Nashville awarded United Soccer League franchise

News emerging out of The Tennessean: A group of Nashville investors has been awarded a new expansion professional soccer franchise by the United Soccer League, a potential major first step toward soccer becoming Nashville’s next professional sport.

But Metro and the ownership team would first need to secure a plan for a stadium for the club.

Meanwhile, the North American Soccer League — which is one tier above the USL in North America’s professional soccer pyramid — remains interested in Nashville.

The USL, which is two tiers below Major League Soccer, the highest level of pro soccer in the United States, has awarded a franchise to a Nashville-based ownership team that calls itself DMD Soccer.

The group consists of David Dill, president and chief operating officer of LifePoint Health; Christopher Redhage, co-founder of ProviderTrust, a health care software company, and a former pro soccer player; and Marcus Whitney, president of Jumpstart Foundry, a health care innovation fund, and chairman of Nashville FC, the city’s existing amateur team.

Their hope is to begin USL play in 2018. A club name has not been decided, nor have the owners publicly identified possible sites where they would play.

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