Soccer

NCFC agrees to historic merger

By: Trey Walker


North Carolina FC continues to prove to the MLS why they are worthy of the MLS bid they seek. This afternoon, the soccer club agreed to a “Strategic Collaboration” with youth programs: Capital Area Soccer League(CASL) and Triangle Futbol Club Alliance(TFCA). This new agreement has forged what is now the largest youth development league in the country.

In the past, CASL had been sponsored by Chelsea Football Club (England) and most recently have maintained a relationship with the Carolina Railhawks. This merger will grow to what is already a successful youth development league. Since 2013, the Railhawks Academy has churned out college talent, graduating 71 players to the collegiate ranks. NCFC’s owner Steve Malik, believes that this move is pivotal in his organizations MLS campaign.

“North Carolina FC Youth will be home to more than 13,500 youth players and will be a key positive differentiator in our already strong Major League Soccer bid. The collaboration shows the unified and powerful support of soccer at all levels in our area. I want to personally thank the visionary leadership of CASL and TFCA for their work in accomplishing this goal.” – Steve Malik

Although this transaction takes place on the youth level, it is worth of your attention. Steve Malik and company are really laying it all out there to try to snag the MLS bid, and they may just get it….

 

31 takeaways from the 31st Olympiad

By: Trey Walker


The 2016 Rio Olympic Games are finally in the books. Check out 31 significant numbers to commemorate the 31st Olympics….

31 –

Goals in international play by American winger, Megan Rapinoe. However, Rapinoe did not score any goals in Rio as her team fell short of reaching the podium for the first time since Women’s Soccer became an Olympic sport.

30- USA Gold (usatoday.com).jpg

Amount of points the United States men’s basketball team beat Serbia by in the Gold Medal match. Duke’s very own Coach K led the US to their 3rd straight gold medal.

29-

International rugby events for Carlin Isles. Rio was his first representing the United States in the Olympics.

28-

Sports that Team USA competed in. Of the 28 sports, 121 medals came home.

27-

Gold medals earned by Team USA’s female athletes. If the women decided to form their own country they would have finished tied with Great Britain in gold medals.

26-

26-0. Score of the first victory for Team USA in Olympic Rugby; this year’s games was the first to feature Rugby since 1924.

25-Male Swimmers (cosmopolitain.com)

Male American Swimmers.

24-

Basketball players. Every single player plays professionally in either WNBA or NBA.

23-Michael Phelps Stealthy (baltimoresun.com).jpg

Gold medals earned by Michael Phelps. Over his five visits to the Olympics, he has earned 28 medals total.

22-

22,000 Brazilian military members assigned to the Rio Games. The military made up a fraction of the 85,000 total security detail.

21-Olympic Torch (dailymail.co.uk).jpg

April 21st, 2016. The day that the Olympic torch was lit for the Rio Games in the birthplace of the Olympics: Olympia, Greece.

20-

Olympics sponsored by Coca-Cola. (Since 1928)

19- brazil flag

Total medals collected by host nation, Brazil.

18-

Gold medals up for grabs in gymnastics. The United States earned 4 of the 18 available. (22% gold medal winning percentage)

17-

Days of competition.

16-

Kanak Jha

Age of Kanak Jha, the youngest athlete to represent Team USA in Rio(table tennis).

15-

Age of female swimmer phenomenon, Katie Ledecky when she received her first Gold Medal.

14-Barnes Team USA (chron.com)

Athletes from the University of North Carolina-Chapel Hill; more than any other college in the state of North Carolina.

13-

World Record breaking performances by US swimmer Katie Ledecky in her career(most recently: 800 Meter).

12-

$11.5-12 Billion. The estimated expenses for the Olympics.

11- Olympic Partners (IOC)

Worldwide Sponsors of the Games.

10-

10.4 K athletes participated from 206 different countries.

9-Usain Bolt (latinpost.com).jpg

Gold Medals by Jamaican sprinter, Usain Bolt. After going 9/9 in all of his Olympic races, he is now considered the fastest man ever. He has never come in any places other than 1st.

8-

Golfers(including the world’s top 4) declined playing in Rio due to the Zika Virus concerns.

7-

Million tickets available for purchase of the different events.

6-Kim Rhode (snopes.com).jpg

Olympics for American sharpshooter, Kim Rhode. She is the 1st member from Team USA to medal in 6 Olympics.

5-Simone Biles (newsday.com).jpg

Medals for 4’9″ gymnast, Simone Biles. Biles finished her successful trip to Rio tied for the most medals by a United States gymnast in 1 Olympics.

4-

Billion global viewers of the Rio Games.

3-

3,000 Brazilians forced to relocate their residence by the construction of the different venues for the Games.

