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Raleigh Natives George Marks, D.J. Taylor Return to NCFC for 2018 Season

December 17, 2017 - North American Soccer League (NASL) - North Carolina FC News Release

CARY, N.C. - North Carolina FC has announced more signings for the 2018 season with the additions of NCFC Youth Academy products George Marks and D.J. Taylor, pending league and federation approval. Both players return for a second season with Marks signing an Academy Contract for the second consecutive year. Per club policy, further details on the deal were not released.

"We're excited to bring back D.J. and George," said North Carolina FC President and GM Curt Johnson. "Both are exceptional players who developed in our academy system, showing the strength of our youth programs. We look forward to their contributions next season."

Both signings help reinforce a development pipeline between North Carolina FC and NCFC Youth Academy. The players are part of the first group of signings since NCFC joined the United Soccer League (USL) in November, paired with the return of Austin da Luz announced earlier today. The move to USL puts the club in one of the most prominent Division II professional soccer leagues in the world, which enjoys a strong partnership with MLS and will reestablish regional rivalries that have existed since the 1990s.

Marks is a local product who came through NCFC Youth and debuted for the Academy in 2015. He's the starting goalkeeper for the NCFC U19s and has played in 48 matches with the Academy since 2015.

"I'm really happy to be back for another year with the club," said Marks. "Last year was a major year for me, as I learned a lot from the older guys and earned some time on the bench towards the end of the year. This year I really look forward to being part of the team and pushing to contribute."

Marks spent the 2017 season developing in NCFC's goalkeeping unit. He appeared on the bench in five contests in 2017, but did not play in an official match.

Development academy players are eligible to train and sign Academy contracts with professional soccer teams prior to their enrollment in college and keep their NCAA eligibility. Marks has committed to attend Clemson University in Fall 2018.

Taylor is also set to rejoin North Carolina FC for 2018. The promising right back played in two league matches for the club last year, totaling 133 minutes. He also saw time as a guest player in North Carolina FC's international exhibition against Swansea City AFC this summer prior to signing with the club.

Taylor is a Raleigh, N.C., native and played in the NCFC Youth Academy system from 2012-15. Taylor also earned time with the United States U-18 National Team in 2015. He appeared in two matches and scored one goal at the Copa Chivas Tournament.

Following his academy career, Taylor signed an amateur contract with NCFC in May of 2015. Taylor did not appear in a match, but trained with the first team before moving to Spain, where he played professionally with FC Torre Levante of the Tercera Division for two seasons.

Marks and Taylor are the first two signings for the 2018 season. North Carolina FC will continue to add to its roster and expects to have more player announcements in the coming days.

Season tickets for North Carolina FC's 2018 season are on sale now. Fans can secure their seats at Sahlen's Stadium at WakeMed Soccer Park with a $50 deposit. To ensure you don't miss a moment of the action, click here soccer-park-north-carolina-fc) or call the North Carolina Football Club Ticket Office at 919-459-8144.

Player Profile: Name: George Marks Position: Goalkeeper Birthdate: 11/10/1999 (Age 18) Birthplace: Raleigh, N.C. Height: 6'1" Weight: 199 lbs Citizenship: USA Previous Club: North Carolina FC Transaction: North Carolina FC has signed George Marks to an Academy contract.

Player Profile: Name: D.J. Taylor Position: Defender Birthdate: 08/26/1997 (Age 20) Birthplace: Raleigh, N.C. Height: 5'9" Weight: 155 lbs Citizenship: USA Previous Club: North Carolina FC Transaction: North Carolina FC has signed D.J. Taylor.

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