North Carolina FC vs South Georgia Tormenta FC
Saturday, August 5, at 7:30 p.m. ET | Optim Sports Medicine Field| Statesboro, Georgia
Social Media: @NorthCarolinaFC
CARY, N.C. (August 5, 2023) – North Carolina FC heads to Statesboro, Georgia to face defending USL League One champions South Georgia Tormenta FC on Saturday, August 5, at 7:30 p.m. ET at Optim Sports Medicine Field. North Carolina FC is unbeaten in six straight contests as they prepare for their second of three straight road tests.
North Carolina picked up six huge points last week. They snapped league-leading Northern Colorado’s 14-match unbeaten streak with a 2-0 win behind an Oalex Anderson brace last Wednesday at WakeMed Soccer Park. Anderson now sits second in the Golden Boot race with 10 goals this year. Garrett McLaughlin provided his fifth assist of the year in the win, tied for third-most in the league.
They followed the impressive clean sheet up with a road victory Saturday over the Chattanooga Red Wolves, 2-1. Raheem Somersall and Rafa Mentzingen provided the scoring with Christian Lue Young and Somersall each picking up an assist. Goalkeeper Brooks Thompson made his debut after the team acquired the 21-year-old on loan from Philadelphia Union II last week.
The two-win week has catapulted NCFC back to second in the USL League One table with 34 points through 18 matches. With 10 weeks left in the season, North Carolina FC find themselves in the thick of the regular season title race and are currently in solid playoff positioning as they look to build momentum down the stretch.
Scouting South Georgia Tormenta FC
This is the second of three meetings between North Carolina FC and South Georgia this season, with NCFC falling at home, 0-1, in the season opener back in March. Since then, the teams have gone in opposite directions with South Georgia sitting ninth in the league table entering the weekend. But they are trending in the right direction, having won three of their last five matches and scoring at least four goals in each win.
Three players earned USL League One Team of the Week honors last week, including Player of the Week Kazaiah Sterling. Tormenta ranks second in the league with 31 goals and fifth with 233 shots. Sterling has six goals in just 11 appearances this season while Mukwelle Akale has five and two others have four goals each. This strong offensive team will challenge and test the strong North Carolina FC defense that has conceded the third-fewest goals in the league this season.
South Georgia knows all about peaking at the right time. The 2022 squad went unbeaten in the last six matches of 2022 to jump to the three-seed and rode that momentum all the way to a championship. Sitting just four points out of a playoff spot this season, this potent Tormenta side will be undeterred and confident as they look to make their move heading into the home stretch.
Players to Watch
North Carolina FC – Midfielder Raheem Somersall
Somersall proved massive in the road win against the Red Wolves, netting his first professional goal and adding an assist en route to USL League One Team of the Week honors. The midfielder created both scoring opportunities from seemingly innocuous situations on Saturday, proving defenses can never lull against this potent NCFC attack. With so many star forwards to account for, getting offensive production from players like Somersall makes defending this North Carolina FC side even more impossible.
South Georgia Tormenta FC – Forward Kazaiah Sterling
The 2022 League One Final MVP missed the early part of 2023 due to injury, but Sterling is quickly returning to form that made him one of the most dangerous attackers for the 2022 champions. He’s the reigning USL League One Player of the Week after his fifth career brace and an assist. He is also nominated for the July Player of the month. Sterling’s return is a big reason Tormenta has begun climbing back up the table and he will look to lead the surge into playoff positioning as the calendar turns to August.
North Carolina FC will travel to Richmond, Virginia to face the Richmond Kickers in a midweek match up on Wednesday, August 9, with a 7:00 p.m. ET kickoff at City Stadium. The match will stream on ESPN+ and @NorthCarolinaFC will provide social media updates.