WILMINGTON, N.C. (WECT) – Carson Porter has worked with the Wilmington Hammerheads soccer program for eight years. In that time, however, he’s never had the chance to watch a Major League Soccer game with a team from his home state.
Next March, Charlotte FC will make its MLS debut, with its inaugural home game to be held at Bank of America Stadium on March 5 against LA Galaxy.
“I couldn’t find a game to watch on television when I was a kid. So now to have a professional team a drive away, it’s great,” said Porter. “Hopefully these kids can soak that in and watch as much as they can.”
Thursday, one of Major League Soccer’s newest teams, Charlotte FC, held a clinic for young players involved in the Hammerheads program. Porter says having a professional team so close to home is a sign that the sport is growing right in his own backyard.
“It is definitely trending up,” said Porter. “And it’s an exciting time in our community with New Hanover High School doing well and, you know, our club and our team is thriving so I’m really excited.”
Charlotte FC held a series of clinics across the Carolinas Thursday to accompany the announcement of its first home match. Jeff Homens, the teams club and affiliate manager, says the team is more than excited to get started.
“We are dreaming big,” Homens said. “We have some lofty goals, starting with our home opener. We want to sell out Bank of America Stadium and the 74,000 fans out there. We feel that that would be a fantastic first step for inaugural season.”
Off of the pitch, Homens says the team is focused on building a relationship with the Carolina soccer community for fans like Porter and the younger players he coaches every day.
“We are out here to promote fun,” said Homens. “If they’re having a good time and they associate soccer with fun and, by extension, with Charlotte FC, then we’re doing our job in that regard.”
With the team’s first season just a few months away, Charlotte FC wants to make sure fans are looking forward to cheering for the team both on and away from the pitch.
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