“I’m pleased with how they did,” North Carolina FC head coach Colin Clarke said of his squad.
“They put us under a lot of pressure – we withstood some and made some big saves. We had our moments and a couple of very good chances, but overall, I’m delighted with how the evening went. We got some minutes for the young kids, and were able to see some of them for the first time. I was very pleased.
“I think it’s a great celebration for us as a club to bring another Premier League team in two years in a row. It’s great for our fans to see and great for our players to play against – just to learn from and watch them.”
Video Highlights: North Carolina FC (YouTube)
Clarke presented the crowd of 7,268 in attendance with a youthful North Carolina lineup, starting four players under 23 years old, including Jose Carranza (18), Dre Fortune (20), D.J. Taylor (20), and Brad Ruhaak (22).
The young side fared well against Swansea’s preseason roster.
In the 19th minute, Fortune provided NCFC with a golden opportunity, but the effort was saved in a one-on-one confrontation with Swansea goalkeeper Lukasz Fabianski.
North Carolina FC used an inspired defensive effort from its backline to keep the Swans from scoring early.
Despite the pressure from the visiting side, NCFC denied all opposing attacks during the opening half.
Different lineups took to the pitch to start the second half as Clarke subbed in eight new faces, while Swansea opted for 10 fresh subs at the 60-minute mark.
Subbed-in goalkeeper Macklin Robinson made the most of his time for NCFC, and made two exceptional stops in the second half to help keep the clean sheet for NCFC.
One in the 56th minute, a diving save that denied Leroy Fer from point blank range, and another in the 73rd minute that thwarted Oli McBurnie’s header from inside the box.
Both teams traded opportunities for the remainder of the match, including through stoppage time, without a deciding goal and finalized the match as a scoreless draw.
Box Score – Game Center (NASL)
NCFC: Brian Sylvestre (Macklin Robinson, 46’, Matias Reynares, 78’); Kareem Moses (Aiden Foster, 77’), Brad Ruhaak, Connor Tobin (Christian Ibeagha, 46’), D.J. Taylor (Manny Perez, 62’); Saeed Robinson (Lance Laing, 46’, Marcel Kandziora, 89’), Nazmi Albadawi (Austin da Luz, 46’, George Acosta, 89’), James Marcelin (Bolu Akinyode, 46’), Dre Fortune (Jonathon Orlando, 46’), Jose Carranza (Tiyi Shipalane, 46’); Matt Fondy (Brian Shriver, 46’) – Subs not used: George Marks
SWA: Lukasz Fabianski (Kristoffer Nordfeldt, 62’); Martin Olsson (Stephen Kingsley, 62’), Alfie Mawson (Mike Van Der Hoorn, 62’), Federico Fernandez, Kyle Naughton (Angel Rangel, 62’); Leroy Fer (Jay Fulton, 67’), Leon Britton (Roque Mesa, 62’), Tom Carroll (Matt Grimes, 67’), Jordan Ayew (Jefferson Montero, 67’), Wayne Routledge (Luciano Narsingh, 67’); Tammy Abraham (Oli McBurnie, 67’) –
Subs not used: Kyle Bartley, Erwin Mulder, Modou Barrow
Score: NCFC: 0; SWA: 0
Goals: NCFC: —; SWA: —
Cautions: NCFC: —; SWA: Tom Carroll, 58’
Ejections: NCFC: —; SWA: —