Knoxville Force piled onto buses early Friday afternoon to travel to Chattanooga for the second time in two weeks. This trip, however, was to play Jacksonville United FC (from Jacksonville FL) in the opening round of the playoffs to qualify for the Lamar Hunt U.S. Open Cup, the 98th edition of the oldest competition in American soccer. The game also counted as a league game for Knoxville and Jacksonville, the two newest teams in the National Premiere Soccer League’s (NPSL’s) Southeastern Conference. The Open Cup will feature 40 clubs from across the five tiers of the American soccer pyramid and NPSL will have four clubs entered from its ranks, one being from the Southeastern Conference.
The game began at 5:30 in muggy 80 degree weather for the start of the Memorial Day weekend. At halftime, the game was scoreless with Knoxville Force having four shots on goal and Jacksonville United having one shot on goal during the first half. Jacksonville scored 6:50 into the second half and the game ended with Jacksonville United winning 1-0.
Knoxville Force 1-3-0
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