Major League Soccer execs in town, North Carolina FC to host rally for fans

Rob Kinnan, NCFC
Let 'em know

CARY, N.C. – It’s time for local soccer fans to come together and show their support for North Carolina FC in its bid to join Major League Soccer (MLS).

Are you in? is part of the social media push the club has made on its Facebook page to highlight #919ToMLS.

MLS president and deputy commissioner Mark Abbott will be visiting the Triangle on Wednesday as part of the league’s tour of the 12 markets vying for MLS expansion.

Hosted by North Carolina FC, Abbot and other league executives will meet with business leaders, government officials and participate in several events organized by the club to showcase the market as it pursues an MLS franchise.

“We are excited to host Major League Soccer,” North Carolina FC owner Steve Malik said.

“We have a full slate of events planned for them and hope they will see the Triangle’s passion for soccer and desire to bring an MLS team to the area.”

For fans, offerings of free scarves, free beer, and free T-shirts will help enhance the atmosphere and their enthusiasm in showing support to secure a top-tier professional franchise in the Triangle.

Last December, North Carolina FC announced its intention to pursue an MLS franchise as part of its “New State of Soccer” brand repositioning.

Following the club’s event, MLS announced its criteria for the next round of expansion, and North Carolina FC was one of 12 clubs that submitted a bid on Jan. 31, 2017.

While evolving from its former identity as Carolina RailHawks, North Carolina FC has continued to compete in the North American Soccer League (NASL) while pursuing its MLS bid.

As part of its selection process, MLS has been visiting each market and meeting key leaders and fans.

The day’s agenda will include meetings with business and civic leaders in the morning before a press conference where the club will give important updates on its purpose-built stadium plans.

Following the press conference, MLS executives will meet with government officials and tour the Triangle area with the club’s MLS committee leaders and North Carolina FC leadership, as well as meeting with North Carolina FC Youth executives.

The day will be capped off with a public rally beginning at 5 p.m. at 214 Martin Street, located at City Market in downtown Raleigh, where the visiting executives are expected to experience the passion and commitment of fans for an MLS franchise in the Triangle.