Match Day: North Carolina FC (NASL) vs Swansea City (EPL)

Rob Kinnan, NCFC
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Rob Kinnan, NCFC

CARY, N.C. – North Carolina FC of the North American Soccer League (NASL) will host English Premier League (EPL) side Swansea City AFC on Saturday at Sahlen’s Stadium at WakeMed Soccer Park.

This match-up marks just the second time that an EPL side has visited the Triangle.

Last year, West Ham United made the trek to the Triangle as part of its preseason training in the United States, and ended it with a 2-2 draw against the home side, the then-Carolina RailHawks.

Swansea has made three visits to the U.S. in the last five years, and now has former U.S. Men’s National Team member Landon Donovan on as an adviser to American team owners Steve Kaplan and Jason Levien.

North Carolina FC has fared well, competitively and successfully, in matches against high-level opposition.

The club historically owns six wins of Major League Soccer (MLS) teams in Lamar Hunt U.S. Open Cup play, and holds exhibition wins over Chivas USA and the New England Revolution of the MLS, Puebla FC of Liga MX and the Panama National Team.

On the pitch, NCFC comes into the international friendly following a 2-1 win over Puerto Rico FC last weekend, and off of it riding a wave of momentum following up a busy week in making its expansion pitch to MLS executives.

Notables: Eighteen-year-old Jose Carranza has been a spark for North Carolina FC as of late. His most notable contribution came when he provided the assist for the game-winning goal in a victory over NASL Spring Season Champions Miami FC. The U-18 USMNT player has completed 83.3 percent of his passes in his five games this year and looks to be gaining confidence going forward with five crosses and one chance created…Tommy Abraham joined the Swans on a season-long loan on July 4 from current EPL champions Chelsea FC. He recently tallied 23 goals with Bristol City last season. The goal scorer hasn’t taken long to open his account with Swansea – the striker scored the game-winning goal on his debut against the Richmond Kickers. He is currently on England’s U-21 roster, and helped the national side make a run to the semifinals of the European Championship in June.