Cary, NC (February 10, 2017)- The North Carolina Football Club and the Premier Development League announced today that North Carolina FC’s Under 23 team will be joining the PDL starting this season, bolstering a South Atlantic Division that now houses seven teams based in the Carolinas. All home games will be played at WakeMed Soccer Park.
“North Carolina FC is looking forward to joining the Premier Development League,” said Curt Johnson, President and General Manager of North Carolina Football Club. “We're fortunate from a regional standpoint that a number of top college-aged players compete in our state year-round. By us joining the PDL and further connecting with this talent base, we will be helping some of the top players in the country develop into future professionals and achieve their highest goals. This will also allow us to identify new talent for North Carolina FC."
Returning as head coach for the U23s is NCFC assistant coach Dewan Bader, who has guided the team to a USL PDL Eastern Conference Championship in 2009 and two USASA National Championships in 2011 and 2013. Bader will be joined by Luis Satorra, Zack Schilawski and Rick King on the coaching staff.
“We are excited to return to the PDL,” said Bader. “We have enjoyed some success with the league in the past and look forward to renewing rivalries with some of our regional opponents.”
With the move to PDL, the team is set to renew rivalries with several North and South Carolina foes, including the Carolina Dynamo, Myrtle Beach Mutiny, Charlotte Eagles, Wilmington Hammerheads and Tobacco Road FC.
The PDL, a part of the United Soccer Leagues which also operates the Division II USL and Super Y League, has proven to be an important steppingstone for top professionals in North America and around the world. The league counts NCFC goalkeeper Brian Sylvestre, defender Steven Miller, midifielder Tiyi Shipalane and forward Brian Shriver among its many alumni who went on to enjoy successful professional careers in soccer.
“North Carolina FC U23 is a welcome addition to the Premier Development League,” PDL Director Todd Eason said. “The PDL franchise will undoubtedly pull elite college-aged players, based both on the history of the club and its proximity to some of best collegiate programs in the United States.”
About North Carolina Football Club
North Carolina Football Club is the state’s largest professional soccer organization and is the parent organization of North Carolina FC (NASL, Men’s Second Division), North Carolina Courage (NWSL, Women’s First Division) and North Carolina FC U23 (Premier Development League). The organization is owned by local entrepreneur, Steve Malik, and managed by North Carolina native and longtime soccer executive Curt Johnson. North Carolina Football Club was established in 2016 to bring the highest levels of men’s and women’s professional soccer to the state. For more information, please visit www.NorthCarolinaFC.com.