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North Carolina FC Great Austin da Luz to Serve as Color Commentator for NCFC Broadcasts in 2020

February 26, 2020 - United Soccer League Championship (USL) - North Carolina FC News Release

CARY, N.C. - North Carolina FC legend Austin da Luz will join play-by-play announcer Dean Linke in the broadcast booth as a color commentator for NCFC matches in 2020, the club announced Wednesday.

Da Luz, a Winston-Salem native and longtime Triangle resident, recently retired in 2019 following a nine-season professional career, the majority of which was spent with NCFC following stints with D.C. United and New York Red Bulls of MLS. The Wake Forest University alumnus ranks near the top of numerous categories in the NCFC record books, including minutes played (13,397, second-most) games (182, third-most), assists (18, fourth-most) and goals (23, fifth-most).

"I'm very excited about the chance to stay involved with North Carolina FC and the community here following my playing career through this new opportunity," da Luz said. "I look forward to working with a true professional like Dean and following NCFC's season."

Da Luz, who captained NCFC in 2013, '18 and '19, enters his new role with previous broadcast experience, having called collegiate matches for ACC Network Extra and a handful of Carolina RailHawks matches with Linke when sidelined due to injury.

Linke, the voice of North Carolina Football Club, has called NCFC matches since the team's inaugural season in 2007 and also serves as a play-by-play announcer for the Big Ten Network. In the past, Linke has also called games on ESPN and the ACC Network among other outlets.

NCFC home matches are broadcast on ESPN+, and the club plans on announcing its local TV broadcasting deal in the coming weeks. To sign up for ESPN+, click here.

"As both a person and a player, Austin has been nothing but terrific for our club," North Carolina Football Club President & General Manager Curt Johnson said. "I'm thrilled that he will remain a part of NCFC, and I look forward to the great work he'll do with Dean."

Off the field, da Luz has made an impact as the founder of Playing for Pride, a global fundraiser to benefit the Human Rights Campaign and draw attention to LGBTQ issues. For his efforts, da Luz was named as the 2017 NASL Humanitarian of the Year. Using his platform as a professional soccer player to make a difference, da Luz has helped Playing for Pride raise over $60,000 since 2017.

NCFC opens up its 2020 USL Championship season on Saturday, March 7, when it hosts Louisville City FC at 2:30 p.m. at Sahlen's Stadium at WakeMed Soccer Park.

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