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BIG GOALS: Huntsville could score pro soccer team in the future

Huntsville City Administrator John Hamilton says, even though the United Soccer League is interested in Rocket City, a Huntsville soccer team will not be possible until an owner of a team steps up and is willing to invest in the community.

Posted: Dec. 20, 2017 7:30 PM
Updated: Dec. 20, 2017 8:14 PM

While the buzz continues about a minor league baseball team possibly coming to Madison, another sports team is on the radar.

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But this time, in Huntsville. And instead of a baseball team, it's soccer.

Huntsville is a growing city, making it an easy choice for a professional division three soccer team to call it home.

And the people WAAY 31 talked with Wednesday say they’d be happy to welcome another sports team to the area.

“Soccer is big here in Huntsville," said owner of Winning Edge Sports, Alan Luna. "I mean there’s a lot of kids that play soccer and, of course, they watch the big league teams just like we do, so they want to emulate them. So I think it’d be great."

Luna says he’s happy to hear about the possibility of another professional sports team coming to Huntsville, especially if it’s a soccer team.

And he’s not the only one.

“People enjoy it here," said Huntsville resident, Bill Kerley. "Huntsville kind of has an international theme going for it, so soccer being international, but soccer being close to Huntsville, it could make a big impact."

And Chad Emerson with Downtown Huntsville, Inc. agrees.

Emerson says the United Soccer League visited Huntsville back in October and has shown continuous interest in the Rocket City ever since.

Kerley says he’s not surprised the city impressed the USL and made the list of potential homes for a professional soccer team.

“Huntsville’s a great place. It is growing. I mean it seems to be non-stop, so a soccer team could do great," Kerley said.

Emerson says he believes the team would do well in Huntsville because of the strong club and recreational soccer presence in the area.

He also added the team would give Huntsville another form of entertainment.

Emerson compares it to the Huntsville Havoc, with a loyal following and solid attendance.

A soccer team could also help Huntsville businesses score.

“It could affect other businesses, other sports stores," Kerley said.

Sporting store owner, Alan Luna, says he’s ready for that win.

“We sell soccer uniforms and it would probably help our uniform business," Luna said.

Overall, the people WAAY 31 talked to in Huntsville say they’d be more than willing to check out and cheer on the new team if it comes to Rocket City.

“I mean if we go and we’ll definitely enjoy it," said Kerley.

“When they come to town, we’ll definitely support them, and we’ll have things that they can buy for that sport," Luna added.

Emerson says the earliest we’d see a soccer team come to Huntsville would be 2019, but he believes the chances are promising.

Huntsville City Administrator John Hamilton says, even though the league is interested in Rocket City, a Huntsville soccer team will not be possible until an owner of a team steps up and is willing to invest in the community.

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