Cary, NC – In their first home game since the start of the month, North Carolina FC came back with a flourish, defeating Loudoun United 3-0.
North Carolina FC remains unbeaten on their home field at Sahlen’s Stadium at WakeMed Soccer Park, continuing that streak with a win over the Leesburg, Virginia-based Loudoun United on Wednesday, July 17, 2019.
NCFC’s style is to play fast and score soon, but this time, the first goal from a foul on Steven Miller. The resulting free kick went to Robert Kristo, whose curling shot went far left and got past Loudoun goalkeeper Calle Brown.
Speaking of goalkeepers, this match was NCFC goalkeeper Darrin MacLeod’s third start in the league, and he put in a top notch performance, deflecting all attempts to score on the home net.
In the second half, Yamikani Chester joined the team on the field and gameplay changed dramatically. NCFC is known as a fast team but Chester is one of their fastest. Kristo set Chester up with an assist in the 72nd minute, and like a snap of the fingers, Chester hit a huge kick, getting NCFC up 2-0.
Only two minutes later, Chester had a goal to remember, as he wrestled the ball away from a Loudoun midfielder and charged for the net. Chester got tackled in the process but got a kick off just in time. It was far away and did not seem plausible but the ball went into the net and raised the score 3-0. And the score remained there for the rest of the match, giving NCFC their ninth win and eighth shut-out of the season.
With this win, NCFC is only one of three teams in the Eastern Conference to not lose on their home field this season.
“Obviously a good result,” said NCFC head coach Dave Sarachan. “Getting a clean sheet is a big deal, so that was important. I thought some new faces that saw the field tonight stood up and did well.”
NCFC is the fourth-ranked team in the conference and have given the top-ranked Tampa Bay Rowdies their only loss in the season thus far.
Their next home game is against Atlanta United 2, on Saturday, July 27, 2019 at 7 PM.
Story by staff reports. Photos by Rob Kinnan.