USL will move into Nashville in 2018

The United Soccer League has awarded an expansion franchise to a group that will begin play in Nashville in 2018. A major reason to wait until 2018 is so the DMD Soccer ownership group can settle on a stadium plan.

The DMD Soccer ownership group includes David Dill, the president and chief operating officer of LifePoint Health, Marcus Whitney, the president of Jumpstart Foundry, and Christopher Redhage, co-founder of ProviderTrust. Redhage played soccer at the University of Richmond and for the PDL's Des Moines Menace and was an assistant women's coach at the University of Nebraska.

The last pro team in Nashville was the Nashville Metros, who spent five years in the A-League (1997-2001) during a 22-year run in the USL that began with the indoor SISL in 1991 and ended in the PDL in 2012 when their coach was former U.S. international Brent Goulet.

"We are very proud and excited to welcome Nashville to the USL and look forward to a very rewarding partnership with David, Marcus, Christopher and the entire DMD Soccer team," said USL CEO Alec Papadakis. "We have long identified Nashville as a USL destination due to its economic vibrancy and growing millennial and international populations. DMD Soccer group met all of our tenets of strong local ownership groups, achievable soccer-specific stadium plans, and a passionate soccer fan base."

The 2016 USL season began with 29 teams. The league will add Reno 1868 FC for the 2017 season, while the Austin Aztex are sitting out of the 2016 season as they seek a new stadium. The USL expanded from 14 teams in 2014 to 24 teams in 2015.

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