Okay, it's not the World Cup, but the Nashville Metros can still feel pride at participating in the city's first international soccer match.
The Bermuda National Team takes on the A-League's local entry in an exhibition Saturday, April 28 at Ezzell Park. The match begins at 5 p.m.
"It's going to be incredible for Nashville. I've played against different national teams before [while playing for the Major League Soccer's Columbus Crew] and it gives you the opportunity to play against sides with different tactics and styles of play from what you might normally see," Metros midfielder Dominic Schell said. "I think you definitely learn more from them than they do from you. It will definitely be exciting."
"It's a great honor to have a national team in Tennessee and in Nashville," said Nashville Coach Brett Mosen, who lived in Bermuda for four years and worked to set up the exhibition after conducting a recent soccer session there. "They've got a different flavor there. It's been a British colony so there's a British flavor to their play, but it's not as if they'll be just English and play the long ball. They also have a bit of the South American in them .. they're very technical as well."
Bermuda National Manager Jon Beard echoed those comments after his team arrived here yesterday. "We like to mix short passing with elements of English football. In hot weather, you can't be passing the ball around too long, so in some ways we've adapted the English game to the conditions," he said.
How does Beard think the squads will stack up against one another? "We're coming toward the end of the season, they're just starting theirs. Because they're professional, I expect they'll be well conditioned for the match. Of course, since we're ending our season, hopefully our side will be fit to go against the level of play we'll be facing," the manager said.
And like his Metros counterparts, Beard