Knoxville Force

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Knoxville Force
Knoxville Force Logo.png
Full name Knoxville Force
Founded 2010
Stadium Hackney Field, Sansom Sports Complex
Knoxville, Tennessee
Ground Capacity 1,000
Owner Emerald Youth Foundation
General Manager Derrick Long
Head Coach Brad Camp
League National Premier Soccer League
2016 4th, Southeast
Playoffs: Conference Semi-finalist
Website Club home page
Current season

Knoxville Force is an American soccer club based in Knoxville, Tennessee, United States. Founded in 2010, the senior team is part of the Southeast Conference within the South Region of the National Premier Soccer League (NPSL), the fourth tier of the American Soccer Pyramid. Additionally, the club fields a Women's team which competes in the Southeast Conference of the Women's Premier Soccer League, several youth teams, and an academy system.

The Force teams train and play home games at the Sansom Sports Complex in downtown Knoxville. The team's colors are emerald, black, and white.


The Knoxville Force began play in the 2011 NPSL season. The team's founding ownership group was Knoxville Soccer, LLC. Barry Goss served as president and majority owner of the team, while his son, Jason Goss, served as the team's general manager.[1]

The Force finished their inaugural season, 5th in the Southeast Conference with, 3 wins, 6 losses, and 1 draw in conference play.

The Force started out the 2012 campaign with a 1–0 win against in-state rival Chattanooga FC, and finished with a 6 wins and 4 losses in conference, good for 2nd in the final conference standings.[2]

The Force finished the 2013 season with a only 1 conference win to go along with 4 losses and 5 draws, which led to a 5th place position in the final Southeast Conference standings.[3]

The 2014 season was the team's worst on-field performance to date. The team finished no wins and only 2 draws, to 8 losses. They finished last place in the conference.[4] Beginning in 2014, Knoxville Force merged their soccer operations with the Emerald Youth Foundation.[5]

Following the 2014 season, Barry Goss and Knoxville Soccer sold the team to the Emerald Youth Foundation, a Christian, urban youth ministry, and serve as the senior team of the Emerald Youth Foundation academy system. The new ownership changed the teams colors from their original orange, navy, and white to the current emerald, black, and white, which better matches their existing academy branding. They new ownership also moved home matches from Regal Stadium to Hackney Field, part of the new Sansom Sports Complex in downtown Knoxville which is operated by the foundation.

The 2015 season saw many positives off the field, with the move to the new Sansom Sports Complex, growth of the academy structure, and the development of the Scruffy City Syndicate supporters group. On the field results were mixed. The men again won no conference games, lost seven, and tied 3. They again placed last in the conference. They did, however, have two wins against the Birmingham Hammers, an expansion team which would be in the Force's conference beginning in 2016. While the men's team's struggles continued, the 2015 season was very positive for the women's side. They were undefeated in the regular season winning 6 games and drawing 1, which made them conference champions. In the playoffs they defeated Chattanooga FC 3-2 in 2nd extra time and defeated the FC Nashville Wolves in a penalty shootout. Their season came to an end in the Regional Championship when their first loss of the season came against Oklahoma City FC.

In 2016 the men's team got a fresh start with new coach Bradley Camp, and a largely new roster. The achieved their first conference win since 2013 by defeating the Birmingham Hammers on May 21, 2016.[6] The Force defeated Nashville FC twice in that teams final NPSL campaign, and ultimately finished 4th in the conference standings to qualify for the playoffs for the first time. The Force lost in the first round of the playoffs to eventual National Semifinalist Chattanooga FC.[7]

Knoxville Force Men's Year-by-Year Results[edit]

Year Division League League Record (W-D-L) Overall Record (W-D-L) Regular Season Playoffs Open Cup
2011 4 NPSL 3-1-6 3-1-6 5th, Southeast Did not qualify Did not qualify
2012 4 NPSL 6-0-4 6-0-4 2nd, Southeast-West Did not qualify Did not qualify
2013 4 NPSL 1-5-4 1-5-4 5th, Southeast Did not qualify Did not qualify
2014 4 NPSL 0-2-8 0-2-8 7th, Southeast Did not qualify Did not qualify
2015 4 NPSL 0-3-7 2-3-7 6th, Southeast Did not qualify Did not qualify
2016 4 NPSL 4-0-6 5-0-7 4th, Southeast Conference Semifinals Did not qualify


Derek Broadley was appointed head coach of the Force in February 2011. His two assistant coaches were Steven Lyons and Josh Scott.

