Chattanooga-Cosmos NPSL Final Sets Attendance Record

18,277. That’s how many fans packed into Finley Stadium in Chattanooga, an attendance figure that places a fourth division match between amateur clubs on equal attendance footing with MLS sides.

Chattanooga averaged 7,690 fans in the two home matches immediately before the final. Before kickoff, the club announced over 9,000 ticket sales. Apparently, for every ticket sold, another fan bought a ticket at the door. An amazing achievement for Chattanooga.

The game itself was excellent as well, an overtime thriller won by the Cosmos 3-2. The Cosmos’ Ibrahim Diaby, who won Puma Player of the Game, ripped the first goal late in the first half. Chattanooga FC’s Chris Ochieng fired back in the 69th minute to even things up.

The game stayed 1-1 until the end of regulation, but just 30 seconds into overtime the Cosmos jumped ahead 2-1 on another Diaby goal. The Cosmos added another, Chattanooga responded, but it wasn’t enough as the game ended 3-2.

Congrats to the New York Cosmos. This club looked unbeatable this season and, as it turned out, they actually were.

Even though the B-side of a professional club won the title, this final was a huge step forward and a big victory for the NPSL. Amateur soccer can survive–and thrive–in this country. The US collegiate model, while it has some pros, is outdated, plays by a strange ruleset, and fails to produce world class stars. When the NPSL starts up again next year, get out and support your local team! There are dozens of NPSL sides, there has to be one near you!

About Josh Howard

Josh Howard is a PhD Candidate in Public History at Middle Tennessee State University where he writes about empathy, museums, and visitor studies. He is also a massive DC United fan and serves as a co-editor for For more, check out