Nati SC

Nati SC: team preview, opponents, FAQs

This Wednesday, the second edition of The Soccer Tournament (TST) will begin. Twelve groups of 48 teams will be vying for the prize of $1 million, and many eyes from around the world will be on them.

Nati SC will be one of the teams in the tournament, and they are a team almost entirely comprised of alumni from FC Cincinnati’s USL era. It is a stacked roster with a nostalgic group of players.

Last year, they were eliminated in the group stage, but they have higher hopes in this year’s edition.


The team is being coached by Tori Huster, a retired player who played mostly with the Washington Spirit in the NWSL. She has considerable leadership experience, having served as the president of the NWSL Players Association. The assistant coach is Eric Oliver and the general manager is Shawnessey Chiodi.

Dallas Jaye is the only true goalkeeper on the roster. He made just four appearances for FCC in 2016 and 2017 as a backup for Mitch Hildebrandt. So who’s the backup goalkeeper for this team most likely? Ochocinco.

The defense consists of Michael Millay, Derek Luke and Justin Hoyte. Millay played for the UC Bearcats, Cincinnati Dutch Lions and FCC in their inaugural season in 2016. Luke was a left back who made 29 appearances in 2016 and 2017. Hoyte is an FCC legend who played for the club in 2017 and 2018 in USL, and the inaugural MLS season in 2019. However, it looks like Hoyte will not be available for Nati SC as he was pictured with a boot and on crutches. 

The midfield consists of Aaron Walker, Corben Bone, Emmanuel Ledesma, Eric Stevenson, Francisco Narbon, Jimmy McLaughlin, Kadeem Dacres, Kenney Walker and Paul Clownes. 

Stevenson was a standout player for FCC in its inaugural season in 2016, and Narbon also made a few appearances that year. Dacres and Aaron Walker were on FCC in 2017, but the latter never made an appearance. Clownes was never on the roster for FCC, but played throughout the USL, most notably on the Greenville Triumph.

Bone, Ledesma, McLaughlin and Walker are club legends. Bone played all throughout each of FCC’s USL seasons and in its inaugural MLS season. Walker was a central midfielder who also played in each of FCC’s USL seasons. McLaughlin, nicknamed “Pennsylvania Messi”, was a star in each of those USL seasons, too. Ledesma, nicknamed “Manu,” was the MVP of the USL in 2018 and was a key player in the inaugural MLS season.

There are two players listed at forward: Ochocinco and Danni König. Ochocinco was one of the best wide receivers in the NFL and is a team legend for the Cincinnati Bengals. He is the celebrity of the roster. “King König” was another legend of FCC, scoring goals in 2017 and 2018 for FCC. 

The roster is decently well-rounded and has quite a few players who are entertaining to watch. They might not be contenders, but they will be fun to watch.


Nati SC is in Group B, which consists of Burnley FC, The CONCAFA SC and Reggae Rovers.

Burnley FC is led by JJ Watt, one of the greatest defensive ends to play in the NFL. He is a minority owner of the actual club, which was just relegated from the Premier League. Their TST side has a roster that consists of players who have been on the Burnley squad, and other players who have experience playing for European clubs. They will be a tough opponent.

Some of their players to watch include Chris Eagles, an English midfielder who played over 300 professional matches (120 with Burnley), and Marcel Lewis, an unproven English forward who has bounced around since being in Chelsea’s academy.

The CONCAFA SC is led by Pat McAfee, sports analyst, commentator and former punter for the Indianapolis Colts in the NFL. Their squad is filled with notable former CONCACAF players, and their coach is legendary USMNT goalkeeper Tony Meola.

Some of their players to watch include Brek Shea, an American midfielder with loads of experience throughout MLS, and Geoff Cameron, American defender who played in Europe and for FCC for a brief time in 2021 and 2022.

The final opponent of the group is Reggae Rovers, a team filled with players from all over the Caribbean area. Some of the players to watch include Chevaughn Walsh, a Jamaican forward who has scored goals all over the world, and Shane Malcom, a Guam midfielder who also has global experience.


What is the tournament’s structure? — the top two teams in each group will advance to the knockout stage, as well as the eight best third-place teams. The knockout stage consists of the Round of 32, the Round of 16, the Quarterfinals, the Semifinals and the Finals.

When do they play?

  • Group Stage Rd #1 against Burnley: 8:30 AM on Wednesday, 6/5
  • Group Stage Rd #2 against The CONCAFA SC: 7:00 PM on Wednesday, 6/5
  • Group Stage Rd #3 against Reggae Rovers: 7:15 PM on Thursday, 6/6

(If they advance, the time of their knockout matches will depend on where they placed in the group.)

Where can I watch them? — Group Stage Rd #1 can be watched on the tournament’s website, Group Stage Rd #2 can be watched on ESPNU or ESPN+, and Group Stage Rd #3 can be watched on the tournament’s website.

Where are they playing? — they are playing at the tournament’s location, WakeMed Soccer Park in Cary, North Carolina.

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