North Carolina Courage Expand With PDL Team
North Carolina Football Club has added the next level of player development as the organization prepares to field a PDL team for the upcoming season. The state’s largest professional soccer organization added NWSL’s WNY Flash in recent months, which will compete as the NC Courage during the 2017 season.
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Now, North Carolina Football Club has been awarded a USL Premier Development League (PDL) franchise for the 2017 season, bolstering a South Atlantic Division that includes seven teams based in the Carolinas.
The squad will compete as the North Carolina FC U23 and will play its home matches at WakeMed Soccer Park in Cary, North Carolina.
“The North Carolina FC U23 are 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. North Carolina Football Club has a strong partnership with the Capital Area Soccer League, and so adding a PDL franchise helps bridge the pathway from youth soccer to the professional level for the club.”
North Carolina Football Club is the state’s largest professional soccer organization and is the parent organization of North Carolina FC (NASL) and women’s side North Carolina Courage. The club is owned by entrepreneur Steve Malik and managed by North Carolina native and longtime soccer executive Curt Johnson.
Goalkeeper Brian Sylvestre, defender Steven Miller, forward Brian Shriver and midfielder Tiyi Shipalane are PDL alums currently under contract with North Carolina FC. Dewan Bader, who led the Cary-based development team to a 2009 PDL Eastern Conference Championship win, will serve as head coach for the upcoming campaign.
“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,” said Johnson. “This will also allow us to identify new talent for North Carolina FC.”
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
Photo Credit: United Soccer League