A MESSAGE FROM THE FOUNDERS
For the past two years, it's been an amazing honor to represent The Bull City on the field in the best way we know how - with grit, determination, and passion.
We have always believed that in order to achieve success at the national level, our foundation must be built upon two pillars: supporting local soccer, and promoting local rivalry.
We chose the name Tobacco Road FC because it is synonymous with “local rivalry”. Trace your finger along the original Tobacco Road, and you will find Duke University, UNC Chapel Hill, NC State, Wake Forest University … amazing rivalries borne from nothing more than their proximity to each other.
Whenever we are asked why we created this club, the answer has always been simple. We built this club for all the kids who play at the parks around town – Old North Durham, Old Chapel Hill Road, Herndon, Twin Lakes – and for their love of the game. We built this club for all the adults in our community who lace up their cleats every week in OCASL, La Liga, and Durham Athletico, to prove to themselves that they still have what it takes to compete.
This team was not built in the corporate boardrooms. This team was built on the idea that if we lay a foundation, brick by brick, of dedication and hard work, and we lean into the pillars of our strong local culture, we can lift this team to the national level, and pay homage to the beautiful game in the way it was always meant to be paid. From the community; for the community.
We appreciate your support, we believe in the Bull City, and we will never stop fighting for TRFC to be a local club in a local community.
Seth and Cedric
What is your favorite TRFC moment?
In our first year, we qualified for the regional playoffs and traveled to Myrtle Beach to take on the Mutiny who were the conference champions. We found a way to come together as a team to upset the Mutiny and continue our inaugural season in 2016. The bus ride home from that game was a tremendously fun trip!
What is the most interesting thing about competing in the PDL?
The unique combination of finding the formula for success both on and off the field. Professional sports is a demanding and can be unforgiving and rewarding in the very same moment. Cedric and I didn't know it at the time, but our defining value of "Dedication" is more true than we could have ever imagined.
What is your favorite thing to do when not focusing on TRFC?
My family loves to travel and see new places.
The Tobacco Road FC story is a grassroots one. A club whose roots date to the early 2000's was based on the simple idea of providing a landscape for high level soccer at the recreational level. What began with a group of friends brought together by a shared love of the game quickly grew into a dominant local club. Featuring many of the areas top amateur soccer players this little triangle based club became dominant in the local leagues and found tremendous success at the state and regional levels.
Like many successfull organizations, this club found itself at crossroads in 2011. Faced with a change in leadership, the question had become much more meaningful - could this small club compete at a national level. The decision was made and led by Cedric Burke and Seth Kaplan, Tobacco Road FC embarked on a five year journey that would land this club in the National Premier Soccer League in 2016. Burke and Kaplan were about to learn if their grassroots dream would succeed on a national level.
e Triangle Adult Soccer League. Originally founded by Drew Moss as Clockwork Orange the Club quickly became known to to be a home for ex-professionals and recent college graduates to maintain elite level competition. Following Moss’s departure, the club was briefly led by Brad Acosta. After receiving new sponsorship, the club re-branded as Telepathic graphics In 2010. Under the leadership of Jimmy Willman, the club continued its winning ways throughout the region.
Founded on the wealth of high level talent in the state of North Carolina, the club has long ruled the Triangle Adult Soccer Association – one of the nations largest Amateur leagues – winning 15 of 21 bi-annual 1st division league championships from 2005 – present.
In 2013, the team transitioned to the leadership of Seth Kaplan and Cedric Burke with head coach Brian Wellman. The club adjusted its training objectives and quickly won the North Carolina Amateur Championship with a goal differential of 19-2. Tobacco Road FC has continued the legacy of success on the field and throughout the region. It looks forward to its next step as it embraces the challenges of joining and competing for the National Premier Soccer League championship.