1-0, igniting the packed GEODIS Park (over 27,000 fans in attendance) into madness. The play started off with a header from Walker Zimmerman to Hany Mukhtar in the middle of the pitch, which he took up the left side and into the box where he passed it Surridge to knocked it into the far right side of the net.

But Nashville had a handful of prime opportunities that didn’t quite work out in the first half. Most notably an insane golazo from Mukhtar which was called offside after a controversial VAR check.

Another huge part of the win was goalkeeper Elliot Panicco’s performance. Head coach Gary Smith made the bold decision to startPanicco in net instead of usual starter Joe Willis, after Panicco played an excellent game against Minnesota. His decision would go on to work out as Panicco made two brilliant saves that led to Nashville securing its win.

Nashville worked hard to keep its one goal lead with another killer performance by Walker Zimmerman, Dan Lovitz and Dax McCarty who all played fast and physical, to keep Monterrey out of the Nashville SC net.

Fafa Picault would call the game for Nashville with a killer goal from the right side of the box to hit the top of the netting, making it 2-0, game, set match.

Now the Boys in Gold are just one game away from hoisting its first ever trophy the prepare for another quick turnaround and gear up for Messi’s red hot Inter Miami side. Inter Miami defeated Philadelphia Union 4-1 in their semifinal game where Messi scored his ninth goal in just six appearances for the club.

The two teams face off at GEODIS Park on Saturday, Aug. 19 at 8 p.m. CT.

Watch the full postgame press conference in the link below:

Preview: Nashville SC Set To Play Biggest Game In Franchise History

Photo: Courtesy of Nashville SC

The Boys in Gold will play their biggest game yet tonight (Aug. 15), as they host Liga MX club Monterrey at GEODIS Park for the League’s Cup Semifinals at 8 p.m. CT. This will be their best opportunity to win some hardware.

Nashville SC has had some great success since they joined the league, but nothing can compare to what they have accomplished thus far in the League’s Cup.

The club is also just one win away from the Concacaf Champions League. The top three finishers in the League’s Cup will automatically qualify for the North American Tournament. So even if Nashville loses tonight, they will still play in a third-place game. If they win that, they will punch their ticket to the Champions League.

Nashville SC is coming off a dominant 5-0 win over Minnesota United on Friday, Aug. 11. Goals from Hany Mukhtar, Shaq Moore and Sam Surridge led to the club’s best win of the tournament, after winning two straight games in penalty shootout.

Monterrey is coming off a wild 3-2 comeback win over League’s Cup favorites LAFC. The Mexican club scored all three goals in 23 minutes, starting with a penalty in the 68th minute. But it was their all-time leading scorer Rogelio Funes Mori who won it for Monterrey in the 88th minute.

This Semifinals matchup will be extremely intense with a near full house expected. Like the Club América game, the stadium will be filled with mostly Mexican fans to support Monterrey. It will be a wild atmosphere in what should be a tight game.

Nashville SC and Monterrey are both going into the game with huge momentum after their wins. Nashville should feel great after their offensively explosive game, especially with Mukhtar scoring and having three assists. He will need to really show up in this match. A slow, or even poor, performance from him may be fatal to the team’s results.

Monterrey has momentum from an unreal comeback win. They’re also the last Liga MX club in the tournament, so the team is most likely feeling the pressure that comes with representing their league and country.

Head Coach Gary Smith said in his Monday press conference that he has a big decision to make at goalkeeper after Elliot Pannico started against Minnesota due to Joe Willis having to tend to a family matter. Pannico’s performance was excellent, and he has proven himself in both League’s Cup penalty shootouts. However, Willis is the starter and has been THE goalkeeper since day one.

The defense has played pretty great this tournament, despite their struggle against Toluca. The world-class play from Dan Lovitz, Lukas McNaughton and Walker Zimmerman has carried them to this spot. As of late, the offense has been struggling, but the club has found a new way to win with the addition of Surridge.

Surridge has now scored two goals in his two first appearance for Nashville, including an insane stoppage time header against Club América to tie the game and send it into penalties. His play will be key for Nashville tonight.

If Nashville SC wins, they will either head to Philadelphia to play in the final or they will host Inter Miami and World Cup winner Lionel Messi. The same follows if Nashville SC loses and plays in the third-place game. Both the third-place game and the Championship will take place on Saturday (Aug. 19).

Nashville SC Upsets Club América In Wild Penalty Shootout

Sam Surridge. Photo: Courtesy of Nashville SC

The Leagues Cup continues to be a crazy tournament as Nashville SC defeated legendary Mexican club Club América in a wild penalty shootout 6-5 in the Round of 16 at GEODIS Park last night (Aug. 8).

This game included a Walker Zimmerman goal, a late penalty on Nashville, a debut goal from Sam Surridge and a retaken penalty in the shootout after everyone thought the game was over.

“It is very different. I wonder if when this whole idea of Leagues Cup was created, they envisioned what was going to go on tonight,” said Head Coach Gary Smith. “Now let’s be honest about the goal being pulled back as well, that Jack [Maher] was saved and the guy was off his line, and he moved too early. Now the scenes after that just created a very difficult picture to move on from. The umbrella view of all of the studies, what a fantastic game.

“The excitement the fans must have enjoyed and witnessed there is quite remarkable. With some terrific goals you add to the wonderful football. We were under pressure for good periods of that game against a tough side. So I think we showed the qualities that we’re very much renowned for, whilst also offering some good opportunities ourselves, especially early on I thought.”

