#FeelTheBurn: Jordan Wiebe of Fresno Fuego

#FeelTheBurn: Jordan Wiebe of Fresno Fuego

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Ohio’s Gem: David Satterwhite of the Dayton Dynamo

Ohio's Gem: David Satterwhite of the Dayton Dynamo

Best NPSL Scarf Submissions of 2016?

Best NPSL Scarf Submissions of 2016?

Our friends, The Chattahooligans, received some interesting scarves the other day – appears as if the designers were having a rough day.  Enjoy! Read more

The Dragon Born Come: Jordan Gardner of the Burlingame Dragons

The Dragon Born Come: Jordan Gardner of the Burlingame Dragons


Welcome back to #FromTheVault on Non League America ladies and gentlemen! Let’s get right to it today, there’s soccer to be watched this evening, St Louis FC vs LA Galaxy 2.

Today’s interview is with Jonathan Gardner of Burlingame Dragons FC. Burlingame is town in California, and the Dragons are the San Jose Earthquakes PDL affiliate. They also have a sweet logo, with one of the few good examples of how to do a soccer ball on logo. Jonathan was kind enough to actually take time on his vacation to do this interview, and not only that, he answered all the questions in one day! Check it out.

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Music City Miracle: An Interview With Chris Jones Of Nashville FC

Music City Miracle: An Interview With Chris Jones Of Nashville FC

Welcome back to American Pyramid’s #FromTheVault series ladies and gentlemen! I’m proud to be putting this interview out, as it bears the distinction of being the first interview ever done entirely over the phone! So if you happen to run a team and you’re reading this, there’s another avenue to get one of these interviews done for your team.

Chris Jones was gracious enough to take 30 minutes out of his day to do all this with me, and it strikes a great balance of length and detail, covering a wide variety of topics about the team, and also details what fans looking to start a team should do first. Check it out.

Tell me about yourself. Who you are, where you’re from, what your role is with Nashville FC.
CJ: My name is Chris Jones, I’m from Nashville born and raised, one of the few these days, the city is growing so quickly. Went to Middle Tennessee State for marketing and work at a bank here in town, and I’m the president and founder of NFC. Started the club in May 2013. Been a long journey, but we’ve come a long way.

How would you describe Nashville, and the team, to an outsider?
CJ: The city is becoming very trendy, very entrepreneur friendly and loves supporting the little guy. We also have an average of 89 people moving to Nashville each day. They can’t build the city fast enough. Our club fits in perfectly with that. How we went about forming it was very unique and the city really embraced that. It fits with the blue collar vibe of the city.

What brought about the decision to make this a supporter owned team, and how does that work?
CJ: Saw a video of FC United of Manchester and that really set me on this path. It’s like the equivalent of a group of Yankees or Cowboys fans going off and starting their own minor league team because they are fed up with high ticket prices. That really resonated with me. We went from 100 to 500 founding members in short order once word started getting out about the club.

There are a lot of people looking to start supporter owned teams in cities that don’t have one. What kind of advice would you give them to make sure they do it right?
CJ: You need to do your homework on how you want to legally be set up. We went in clueless. ‘We want it to be supporter owned, here’s a Pay Pal, figure it out.’ Take the time to figure out the legality.

Next, be very transparent. Not everyone is completely honest, so it’s important to be honest with those you owe honesty to, your club members.

Really understand why you’re doing it. Don’t do it just because it’s cool, do it because there’s a why. Have a message that really resonates with the people you want to get involved.

For example, you can deliver a message a boring way. Saying something like ‘we want a Nashville team and supporters get a say in what happens.’ Or you can say ‘we believe fans are the driving voice and should have a say in what goes on in the club.’ They’re the lifeblood of any team.

What was your reaction to the Harrisburg to Nashville relocation rumors?
CJ: It’s was something of a punch to the stomach, a little disheartening. No one approached us or explained to us what they were doing or why. We felt we had warranted some type of approach because of what we had done both as a team and outside of soccer too. And a team in Nashville will probably need to be locally owned. If you’re from here, we’ll give you the shirt off our back. You’ll need to be local to get this team behind you. We’re growing, but still a small town at heart.

Where would you like to see NFC in 5 years?
CJ: I think in 5 years one way or the other, I’d like to say NFC will be in the professional ranks. Realistically in 5 years, it would be USL or NASL. MLS in 5 years would take a lot of pushing. There’s no reason why NFC couldn’t be in the pro ranks in 5 years.

We have members in 26 states and 5 different countries, so people know who we are. Regardless of league we are in good place.

What does your average attendance look like?
CJ: First game we were just shy of 2,000 people. It feels like more every time I look at the stands. I have a picture from a game where we had 1300 and it looks like 2500. We average right around 1500. We’d love more, but I remember thinking, we only need 500 per match in our first season to break even, so we’re doing very well.

