January 10, 2013 - North American Soccer League (NASL) - North Carolina FC
Cary, NC - The 5th Annual Hilton Garden Inn Durham Southpoint Community Shield Match opens the RailHawks 2013 Season on February 24, with MLS Playoff participant, Vancouver Whitecaps FC, facing off against the RailHawks. In conjunction with the announcement, the North American Soccer League has announced its 42-game 2013 NASL Spring Season schedule that will kick off on Saturday, April 6 with the RailHawks traveling to defending NASL Champion Tampa Bay Rowdies.
Carolina RailHawks 2013 Season Ticket Holders will receive a ticket to each RailHawks home match, including the Hilton Garden Inn Durham Southpoint Community Shield Match. Individual tickets for the Community Shield Match will go on sale Thursday, January 24. To secure a ticket prior to the general public sale and ensure seating for the game, fans can purchase the 'Whitecaps 3-Pack', currently on sale, including a premium ticket to the February 24 Vancouver match, the Grand Opening of the New WakeMed Soccer Park on April 13, and the Fireworks Extravaganza on June 29 for only $39. For more information on the 'Whitecaps 3-Pack' and 2013 Season Tickets visit www.CarolinaRailHawks.com.
"It's important to get the Spring Season schedule and the Vancouver exhibition match information to our fans earlier than any previous season," said RailHawks President Curt Johnson. "We believe we have a schedule that benefits the team's pursuit of the 2013 Soccer Bowl and also one that benefits the RailHawks fanbase. We also believe the NASL schedule is beneficial to our participation in the 2013 Lamar Hunt U.S. Open Cup. In addition, we look forward to announcing the Fall Season schedule in the near future."
A former league rival, the MLS's Whitecaps FC return to the New WakeMed Soccer Park will be their second time participating in the Hilton Garden Inn Durham Southpoint Community Shield Match and include a roster of former RailHawks in head coach Martin Rennie, assistant coaches Paul Ritchie and Jake DeClute, goalkeeper Brad Knighton, and midfielders Matt Watson and Jun Marques Davidson. In 2012, the RailHawks overcame Whitecaps FC on penalty kicks after a 2-2 result at the end of regulation. The Whitecaps FC roster currently boasts World Cup veterans Jay DeMerit and Y.P. Lee, Scotland National Team captain Kenny Miller, and speedy striker Darren Mattocks.
"The 2012 season brought memorable moments in defeating the Galaxy in the Open Cup and advancing to the semifinals of the playoffs and every year we enter the season with winning the championship in mind," said RailHawks head coach Colin Clarke. "It is important to have a fast start in the Spring Season, win the Spring Season and host the Soccer Bowl in November. Vancouver is going to provide a great test for the team and be a great way to open our 2013 preseason."
The NASL Spring Season will open with 7 teams and each team will play each other twice, once at home and once away. Saturday, April 13 will be the Grand Opening of the New WakeMed Soccer Park as the RailHawks host league foe FC Edmonton. The RailHawks home schedule in the Spring Season will conclude with their traditional Independence Day celebration Fireworks Extravaganza on Saturday, June 29. The RailHawks Spring Season will close when the RailHawks travel to San Antonio on July 4. The 2013 NASL Season will continue with the Fall Season beginning in early August with the inclusion of the New York Cosmos to the league. The one-month summer break will allow NASL teams the opportunity to schedule international exhibition games and will coincide with the FIFA International Transfer Window. 2013 RailHawks NASL Schedule Saturday, April 6 @Tampa Bay Rowdies Saturday, April 13 FC Edmonton Saturday, April 20 Fort Lauderdale Strikers Saturday, May 4 @Minnesota Stars Saturday, May 11 San Antonio Scorpions Saturday, May 18 @Atlanta Silverbacks Saturday, June 1 @Fort Lauderdale Strikers Saturday, June 8 Tampa Bay Rowdies Sunday, June 16 @FC Edmonton Saturday, June 22 Minnesota Stars Saturday, June 29 Atlanta Silverbacks Thursday, July 4 @San Antonio Scorpions
To purchase 2013 Season Tickets or the Whitecaps 3-Pack, call the RailHawks box office at 919-459-8144 or email tickets@CarolinaRailHawks.com. Season Ticket and Flex Plan holders will also have the opportunity to purchase additional individual tickets for all RailHawks matches prior to tickets going on sale to the general public. Additional information on 2013 ticket packages is available by visiting www.CarolinaRailHawks.com/STH.