The Adopt an Otter program is in high demand again this year and with players arriving at the beginning of May, they are going fast. Several important questions have been asked about the program and how it works and we have answered them below!

What is the Adopt an Otter Program?

Our players come to Johnson City directly from college, so they don’t necessarily have time to see their families. More than that, a lot of them are from other countries. This program allows the team to connect with the community by providing our players with specific people to form relationships with. While you are in the stands, you are cheering for a specific player, and while they are playing, they know they have fans specifically cheering for them.

Celebrating Stuart Hendry’s birthday postgame with cupcakes brought by his adopted family

What is the cost to join the program and what do I receive?

The cost of the program is $200 and it will go towards getting your player settled when they arrive in Johnson City for the summer, but in return you receive a player assigned directly to you! You also receive one camp registration for our annual youth camp that will be help June 21–24, 2021. In addition, you will get a fact sheet about your player, a t-shirt with their name and number on the back, and when that player starts a child can walk out with their player during lineup announcements.

Just before walkouts with their adopted players

Is this a home stay?

No! Home-stays present many challenges for both families and the players so that is why we choose not to do them. Families are encouraged to have their player over for dinner or game night, but the players will be housed in apartments in Johnson City.

Do I get any say in the type of player that I am assigned?

Yes! When you have decided that you would like to adopt an Otter for the summer we will send you a packet with information on the program as well as questions about the type of player (position, country, etc.) that you would be interested in adopting for the summer. It is important to us that you and your Otter are a fit for each other and are able to grow a relationship over the summer!

Players and their adopted family walking out during pre-game announcements

What kinds of things should I bring my player?

There is no “right” way to adopt an Otter. Families approach this in many ways. The fact sheet will feature some of the player’s favorite food and drinks, so many choose to bring their Otter goodie bags after home games. However, there are so many directions you can go! Last season families took their Otter out for dinner or ice cream, had them over for game night or a cookout, and many other activities. They and us are grateful that you and your family have chosen to participate in this program!

Some of the goodie bags dropped off pre-game by our adopting families

Can my family all get t-shirts with the player’s name and number? What about jerseys?

Absolutely! Extra shirts can be purchased for $20 per shirt so that the whole family can have a shirt supporting their Otter. Jerseys will be available throughout the season and can be customized to any name and number.

Adopted family posing with Otters GK Tim Trilk

Amateur soccer team based in Johnson City, TN and fielding teams in USL League Two and the USL Academy! More info can be found on!