2-

New Olympic Sports: Golf and Rugby.

1st-

Place the United States finished in the medal count for the 6th straight Olympics, with 121.

 

 

 

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Railhawks Draw Hammers in Sellout Crowd

By: Trey Walker


Wakemed Soccer Park:  Cary, NC                                   July 12, 2016

For the first time ever, a British Premier League team made a trip to the Triangle for a friendly. High hopes surrounded this match, as it was the first ever sellout in Railhawks history (10,125 people were in attendance).  Prior to the match, fans enjoyed food and festivities outside the stadium. The sun set behind the east stand and at 8, arguably Carolina’s most important match ever began.

Initially, the momentum of the game didn’t really favor either West Ham or Carolina, defensive stops resulted in counterattacks that sailed off target or were turned over.

Until the 13th minute.

Carolina had pushed the ball onto the Hammers side of the field, where a wingman crossed the rock over to forward Matt Fondy for a shot on goal.

In attempt to clear the ball out, West Ham defender, Winston Reid, slid near the goal and in front of Fondy, and took a bad touch. The ball slipped past the goalie for an own goal. Suddenly fireworks shot up, and the crowd went absolutely berserk, for their 5 to 1 underdog Railhawks had just taken a 1-0 lead over an elite Premier League team.

Fans really expressed their pride after the own goal. One man sitting close shouted, “Reid is our best player!”

Play shortly resumed, and it did not take long for the Hammers to earn back what they had lost. Ironically, Winston Reid(Guess he learned which goal to shoot on) scored the equalizer for West Ham in the 17th minute.

West Ham took advantage of the momentum swing, and in the 20th minute, notched one more goal before the half off of a nice shot from forward Andy Carroll.

Once the whistle blew for halftime, the PA announcer informed the fans to stay in their seats and await an “important announcement”. Then Railhawks owner, Steve Malik, and the play by play announcer approached midfield and stopped in front of a press conference back-drop.

The crowd fell silent awaiting the big news.

Steve Malik took the mic and happily informed the fans that the Railhawks had just signed Mexican International Team star, Omar Bravo, who he believed to be the biggest front office move in franchise history. Bravo emerged from the tunnel and received a warm welcome from his fans. He is the all-time leading scorer at his former club, Cd Chivas Guadalajara, and should be a great scorer for the Railhawks.

IMG_2833.JPG

Bravo being signed at Wakemed.

A slew of substitutions occurred before the teams continued to play in the second half. Both teams looked a little sluggish coming out of the break, and players started to get a little chippy with one another.

Rain started to fall in the early moments of the half, and in the 62nd minute, the referee decided to postpone the game after spotting lightning. Fans were forced to evacuate the stadium. Many fled to their cars and headed home.

In their last important homestand (against the New England Revolution of the MLS), the Railhawks fell victim of inclement weather(the game was called due to lightning) and they were not about to let that happen again.

After about a 45 minute delay, the match finally resumed. Despite taking a break, the fans didn’t fail to keep it rowdy.

As time waned, the Railhawks started to take chances, as it was becoming evident that a draw was a more plausible outcome than a victory.

In the 67th minute, Marvin Ceballos was rewarded a penalty kick after a West Ham defender committed a hand ball inside of the box, and easily scored the tying goal.

No team had complete control for the rest of the game, it was evenly matched. When the referee blew the final whistle, the soaked, exhausted, dirty players applauded their keeper and the crowd.

This game was a great step forward for soccer in the Triangle. Carolina proved that they can hang with high caliber competition, and the Triangle proved that they will show out for matches.

Thanks to our sponsor: 

Raleigh lands EPL Matchup

By: Trey Walker

It’s a date! West Ham United F.C. will cross the pond for a friendly with the Carolina Railhawks on July 12th, at Wakemed Soccer Park. This will be the first English Premier League team to play against the Railhawks in the Triangle.

Railhawks Nasl

The “Hammers” will be a different level of competition than the Railhawks are used to PC:NASL

West Ham officials traveled to Raleigh recently to inspect the venue, and were quite pleased with what they saw. Felicity Barnard (Commercial Director for West Ham) expressed her enthusiasm about this match in an interview with WNCN, “We know that soccer in this country (United States) is booming. It’s a fantastic growth sport on a huge trajectory and we want to capitalize on that as a Premier League team. So by bringing the live experience of a Premier League team over to a country like this allows the fans to touch and feel the game”.

Wakemed Soccer Park is no stranger to big time events like these. They have hosted international men and women’s friendlies for Team USA and the College Cup many times. OT Sports will be at this event, and you should join in on the action. Tickets are on presale now, but they will be available for general admission on May 23rd. Check out the Railhawks site for more info at: http://www.carolinarailhawks.com .