What’s your favorite league and/or team to watch?
CJ: Chelsea is the team I fell in with because of my buddy when I started watching soccer in 2007. He was a Manchester United fan, so I wanted to be able to banter back and forth. I also keep an eye on Athletic Bilbao in Spain. They arent community owned but you have to be from the area to play for the team. It would be like Nashville FC going pro and saying ‘only talent from Nashville and middle Tennessee can play here’ and really competing.

What’s your favorite book, soccer related or otherwise?
CJ: Soccernomics.

Favorite player. One past, one present.
​CJ: Michael Essien. I feel like if I had played soccer, rather than football in college, that’s the kind of player I would have been. No surprise, my current favorite player is Branislov Ivanovic. A really physical player, like Poku, those are just my kind of guys. Maybe that’s just some of the American Football player in me.

Chattanooga FC is:
CJ: The ultimate measuring stick. I give credit where credit is do. They get the credit they deserve until someone knocks them off their perch. if and when we beat them it’s a party at the Jones’ house. But summing them up in a single phrase, it would be the ultimate measuring stick.

Why should people care about NFC, and the lower leagues in general?
CJ: I think if you’re a person that believes in challenging the status and quo and enjoys innovative and trailblazing, that’s the spirit behind Nashville FC. We have wins and losses, but the journey is pretty fun. It’s the adventurous spirit. If you have that spirit, Nashville is the club for you. It’s been a heck of a journey.

Chris, thanks again for taking the time to do this with me. If you are enjoying the content I’m putting out, I’d encourage you to click here to Follow me on Twitter, or here to Like the page on Facebook.  And if you’d like even more content coming your way on the regular, click here and sign up for the weekly newsletter, containing fun articles and videos, sometimes covering soccer, sometimes not. Make sure to spread the word. Share interviews, tell friends about the blog, those kind of things. I can’t accomplish my goal of maximum exposure for all levels of the American Soccer Pyramid without you. Until next time, Stay Loyal, Support Local.

Surf, Sand, Soccer: An Interview With Nick Surface Of Albion Pros SC

Surf, Sand, Soccer: An Interview With Nick Surface Of Albion Pros SC


It’s a new week, which can only mean one thing. #FromTheVault on Non League America is back!

Now, Nick Surface graciously agreed to do this interview with me back before Christmas, and a lot has happened with his team since then, including getting Delta Airlines (!) to be the teams official jersey sponsor, and drawing over 2,000 fans to their NPSL debut. I’m really looking forward to seeing how this season goes for them, and really enjoyed doing this interview. Check it out.

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Spell That For Me Please: An Interview With Ron Patel of Albuquerque Sol FC


Welcome back to American Pyramid #FromTheVault on Non League America Ladies and Gentlemen! This is the latest re-release of some of my older content on the American Pyramid blog. Don’t worry, one day soon I’ll be caught up, and it’ll be nothing but fresh, shiny new content from there on out!

I wanted to preface this interview with an interesting note. This was almost the first live interview ever done here on the Pyramid. Over Thanksgiving, I was actually in Santa Fe and was supposed to potentially have time to sit down and interview Ron Patel face to face. That didn’t happen, but we still managed to get an interview done. It’s a fun interview, shedding some light on the city of Albuquerque, the history of soccer in New Mexico, and the teams 10 year plan. Check it out.

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Non League America Vol. 7: Ultras On Tour

The Atlanta Ultras made a quick trip down to Tampa to watch their beloved Atlanta Silverbacks play the Rowdies on June 13, 2015.  My camera was denied at the gate, and cell phone footage was not up to par, so here are some quick shots from the pre match. Contrary to popular belief, the Atlanta Ultras are very much alive and well for 2016.  Be on the lookout for more info this week.

The Blue Tide: An Interview With Tim Kelly of Chattanooga FC


Welcome back to #FromtheVault on Non League America ladies and Gentlemen! Today I have the pleasure of pulling the Chattanooga FC interview out of the archives and back into the spotlight. Like Disney says, ‘Hurry, before it’s locked away for good!’ (Or you go find the DVD on Amazon, but, you know, whatever)

Now, I’m really excited to be able to share this interview with you. I’ve been following soccer for years, often times probably far too closely for my own good, but hey, it’s how I am where I am now. Chattanooga is a team I’ve been watching since it’s beginning, and it’s been a truly fascinating journey to watch. These guys have averaged several thousand fans a game, and when they hosted the NPSL Championship game, packed the house with 18,000+ This interview with Tim Kelly was fun to do and incredibly insightful. He was even gracious enough to 7 points worth of advice for people looking to start their own teams. Check it all out after the break.

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A Regions Team: An Interview With Jason Barbato of North County Battalion


Welcome back readers, it’s time for another From the Vault interview! This one features Jason Barbato of North County Battalion out of Carlisbad, California. He gives one of the best, longest, and deepest interviews I’ve had. It’s a real delight, and I’m excited to see what you all think. Check it out.

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