North Carolina FC vs Northern Colorado
Saturday, August 26, 7:00 p.m. ET | WakeMed Soccer Park| Cary, North Carolina
Social Media: @NorthCarolinaFC
CARY, N.C. (August 25, 2023) –North Carolina FC returns home to face the Northern Colorado Hailstorm on Saturday, August 26, at 7:00 PM ET at WakeMed Soccer Park. North Carolina enter the weekend atop the USL League One table for the third straight week with 44 points and a record of 13-4-5.
North Carolina FC extended their record unbeaten run with a 3-1 win over the Richmond Kickers this past Saturday at City Stadium. Oalex Anderson led the way with his third brace of the season. He sits second in the USL League One Golden Boot race with 13 goals in 2023. The ten-match unbeaten stretch is the longest for NCFC in USL history and one shy of the overall club record.
On the heels of the three-goal performance, North Carolina has 22 goals in their last 10 matches and ranks second in USL League One this season in total goals with 39 and shots with 323. North Carolina has several league leaders including forwards Rafa Mentzingen and Oalex Anderson. Both are in the running for Golden Boot, Anderson in second with 13 goals and Mentzingen in seventh with nine goals. The impressive offense of North Carolina allows them to keep the scoring streak alive, and they are on the hunt for a clean sheet this upcoming weekend.
Scouting Northern Colorado
North Carolina and the Hailstorm will face each other for the second time this season, as NCFC took the first match up, 2-0, at home in July. Northern Colorado is on a six-match winless streak since July 26th, when North Carolina defeated them at WakeMed Soccer Park. Prior to this slump, Hailstorm had been unbeaten in 14 straight contests.
The Hailstorm are led by offensive superstar Trevor Amann, who leads the Golden Boot race with 17 goals, and is second in shots with 62. The heavily offensive team have impressive player standings including Arthur Rodgers who is first in assists with 10, first in chances created with 64 and first in crosses with 164. Northern Colorado sits second in goals alongside NCFC with 39 goals. The Hailstorm have nine clean sheets on the season, tied for most with Forward Madison FC. Northern Colorado is hungry for a result against North Carolina to turn the tides back in their favor as the playoff picture begins to take shape.
Players to Watch
North Carolina FC – Midfielder Mikey Maldonado
Maldonado proves to be an essential player on the field for North Carolina. Scoring his first goal this past weekend, he set the tone for what he can do in the offensive third. The two-time USL League One Team of the Week honoree is leading his team in tackles with 25. The midfielder is an all-around player both offensively and defensively and will continue to support North Carolina to stay atop the league table.
Northern Colorado Hailstorm – Defender Arthur Rodgers
The 2022 USL League One Defender of the year is leading Northern Colorado in their offensive attack. Rogers is a league leader in assists with 10, chances created with 64, and crosses with 164. The defender has been named to the USL League One team of the week once and is a six-time Team of the Week honoree. Although he is a defender, Rodgers is the key to crosses and assists for the Hailstorm.
North Carolina FC will be back at WakeMed Soccer Park to take on the Central Valley Fuego on Saturday, September 2, with a 4:00 p.m. ET kickoff. The match will stream on ESPN+ and @NorthCarolinaFC will provide social media updates.