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Match Preview: Carolina Core FC face intrastate rival North Carolina FC in U.S. Open Cup Third Round on Wednesday


Carolina Core FC returns to action on Wednesday, April 17th, in the Third Round of the 2024 Lamar Hunt U.S. Open Cup against intrastate rival North Carolina FC. Kickoff is set for 7 p.m. ET, with a live stream available on the US Soccer site (linked below). Tickets are available for purchase here.

Fans can also follow @CarolinaCore_FC on X for live updates throughout the match.

Carolina Core FC is fresh off a comeback victory over Vermont Green FC in the second round of the Lamar Hunt US Open Cup.

The team went behind in the 28th minute, giving up a penalty kick. In the second half, CCFC would draw level after forward Josuha Rodriguez was fouled in the box, leading forward Papa Ndoye to slot home a left-footed strike from the spot, scoring his first goal for CCFC in the process. Super-sub Josuha Rodriguez eventually netted the game-winning goal, pouncing on a rebound with a strike into the roof of the net.

Forward Papa Ndoye scored his first goal for Carolina Core FC against Vermont Green FC. The penalty was awarded after VGFC center back Zach Barrett conceded a foul on Josuha Rodriguez in the penalty area in the 59th minute of the match. Papa Ndoye stepped up and converted the penalty with a left-footed strike to the center of the goal. Ndoye’s penalty served as the much-needed equalizer in the match, tying the game at 1-1 in the 60th minute.

In the second round, Josuha Rodriguez scored his second U.S. Open Cup goal in as many games. The Honduran striker is seemingly made for big moments, as his two goals this season have come as game-winners. Rodriguez, who came off the bench, made an immediate impact in the game, drawing a penalty that led to a goal from Papa Ndoye. Continuing his good form, Rodriguez immediately pounced on a parried shot and blasted the ball into the roof of the net.

Goalkeeper Andrew Pannenberg made his debut for Carolina Core FC on Wednesday evening against Vermont Green FC. The Charlotte native showcased his adept ability to deal with crosses in the box as well as his comfortability passing out the back. Pannenberg recorded one save on the night and played a vital role in the team’s 2-1 victory over Vermont Green FC.

Carolina Core FC are one of three MLS NEXT Pro teams to make it to the third round of the U.S. Open Cup.

North Carolina FC

After being crowned champions of USL League 1, North Carolina FC won promotion back to the USL Championship for the 2024 season. This is their first time back in the competition since the 2020 season. Head Coach John Bradford in his fourth season in charge of the side, having served the club for fourteen years in assistant coach and academy director roles. Six matches into the USL Championship season, NCFC have a record of 1-2-3. They are currently in 8th position in the Eastern Conference, occupying a much-coveted playoff spot in their first season back in the USL top flight.

North Carolina FC come into the game following a 1-1 draw at home to Birmingham Legion FC. Forward Rodrigo da Costa scored from the spot in the 2nd minute of the match. NCFC have netted 5 goals in 6 matches, all of which were scored from different players.

The third round Open Cup match will be the second time these two sides have faced each other this year, with the two teams clashing during a pre-season friendly that resulted in a 2-5 loss for Carolina Core FC.

Carolina Core FC and North Carolina FC kick off at 7 p.m. ET on Wednesday.

Fans can stream the match live on the US Soccer - Live Stream or come out to WakeMed Soccer Park to support Carolina Core FC away from home.

Match Information:

Lamar Hunt U.S. Open Cup: 3rd Round

Date: Wednesday, April 17, 2024

Kickoff: 7 p.m. ET

Location: WakeMed Soccer Park (Cary, North Carolina)


Match-specific hashtag: #CCFCvNCFC

Instagram: @carolinacore_fc