North Carolina FC vs. Louisville City FC
Saturday, March 9 – 4 p.m.
Sahlen’s Stadium at WakeMed Soccer Park
Live Updates: @NorthCarolinaFC #NCvLOU
CARY, N.C. (March 7, 2019) - North Carolina FC begins a new era on Saturday, March 9 at 4 p.m. when the two-time defending USL Cup Champions Louisville City FC visits Sahlen’s Stadium at WakeMed Soccer Park. On the heels of many exciting offseason changes and upgrades, North Carolina FC is ready to kick off what is sure to be one of the club’s most exciting seasons yet.
At the helm, former USMNT manager Dave Sarachan leads the way. The experienced coach has racked up trophies and accolades throughout his nearly 40-year coaching career, and is ready to bring his winning mentality to NCFC. A new technical staff featuring John Bradford, Clint Peay and Nic Platter means some of the area’s best soccer minds are together to lead the team to championship results.
North Carolina FC is excited for its 2019 roster to make an impact in the USL Championship. Eleven new players have joined a roster featuring veteran leadership and young talents. The average age for NCFC’s opening day roster is 24 years old. Fan favorites like Austin da Luz and Steven Miller are back, while plenty of exciting offseason signings are also ready to etch their name into the club’s prolific history.
The first test of the year comes against an impressive side in Louisville. The visitors have won the USL Cup two years running and certainly seem fit to defend their title. Despite losing their leading scorer from last season, the core of the championship team remains. Louisville is coached by John Hackworth, another prominent national figure who joined the club ranks from U.S. Soccer.
NCFC’s returners will certainly remember Louisville City FC as the two teams met in the second to last game of the 2018 regular season. Louisville edged NCFC in that match, 2-1 ultimately hampering NCFC’s playoff qualification run. Prior to that, the teams met for the first time in series history in Cary and a late equalizer from North Carolina FC saw the teams split the points.
Players To Watch:
North Carolina FC - No. 9 Marios Lomis
After the departure of North Carolina FC’s top scorer Daniel Rios, Marios Lomis will certainly look to take another step forward in his development. In all competitions, the forward scored eight goals in 2018. With playing time up for grabs, look for Lomis to establish himself as a scorer early in the season.
Louisville City FC – No. 11 Niall McCabe
McCabe has been with Louisville since the organization’s inception in 2015, totaling nearly 7,000 minutes of play across all competitions. McCabe controls much of Louisville’s midfield, but he’s also a dangerous attacking option going forward. He notched six goals last year, including two in the USL Cup playoffs. Look for McCabe to try and control the middle and facilitate the attack for the visitors.
Coming Up Next:
North Carolina FC will hit the road for its first away match of the year, visiting Bethlehem Steel on Sunday, March 13 at 7:30 p.m. at Goodman Stadium.