North Carolina FC will take the field against Atlas FC on Wednesday as part of the Hyatt Place Southpoint Community Shield Match. Not being an active observer of Liga MX ,the Mexican First Division, I did not know this team existed (like another friend of NCFC). So let’s take some time to find out about the last preseason opponent before the NASL season starts on Saturday.
Founded in 1916, Atlas FC plays in Guadalajara at the Jalisco Stadium (56,713 capacity). They have several nicknames that are just awsome: “Rojinegros”, “La Academia”, “La Furia”, and my personal favorite: “Los Zorros”. Although they haven’t won a trophy in over 50 years, they are currently 10th. So not really making too many strides towards ending that drought.
Their most recognizable player would be 38 year old Rafa Marquez, who I still can’t believe is still playing. He has had stints at Barcelona and with the New York Red Bulls, amongst others. But Atlas is the club where he began his playing career, and it seems like it will be his last club. He recently made headlines when he headed home a goal for Mexico to beat the US Men’s National Team in a World Cup qualifier in November.
On the NCFC front, according to head coach Colin Clarke, the team has an eye on the game against Miami FC so there will be a lot of changes made during the game to keep players fresh. Speaking of fresh, I can’t wait to see in person how the new sponsors look on the kits.
— North Carolina FC (@NorthCarolinaFC) March 20, 2017
Kickoff is at 7:30pm at WakeMed Soccer Park. Tickets are still on sale here.
Cover Photo Courtesy of North Carolina FC.