NASHVILLE, Tenn. (WTVF) — Nashville SC supporters gathered at the Nashville airport Friday to welcome home players and coaches from their preseason in Florida - just eight days before their first Major League Soccer match at Nissan Stadium.
Supporters wore gold and blue, eager to meet the full squad for the first time in the same place.
"This is fantastic. I'm so excited to see everybody, just the atmosphere is just crazy," Nashville SC supporter Kate Guidry said.
Players walked past the fans one-by-one offering high fives, autographs, selfies, and saying thanks to those who showed up.
“To walk through and have that sort of reception is great," Nashville SC head coach Gary Smith said. “To see these people here supporting us at this point is fantastic. I think it just inspires everyone to push on and hopefully achieve something more worthwhile down the line. “
While some of the players had previously been signed to Nashville SC when they were in the USL, others have joined the team as they prepared for the MLS season opener. And they were excited to see the support.
“It was great finally meeting fans, interacting with them, seeing kids and their signs and posters. It was a warm welcome for sure," said Nashville SC defender Walker Zimmerman.
He added that he can't wait to experience the atmosphere in Nissan Stadium on February 29 for the season opener.
“It’s gonna be great, I think it’s gonna be perfect. No better way to kick off the season, kick off the long history that we’re going to have as a club, and ultimately, said Zimmerman. "It’s going to be a fun atmosphere, fun environment. I’m sure the fans are going to love it, and hopefully we’ve been working on a product on the field that everyone will be proud of."
More than 40,000 tickets have been sold to the first game at Nissan Stadium, and there are numerous events leading up to the season opener, including a 5K race, a pub crawl, and other events.