A new name, a new direction and a lot of familiar faces highlights the beginning of preseason training for North Carolina FC. The franchise previously named the Carolina RailHawks, will open training at WakeMed Soccer Park on Monday, Feb. 6, preparing for the 2017 North American Soccer League (NASL) season,.
“We are excited to get back to work and begin our preparations for the 2017 season,” said North Carolina FC Head Coach Colin Clarke. “We have the pieces in place to build a championship-caliber team, and the boys are ready to hit the ground running and work hard towards our goals.”
Clarke returns a core group of players from 2016 with the addition of midfielders Marcel Kandziora, Alex Molano and Bolu Akinyode, and all the players are eager to get back on the field. Among the returning veterans are midfielder Ty Shipalane and forwards Matt Fondy and Brian Shriver.
“Our training doesn’t stop in the off season,” said NCFC forward Matt Fondy. “We try to stay fit in anticipation of the next year. We have a good core of guys returning this season and in speaking with them, we are all excited to get together and build something we can be proud of.”
The club will be training at the stadium and scrimmaging with several teams in advance of its home opener on March 25. All home preseason games listed below are free and open to the public. Times and locations of the matches are subject to change.
Saturday, February 18 vs. Pittsburgh Riverhounds (USL) 10 a.m.
Saturday, March 4 vs. Charleston Battery (USL) 2 p.m.
Wednesday, March 8 vs. Richmond Kickers (USL) 11 a.m.
Saturday March 11 vs. Charlotte Independence (USL) 2 p.m.
Wednesday, March 15 @ Richmond (USL) 7 p.m.
Current North Carolina FC Roster:
Goalkeepers (2): Brian Sylvestre, Macklin Robinson
Defenders (4): Connor Tobin, Steven Miller, Kareem Moses, Paul Black
Midfielders (8): Tiyi Shipalane, Nazmi Albadawi, Matt Watson, James Marcelin, Austin da Luz, Marcel Kandziora, Alex Molano, Bolu Akinyode
Forwards (2): Matt Fondy, Brian Shriver