“We are thrilled to have Akira back,” RailHawks head coach Colin Clarke said.
“He is a former RailHawks player who knows the culture of the team and is aware of the high expectations we always have.”
Fitzgerald first joined the RailHawks as a member of the RailHawks U-23 Program before signing his first professional contract in July of 2011.
During his four seasons with the RailHawks, he appeared in 48 matches, and logged 4,320 minutes.
Fitzgerald played his collegiate soccer at Wake Forest University, where he started 69 out of 71 matches – playing nearly 6,300 minutes with the Demon Deacons.
He finished his collegiate career ranked third in school history in career goals against average (0.83), fourth in saves (237), third in save percentage (.803) and second in minutes played (6,296).
Fitzgerald joined MLS’ New York City FC on Dec. 11th, 2014.
The 27-year-old made two appearances for the Club during its first-ever preseason – coming in as a second-half substitute in a 2-0 win over St. Mirren on Feb. 10th, and starting against the Houston Dynamo in the Carolina Challenge Cup on Feb. 24th
“I am very excited about coming back to North Carolina,” Fitzgerald said.
“I am very comfortable with the team because I know the staff and the majority of the players really well. The RailHawks is an organization full of wonderful people who helped me a lot throughout my career. Ever since I started playing in the U-23 team, they supported me and believed in me. I feel honored to be back.”
Fitzgerald and the RailHawks (1-4-2, 7 pts), currently tied for sixth place, will travel to Fort Lauderdale to face the Strikers on Saturday.
Carolina will return to WakeMed Soccer Park on Wed., May 27 to host third-round play of the 2015 Lamar Hunt U.S. Open Cup, matching up against the winner of the Upward Stars (NPSL) and Charlotte Independence (USL).