Elliot Panicco. Photo: Courtesy of Nashville SC

Nashville’s newest Designated Player Surridge scored a heart-stopping equalizer late in stoppage time to level out the game at 2-2 during his Nashville SC debut. This goal came after Nashville SC conceded a penalty in the 90+3rd minute.

The penalty shootout was as intense and unpredictable as one could imagine in front of a crowd of over 24,000, most of which were fans of the visitor. Elliot Panicco was subbed in again for the shootout and made a block to level the shootout after Hany Mukhtar‘s opening penalty was blocked.

Things became uncontrollable after Maher’s penalty was initially blocked but was retaken due to a VAR check, showing rival goalkeeper Luis Malagón off his line. Maher converted, Club América missed their next shot and Dan Lovitz went on to score, securing Nashville SC’s place in the Quarterfinals.

After Maher’s blocked penalty, everyone in the stadium thought the game was over. Both clubs posted to their social media’s the final score and fans began to leave. At this point dozens of fans, mostly Club América fans, began to run on the field, delaying any type of word from the referees. Almost 10 minutes has pasted before any knew Maher’s penalty needed to be retaken.

“Honestly, I figured out that I needed to retake it pretty much when everybody else did,” said Maher in a postgame press conference. “It was one of the wildest scenes that I’ve ever seen on a soccer field with people stampeding onto the field. I just huddled up with my group and we have really good leadership, guys like Walker [Zimmerman], guys like Hany [Mukhtar], guys like Sam [Surridge] now as well that I can sort of lean on in those tough moments and they really helped me get through it.”

Surridge came off the bench in the 65th minute and overpowered a header over the net within his first 10 minutes. But it was another header which made him the hero of the night after Club América seemed to seal their fate.

“I don’t think anyone had their head down when [Club América] scored,” said Surridge. “It seems a bit unfortunate because I’m not sure about it. I still felt like I could get myself out there and score. I always do. I’ve got pep. So as soon as Dax [McCarty] put his hand up I just got in the box. I was in the right place at the right time. I am confident I will score when I get into the competition. That was part of it, but yeah, it is just trying to make things happen.”

Next up, the Boys in Gold will face Minnesota United this Friday (Aug. 11) at GEODIS Park. After the Round of 32, all host sites are decided based on 2022 MLS standings. Kickoff is set for 7:30 p.m. CT.

Click below to watch the full postgame press conference.

Nashville SC Upsets FC Cincinnati In Leagues Cup Penalty Shootout

Photo: Courtesy of Nashville SC

Nashville SC survives and advances to the Leagues Cup Round of 16 after defeating rival FC Cincinnati in a penalty shootout 5-4 at TQL Stadium on Friday (Aug. 4) night.

Goalkeeper Elliott Panicco was the hero of the night blocking one of Cincy’s penalty attempts after head coach Gary Smith made the decision to sub him in for Joe Willis in stoppage time. Despite the overwhelming anxiety due to NSC’s prior penalty shootout performances, they scored all their attempts with veteran Dax McCarty scoring the winning goal.

“We were here three weeks ago and it didn’t go our way,” said Smith in a postgame press conference. “I think it was very difficult. I think we can safely say that the guys have exercised some demons here tonight. We were missing some players. The group that went out onto the field I thought showed incredible character, stuck to the plan. But in the end we got what was an incredibly good win here in a very tough stadium.”

Nashville was able to hold on and keep the game scoreless going into halftime. A few opportunities were made but they couldn’t connect anything. On the positive, they were able to hold Cincinnati’s Brandon Vazquez and and MVP hopeful Luciano Acosta for 45 minutes.

In the second half, there were a few more opportunities but the scoring finally came when Aníbal Godoy scored in the 65th minute off of a goalkeeper deflection after Hany Mukhtar delivered a bullet of a corner kick to find Dax McCarty’s head which was initially saved. 

But in the 85th minute Nashville conceded a penalty which Cincinnati’s Vazquez scored to level the game at 1-1. The Leagues Cup knockout stage goes directly into penalties if the game is tied after regulation.

With the win, NSC avoided losing to Cincy three times this season and will host legendary Liga MX team Club América on Tuesday, Aug. 8 at GEODIS Park in the Leagues Cup Round of 16.

The Boys in Gold hosted Club América in September of 2022 as part of the Leagues Cup Showcase. NSC went on to win 4-2 in a penalty shootout after the game ending in an exhilarating 3-3 draw.

Nashville SC Trades Ján Greguš To Minnesota United FC

Ján Greguš. Photo: Courtesy of Nashville SC

Nashville SC has traded midfielder Ján Greguš to his former club, Minnesota United FC, in exchange for $75,000 in 2024 general allocation money and Minnesota’s natural pick in the second round of the 2024 MLS SuperDraft.

Greguš joined Nashville SC in March 2023 as a free agent who had previously played for the San Jose Earthquakes in 2022 and Minnesota United FC from 2019 to 2021. While with Nashville SC, the Slovakian midfielder participated in 15 games, starting in one.

Nashville SC continues their run in the Leagues Cup 2023, traveling to FC Cincinnati in the Round of 32 tomorrow (Aug. 4) at 7 p.m. CT. Fans can follow the action on the MLS Season Pass on Apple TV app.