CARY, N.C. – The Dave Sarachan era got off on the right foot and then some Saturday night.
North Carolina FC recorded a convincing 4-1 victory over two-time defending USL Cup Champions Louisville City FC at Sahlen’s Stadium at WakeMed Soccer Park.
Marios Lomis opened the scoring followed by tallies from Donovan Ewolo, Tommy McCabe and Robbie Kristo with the latter two recording goals in their NCFC debut.
Sarachan most recently directed the U.S. men’s national team for the past year before taking on the North Carolina FC reins in 2019.
“It was the first game of a long season,” he said. “We can’t just rest on this, but obviously it was a terrific start against what I would still consider a great team in Louisville.”
NCFC started not only a new coach but also four new faces in the Starting XI. Two of thoseplayers, Alex Comsia and Sam Brotherton, anchored the back line.
The hosts found the net in the 34th minute when Ewolo sent in a ball to Lomis, who trapped it with his left foot, took three touches with his right foot and blasted the ball into the bottom corner of the net.
The team entered the locker room at halftime with the 1-0 lead, and came out attacking quickly in the second half. Miller started off an offensive attack in the 50th minute with a high arching ball that found the head of Ben Speas. The header bounced off the goal post before McCabe came flying into the box to finish the loose ball for a goal and a 2-0 margin.
“I haven’t scored in a while, so it was good to score in my debut,” McCabe said. “It was a great team win against a great opponent, so that’s the perfect way to start the season.”
NCFC kept up the momentum with a third goal three minutes later. Austin da Luz played a ball wide to DJ Taylor who dribbled it to the end line before crossing it back to Ewolo who one-touched it into the net.
Lomis nearly had his second goal of the game after blasting a shot off the top crossbar in the 73rd. The offensive attacks did not stop there though, as NCFC pressured goalkeeper, Tim Dobrowski, the entire second half.
Kristo entered the game in the 75th minute, making his debut for the club. It only took him eight minutes before he made his impact on the game. Speas sent a long ball that Kristo received at midfield before racing a Louisville City FC defender one-on-one down the field and chipping the ball over Dobrowski.
Louisville City FC midfielder Sunny Jane scored the team’s only goal in added time denying Alex Tambakis a clean sheet. He put a low driving shot past the Greek goalkeeper, shortly before the final whistle blew.
North Carolina FC will travel to Pennsylvania its their first away game of the season against Bethlehem Steel FC Saturday, March 16 at 7 p.m.