March 17, 2023 – United Soccer League One (USL1) – North Carolina FC News Release
CARY, N.C. – North Carolina FC fell in the 2023 USL League One opener, 0-1, to the reigning league champions – South Georgia Tormenta – at a rainy WakeMed Soccer Park in front of 3,429 fans on Friday night. NCFC drops to 0-0-1 to start the year while Tormenta improves to 1-0-0.
North Carolina FC held an advantage in a bulk of the statistics Friday night with 63% of possession, an 11-3 edge in shots and 6-2 advantage in corners. After NCFC built up an early run of possession, Tormenta scored against the run of play around the half-hour mark. They gained possession at midfield and John Murphy Jr. sent an aerial ball down the right flank to Mukwelle Akale, who was paces beyond the NCFC defense.
The back line beckoned for offside in unison, but the flag stayed down and Akale was able to collect and finish brilliantly into the far side-netting for what would prove to be the only score of the night.
Jaden Servania and Oalex Anderson each had great looks on frame in the second half as NCFC sought the equalizer, but veteran goalkeeper Pablo Jara was able to stretch to keep the home side from leveling.
Friday’s match was the opening match of the USL League One 2023 season
Newly signed Daniel Navarro wore the captain’s armband for NCFC in their season opener
Five newcomers started for North Carolina FC on Friday night
Head Coach John Bradford
On the match…
“The initial impression is disappointed with the end result obviously. To start the season with something other than three points and a win at home is obviously not what we wanted. But I think there’s a lot of encouraging points to the way that we played and the way the guys fought. Any moment in the second half it felt like we were going to equalize and put ourselves right back into the game, and I think there’s a lot to build on for us.”
On Daniel Navarro captaining the team and his performance…
“For us to bring in [Daniel] Navarro was intentional. Somebody that’s got quality, has experience, is respected, and I thought he played excellent this evening and captained the side well. I think for him that’s something to build on too. A lot of these guys are still gelling and getting to know one another, and Navarro is a very big piece of bringing these guys together.”
On Nico Rincon…
“That’s what Nico brings. Obviously immense quality, but also just the work rate and the energy is there. He’s not waiting for…
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