March 16, 2023 – United Soccer League One (USL1) – North Carolina FC News Release
CARY, N.C. – North Carolina FC will kick off the 2023 USL League One season when they host reigning champions South Georgia Tormenta FC, this Friday, Mar. 17, 2023 at 7:00 p.m. ET at WakeMed Soccer Park.
Last season the two clubs met three times, with NCFC winning one and Tormenta winning the other two. This is the second consecutive year the two open the season playing each other, with NCFC winning 1-0 on the road in Statesboro, GA last season. Tormenta picked up a 3-2 win at WakeMed Soccer Park in May, and a 2-1 win at Erk Russell Athletic Park in July.
Scouting South Georgia Tormenta
Last season’s USL League One champions, Tormenta finished 3rd in the regular season standings with 45 points. They were led by three USL League One All-League Second Team selections, Kaziah Sterling, Gabriel Cabral and Jake Dengler. Sterling and Dengler have both returned for the 2023 season, while Cabral departed for USL Championship club Miami FC.
Tormenta played five preseason matches, with two coming against USL Championship sides. The club picked up two wins over Georgia State University and Stetson University, and drew with Georgia Southern University. They lost their matches against Charleston Battery and the Tampa Bay Rowdies.
Players to Watch
North Carolina FC – #19 Garrett McLaughlin
One of sixteen players returning from last year’s team, Garrett McLaughlin had a standout first season in North Carolina. His 14 goals were second in USL League One, and saw him named to the USL League One All-League first team. Despite a minor injury preventing him from being 100% at the start of preseason, McLaughlin had impressive showings in NCFC’s scrimmages, scoring against NYCFC II and Charlotte Independence.
South Georgia Tormenta FC – #9 Kazaiah Sterling
In his debut season in America, Kazaiah Sterling was one of the top talents in League One. The former Tottenham academy product burst onto the scene with 17 goals, as well as contributing five assists in regular season and playoff play. His 22 goal involvements saw him named to the USL League One All-League second team. The striker played a pivotal role in Tormenta’s USL League One Championship, scoring a goal and assisting another in the 2-1 win in the final over Chattanooga.
North Carolina FC will hit the road for the first time next week, traveling to Fresno, CA to take on Central Valley Fuego FC. The match will take place on Wed., Mar….
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