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CFC goes top of Eastern Conference with win over Carolina Core

CHATTANOOGA, Tenn. (April 27, 2024) — Chattanooga Football Club defeated Carolina Core FC 2-0 in the first battle of independent teams in MLS NEXT Pro history in front of nearly 4,000 fans at Finley Stadium.

Jesus Ibarra scored the opener in the seventh minute when Callum Watson found him with space on the left wing and Ibarra curled in his third goal of the season. Milo Garvanian scored his first professional goal in the second half with a wonderful curling effort to ensure the Boys in Blue returned to winning ways.

Sporting Director and Head Coach Rod Underwood made six changes to the starting line-up from the club's 1-0 defeat by Atlanta United 2. Jean Antoine, Duvan Viafara, Callum Watson, Andres Jimenez Aranzazu, Jesus Ibarra and Mehdi Ouamri came in for Jonathan Burke, Farid Sar-Sar, Alex McGrath, Luis Garcia Sosa, Jalen James and Carlos Rivas.

Chattanooga FC finish the day at the top of both the Eastern Conference and Southeast Division ahead of a ten-match slate in the league tomorrow.

Chattanooga FC will now look forward to another Southeast Division matchup, this time against Orlando City B, on Saturday, May 4th at 5:00 p.m. ET at Finley Stadium for Star Wars Night. Tickets are on sale now.


Sporting Director and Head Coach Rod Underwood gave his post-match reaction:

“We've picked up six points in three games in eight days—we would've loved to get nine of course, but we knew it was about getting through this game,” said Underwood. “I knew Carolina was going to come prepared and they were. I knew it was going to be a difficult game, but there's no easy game in our league; that's clear. We get the three points, we get through it, and now we have some days to train. I'm looking forward to training."

On other positives from the performance:

“Callum Watson getting a start—he did some things we were really looking for. Alex (McGrath) came on and gave us a spark. Jude (Arthur) grew into the game. I think Taylor (Gray) had one of his best games yet. Jesse (Williams) had one of his best games yet. I could go on and on. I'm happy about the team. You know me, I don't really like to single guys out, but Milo Garvanian has been pretty steady for us. Tolie (Anatolie Prepelita) defensively was good. Duvan (Viafara) was stand-up again, right? It was one of Jesus' (Ibarra) better games in terms of decision-making."


  • Chattanooga FC kept its third clean sheet of the season
  • Callum Watson made his first start in MLS NEXT Pro for Chattanooga FC
  • Jean Antoine captained the side for the first time this season
  • There have been seven different goalscorers for CFC this season

Box Score:  

Chattanooga FC (4W-1L-2D, 1SOW, 15 pts.)   - Carolina Core FC (0W-4L-1D, 1SOW, 2 pts.)

Finley Stadium | Chattanooga, Tenn. 

Final Score:

CFC: 2


Scoring Summary:   

CFC: Jesus Ibarra 7'

CFC: Milo Garvanian 75'


CFC: Jude Arthur (caution) 55'

CCFC: Derek Cuevas (caution) 56'

CFC: Jesus Ibarra (caution) 58'

CFC: Callum Watson (caution) 60'

CFC: Milo Garvanian (caution) 68'

Stats (CFC/CCFC):
Possession: 57% / 43%
xG: 1.77 / 0.78
Shots: 14 / 8
Shots on goal: 5 / 3
Blocked shots: 3 / 3
Total passes: 589 / 344
Passing accuracy percentage: 93.7 / 91
Corners: 3 / 2
Total crosses: 8 / 6
Offsides: 1 / 1
Goalkeeper saves: 3 / 3
Clearances: 15 / 11
Fouls: 16 / 14


CFC starters: Jean Antoine (C), Jesse Williams (Joseph Perez 52'), Anatolie Prepelita, Duvan Viafara, Milo Garvanian, Jude Arthur (Farid Sar-Sar 90'+1), Andres Jimenez Aranzazu, Callum Watson (Alex McGrath 64'), Taylor Gray (Jalen James 90'+1), Jesus Ibarra, Mehdi Ouamri (Carlos Rivas 90'+1)

Substitutes not used: Jonathan Burke, Luis Garcia Sosa, Ethan Koren, Damian Rodriguez

Head Coach: Rod Underwood

CCFC starters: Andrew Pannenberg; Jathan Juarez (Papa Ndoye 86'), Ibrahim Covi, Kai Thomas, Christian Diaz; Facundo Canete (Jesus Orejuela 78'), Jacob Evans (C); Ozzie Cisneros (Drake Hadeed 63'), Derek Cuevas, Yekeson Subah (Carlos Mario Diaz 63'); David “Pachi” Polanco (Joshua Rodriguez 46')

Substitutes not used: Alex Sutton, Josuha Rodriguez, Jeremiah White IV, Aryeh Miller, Federico Stachuk

Head Coach: Roy Lassiter

GALLERY: Chattanooga FC 2-0 Carolina Core FC