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Tobacco Road FC Hosts North Carolina FC U-23 in Home Opener

DURHAM, NC- Premier Development League South Atlantic Division leader Tobacco Road FC hosts cross-Triangle rival North Carolina FC U-23 in its home opener Thursday at 7p.m. at Durham County Memorial Stadium. 

“The rivalry, we are very passionate about,” stated Tobacco Road head coach Cedric Burke. “This is one that we circle on the calendar every year. We focus one game at a time, but we play them three times this year and you better believe that I know every date we play them by heart.”

Tobacco Road last met NCFC U-23 on June 29, 2017, as they travelled to WakeMed Soccer Park. The match was 1-1 at half-time, but the floodgates opened in the second half. A brace by Nils Bruening wasn’t enough for the visitors as they fell 3-5. 

Last year, Tobacco Road FC and North Carolina FC U-23 clashed three times yielding a record of 1-1-1. The results are as such: 5/10/17 T, 2-2… 6/7/17 W, 3-1… 6/29/17 L, 3-5.

Tobacco Road comes off a huge 2-0 road-win last Saturday over Carolina Dynamo to take the top spot in the South Atlantic Division of the PDL. Los Toros looked sharp right from the kickoff. Mustapha Wadda was the star of the evening, netting two goals unassisted. Kellen Foster, Vicente Gallardo and Henry Hannapel held down the back line as goalkeeper Ryan Cretens tallied six saves in the shutout. 

North Carolina FC U-23 last played Friday night when they took on PDL newcomers Lionsbridge FC in a 1-1 draw at WakeMed Soccer Park. NCFC U-23 scored early, but Lionsbridge answered by the end of the half. The second half was a stalemate as the match resulted in a 1-1 draw. 

Being in such close proximity, many players have played for both clubs. Tobacco Road captain Alex Comsia played three seasons for NCFC U-23 before joining tobacco road this season. Midfielders Fernando Castellanos and Kellen Foster also played for NCFC U-23 last season. Other members of Tobacco Road FC who may not have played for the PDL team did grow up in their academy system. To Burke, this is motivation. 

“I told the players yesterday, if you need me to help you get motivated for this match then you’re on the wrong team,” said Burke. “I fully expect us to come flying out of the gate playing as hard as we can with an extreme level of passion and pride.” 

Tickets for Thursday’s home opener are available now at the following link: The match will feature the 13th Taco food truck, one of the most well-known food trucks in the Triangle, for fans pleasure. 

The match will be available on live stream through on the club's website at The stream will also be available on YouTube at the following link: