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North Carolina FC opens season with 4-1 win over Louisville FC

New North Carolina FC coach Dave Sarachan, who made his debut March 9, 2019, has a long record of MLS success. His last job was caretaker manager of the U.S. Men’s National Team.
New North Carolina FC coach Dave Sarachan, who made his debut March 9, 2019, has a long record of MLS success. His last job was caretaker manager of the U.S. Men’s National Team. ldecock@newsobserver.com

North Carolina FC couldn’t have asked for a better start to the season, taking a 4-1 victory Saturday over two-time defending USL Cup champion Louisville City FC in Dave Sarachan’s first game as head coach.

Marios Lomis opened the scoring for NCFC, and Donovan Ewolo, Tommy McCabe and Robbie Kristo also had goals -- McCabe and Kristo making their NCFC debut. It was the first time in club history that NCFC scored four goals in their home opener.

“It was the first game of a long season,” Sarachan 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 had four new players in the starting lineup and two, Alex Comsia and Sam Brotherton, anchored the back line that only allowed one goal during the match.

In the 34th minute, 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.

Leading 1-0 at halftime, NCFC 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 Tommy McCabe came flying into the box to finish the loose ball for a goal.

“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.

Kristo entered the game in the 75th minute and eight minutes later 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 into the net.

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