A MESSAGE FROM THE FOUNDERS
It's been an amazing honor to represent the bull city on the field at the semi-professional level for the past two seasons. We have always believed that in order to achieve success on the national stage, we must first establish a foundation anchored in the promotion of local rivalry and the support of local soccer.
We chose the name Tobacco Road FC because it is synonymous with local rivalry and embodies the competitive yet respectful spirit of sportsmanship that defines our unique local sports culture. Our player base includes the best amateur talent our community has to offer meshed with elite collegians who consistently flock to the many soccer-rich schools in our backyard. These young men share the common dream of playing soccer at the highest possible level. For three months every summer, they shed their allegiances and proudly don the TRFC jersey.
When asked why we created this club, the answer is clear. We aspire to construct a club that embraces its local identity while serving as a conduit to the highest levels of professional soccer. We aspire to foster a culture of excellence that local youth strive to one day represent on the field. We aspire to establish a legacy that our fellow weekend warriors can rally behind while reminiscing about the good old days.
This team was not built in a boardroom. This team emerged from the blood, sweat and tears of local players dedicated to playing simply for the love of the game. This team exudes the grit and determination that embodies the spirit of Durham.
We believe in the bull city. We believe in local soccer. We will continue to work passionately to make TRFC a club that our community can proudly support.
Tobacco Road FC is a grassroots organization with a history that dates to the early 2000's. Our club was founded on the wealth of high level amateur talent in the state of North Carolina. Originally led by Drew Moss and identified by the name Clockwork Orange, the club quickly became a preferred destination for unsigned professionals and recent college graduates to maintain an elite level of competition.
Clockwork Orange would eventually come to be identified as the premier men's amateur soccer program in the region. Following Moss's departure, Brad Acosta worked diligently to maintain the club's standard of success while facilitated the transfer of leadership to Jimmy Willman. Under Willman's direction the club secured a new sponsor and re-branded as Telepathic Graphics.
Following Willman's departure, the club's technical leadership transitioned to Brian Wellman. Under Wellman's guidance, the club captured the North Carolina Adult Amateur State Cup in dominating fashion and embarked on an aggressive slate of friendlies with local professional and collegiate teams. Now led by Seth Kaplan and Cedric Burke, the club again re-branded as Tobacco Road FC and in 2016 established a semi professional franchise in the National Premier Soccer League (NPSL). TRFC enjoyed a successful semi-professional debut by qualifying for the conference playoffs and falling 90 seconds short of an appearance in the national quarterfinals. Following the 2016 season, TRFC was awarded a semi-professional franchise in United Soccer League's (USL) Premier Development League (PDL). Zach Wright and Alan Winn, both UNC Chapel Hill alums, would go on to become the club's first Major League Soccer (MLS) signees following the inaugural 2017 PDL campaign.
In addition to competing annually in the PDL, TRFC currently maintains a reserve team in the Triangle Adult Soccer League (TASL), one of the largest amateur adult leagues in the country. TRFC has captured 18 of 25 bi-annual 1st division league championships since its inception.