Beginning with the 2012 season, Broadley was named Director of Coaching for the Force, Steven Lyons was named head coach, and Josh Scott was named assistant.

In 2014 Paulo Neto was named head coach, and served in that role for two seasons. During his time with the Force, Neto also served as the head coach for the Shorter University Hawks Men's Soccer team, Regional Head Coach for Region 2 Olympic Development Program, as well as a Kentucky ODP Head Coach. Neto held a Union of European Football Associations (UEFA) “A” License, a United States Soccer Federation (USSF) "A" License, and a USSF National Youth License.[8] Neto was named head coach of the Saint Francis University men's soccer program in May of 2015, and therefore resigned as Force head coach at the conclusion of the 2015 season. [9]

In 2016, Brad Camp was named the fourth head coach of the Knoxville Force.

Jason Goss, served as the first General Manager for the Force from 2011-2014. Beginning in 2015 Derrick Long is General Manager for the Force as well as the Emerald Force Soccer Club Academy and Club Leagues.

2011 England Derek Broadley

2012–2013 England Steven Lyons

2014-2015 Brazil Paulo Neto

2016-Present United States Brad Camp


The Force play their games at Hackney Field, part of the Sansom Sports Complex. The Sansom Sports Complex was built on a 14-acre site once occupied by an H.T. Hackney warehouse. Bill Sansom, CEO of Knoxville-based H.T. Hackney, developed the downtown sports complex. Emerald Youth Foundation oversees and operates the complex. The first field, pavilion and field house opened for practice in spring 2015.[10] When complete, the unique complex will include three synthetic turf fields, a pavilion covered turf field, and a 5,000 square foot field house with a performance-training center. Baseline Sports Construction of Knoxville is the builder. Planned Layout


The Supporters Group of the Knoxville Force is the Scruffy City Syndicate. The Syndicate was founded in 2015.[11]


The four Tennessee clubs in the NPSL, Knoxville Force, Chattanooga FC, Nashville FC and Memphis City FC compete for a rivalry trophy called the "Volunteer Shield". The Volunteer Shield is presented at the end of the season to the supporters of the club that took the most points in games against one another, with a medallion added to the trophy commemorating the year.

Broadcast and Media[edit]

For their premier season of 2011, the Knoxville Force entered into an agreement with ESPN Radio Knoxville to broadcast the team's home games. Games are carried live on AM 1180 in Knoxville and within the AM 1180 coverage area. The broadcast team for the 2011 season consists of Mark Atnip and Jon Haynes. Atnip has been serving as the broadcaster for the Knoxville Icebears Professional Hockey Team (SPHL) since 2004. Jon Haynes joined the Icebears broadcast team during the 2009–2010 season, and serves as a public address announcer for the Tennessee Smokies baseball team. (AA affiliate of the Chicago Cubs)

Knoxville Force Women[edit]

The Force organization also fields a women's team, known as the Knoxville Force Women of the Women's Premier Soccer League (WPSL). The team was founded in 2012,[12] and were initially known as the Knoxville Lady Force until the team was purchased by the Emerald Youth Foundation prior to the 2015 season.

Under the new ownership in 2015, the women's team had their best season yet, going undefeated in the regular season and winning the Southeast Conference regular and postseason titles, and advancing to the Southern Region Finals, where they lost to Oklahoma City FC.[13]

Knoxville Force Women Year-by-year Results[edit]

Year League Regular Season Playoffs
2012 WPSL 2nd, Southeast Regional Semi-Finals
2013 WPSL 3rd, Southeast Conference Semi-Finals
2014 WPSL 4th, Southeast Conference Semi-Finals
2015 WPSL 1st, Southeast Conference Champions, Regional Finals
2016 WPSL 5th, Southeast Conference Champions

Emerald Force Soccer Club[edit]

The junior club of the Knoxville Force is the Emerald Force Soccer Club, an inner city youth club, affiliated with the Emerald Youth Foundation, that aims to provide ample opportunities for inner city youth to play and excel in the sport of soccer. The Emerald Force Soccer Club consists of an academy league as well as competitive teams.[14]


External links[edit]