CARY, N.C. (May 3, 2019) – North Carolina FC U23 has announced its coaching staff and schedule ahead of the USL League 2 season.
This year’s NCFC U23 team will be more focused than ever on strengthening the club’s youth-to-pro pipeline. For the first time in club history, NCFC U23 will be run in collaboration with North Carolina Football Club and NCFC Youth.
“The North Carolina FC U23 program is an extremely important piece to our club’s overall player development pathway,” said North Carolina FC Assistant Coach and NCFC U23 Technical Director John Bradford. “It serves as the link between our first team in the professional environment to our region’s top collegiate players, many of which have both the aspirations and quality to become professional players. This also serves as a developmental opportunity for deserving youth development academy players, as they continue to progress towards the college or professional environments. Our immediate aim with the program is to improve the connection to the first team, by aligning the training schedule amongst the programs which will provide valuable interaction between our pro’s and our 23’s players and staffs. I’d also like to recognize the work done by Dewan Bader, and his staff, in progressing this program over the past several years.”
NCFC Assistant Coach and NCFC Youth Academy Director, John Bradford, will serve as the team’s Technical Director. Academy coach Tom Harris will be NCFC U23’s Head Coach and will be joined by Assistant Coaches Will Mack, David Rodriguez, Henry Gutierrez, and Goalkeeper Coach Alex McCauley – a former NCFC U23 player.
Representing a true connection in the pipeline, each member of the coaching staff currently works with NCFC Youth and/or NCFC Youth Academy. Additionally, North Carolina FC Head Coach Dave Sarachan, Assistant Coach Clint Peay and Assistant General Manager/Goalkeeper Coach Nic Platter will work with the team throughout the season.
NCFC U23 has enjoyed a successful history, including winning the 2011 and 2013 USASA U-23 National Championship while featuring many future professional players. Former NCFC Head Coach Colin Clarke and former NCFC U23 Head Coach Dewan Bader supported and led the team to success. The talent development has been a key feature of the team since the beginning, which includes grooming professional players: Nazmi Albadawi, Conor Donovan, Akira Fitzgerald, Tyler Lassiter, Zack Schilawski and current North Carolina FC players Caleb Duvernay and Alex Comsia to name a few.
NCFC U23 will kick off its season at home at WakeMed Soccer Park on Friday, May 10 at 7 p.m. against Lionsbridge FC. The team will play in the South Atlantic Division which includes Lionsbridge FC, North Carolina Fusion U23, Tobacco Road FC, Tri City Otters, Virginia Beach United and Wake FC.
NCFC U23 has enjoyed in-state rivalries with Tobacco Road FC and North Carolina Fusion U23 (formerly Carolina Dynamo) for years and is excited to add a matchup against Holly Springs-based club Wake FC. NCFC will play every division foe in home and away matches, while adding an extra road game against Wake FC and a home match against Lionsbridge FC.
NCFC U23 must win the South Atlantic Division to advance to the USL League Two Playoffs that begin in late July.
2019 NCFC U23 Schedule
|Fri. May 10||vs. Lionsbridge FC||WakeMed Soccer Park||7:00 p.m.|
|Tue. May 14||at Wake FC||Ting Park||7:00 p.m.|
|Sun. May 19||at Virginia Beach United||Virginia Beach Sportsplex||5:00 p.m.|
|Fri. May 24||vs. Tobacco Road FC||WakeMed Soccer Park||7:00 p.m.|
|Tues. May 28||vs. North Carolina Fusion U23||WakeMed Soccer Park||7:00 p.m.|
|Sat. June 1||at Lionsbridge FC||Pomoco Stadium||7:00 p.m.|
|Tues. June 4||at Tri-Cities Otters||Kermit-Tipton Stadium||7:00 p.m.|
|Fri. June 7||vs. Lionsbridge FC||WakeMed Soccer Park||7:00 p.m.|
|Mon. June 10||at Wake FC||Ting Park||7:00 p.m.|
|Tues. June 18||vs. Virginia Beach United||WakeMed Soccer Park||7:00 p.m.|
|Fri. June 28||vs. Tri-Cities Otters||WakeMed Soccer Park||7:00 p.m.|
|Wed. July 3||vs. Wake FC||WakeMed Soccer Park||7:00 p.m.|
|Sat. July 6||at Tobacco Road FC||Durham County Stadium||7:00 p.m.|
|Wed. July 10||at North Carolina Fusion U23||Macpherson Stadium||7:00 p.m.|