JP’s Prematch Report (5/6/2017)

Cover Photo Courtesy of

North Carolina FC vs San Francisco Deltas – 7:30 PM EST Saturday May 6, 2017

The San Francisco Deltas, or Changes as I like to call them since their name is really stupid, comes to Cary this Saturday, and it’s a chance for NCFC to settle the score after they were beaten by 3-1 back in early April. Since that game, San Francisco has not won a game (two draws, one loss) and NCFC has won two and drawn one. NCFC has a two point advantage in the table and also has their logo on the ESPN app while the Deltas do not.

NCFC is coming off a huge road win over the Syracuse Orangeman…check that, Puerto Rico FC. The game was sparsely attended due to inclement weather, but we here at Raleigh City Sports were watching with attentive eyes back home.  Steven “Weavin” Miller broke the deadlock in the 28th minute by heading home a Lance Laing cross.  That’s another contribution from the ever-dependable Laing, but it was great to see Miller score and also see the Puerto Rico FC player fall down in the build up. Also worth noting: Nazmi Albadawi choked by an opposing player? No foul. Nazmi Albadawi standing infront of a quick free kick? Yellow card.

courtesy of @northcarolinafc

I think the most important piece to take away from Saturday’s game in Puerto Rico was the first clean sheet for Brian Sylvestre and the NCFC defense.  Sylvestre still had to make some good saves (earning himself a NASL Team of the Week honor alongside Miller) but it is definitely satisfying to not let any goals in when you are away from home.  I think the deployment of Bolu Akinyode alongside James Marcelin added some steel in the midfield and some cover for the back line. It will be interesting to see if Colin Clarke keeps Akinyode in the lineup or drops him for Austin da Luz.

Players to watch

Photo: Robert Edwards

Tommy Heinemann, San Francisco Deltas : Last time out against NCFC, the big striker scored two and was a general nuisance to the back line (and the NCFC faithful).  In the three games that have followed, neither Heinemann nor any other Deltas player has been able to find the net.  He should expect a hostile reception on Saturday.

James Marcelin, NCFC:  There have been notable performers this year for NCFC: Laing, Fondy, Sylvestre, Tobin, Albadawi. But I think the most underrated player in the team this year has to be Marcelin. He is a very solid defensive midfielder and also boasts a passing percentage of almost 90% completed. Let’s see if he can help keep another clean sheet.


Predicted Outcome: 2-1 NCFC


North Carolina Courage at Boston Breakers – 6:00 PM EST Saturday May 6, 2017

The Courage bested the Pride last weekend in the heated rivalry/battle of lionesses with goals coming from Jess McDonald, Samantha Mewis, and Lynn Williams with the best of the bunch (shown above). It was an end-to-end affair with amazing saves by both goalkeepers.  But it was very satisfying to see the McDonald/Williams goal and assist machine start to show signs of how well it functioned last year. The Pride had a couple of Brazilians do very well, but I reserve this space to only talk about one Brazilian and her name is Debinha.

The Courage, currently 3-0 in NWSL play, ship off to Boston to battle the Breakers on Saturday. The Breakers, led by NWSL April Player of the Month Rose Lavelle, are 2-1 and will be tough opponents.

Song of the Week

I’m going to a retirement community in Florida for the weekend and this will be in my head the entire time.

Beer of the Week

Friday is Cinco de Mayo, and to celebrate I will be having one of my favorite beers from Mexico. A lot of people like Dos Equis, Modelo, Tecate, Corona, etc. but I have always been a Pacifico fan. Obviously I prefer the taste over the others, but I think it all comes from when my older brother went on a trip as teenager and bragged to me about having a Pacifico while he was out of the country. Such a badass.

Question of the Week

How would you rank the sub shop chains? – Billy

  1. Jimmy John’s – The bread is phenomenal. Pro tip: order online to get more stuff on the sub.
  2. Jersey Mike’s – Mike’s Way is the best topping ever.
  3. Wawa – a great late night snack if you find yourself north of NC.
  4. Firehouse Subs – Solid subs, I love the choices of hot sauces.
  5. Potbelly – I haven’t had it enough but it seems pricy to me.
  6. Quiznos – ugh.
  7. A sandwich I found on the ground
  8. Subway


You can find JP on Twitter at @jp_rcs. Email your questions to