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SOCIAL CIRCLE – #ThankYoudaLuz

By USLChampionship.com Staff, 10/18/19, 11:49AM EDT

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North Carolina fans, players pay tribute to captain before final regular season game Saturday


After making 181 appearances in the club's colors in his career, North Carolina FC will pay tribute to captain Austin da Luz on Saturday night as he prepares to retire this offseason. | Photo courtesy Rob Kinnan / North Carolina FC

CARY, N.C. – North Carolina FC’s final game of the 2019 regular season on Saturday night at Sahlen’s Stadium at WakeMed Soccer Park will have a special meaning for all in attendance as the club pays tribute to longstanding midfielder Austin da Luz ahead of his retirement this offseason.

The former Wake Forest standout has made 181 appearances in the club’s colors, third-most in NCFC history, and ranks second in minutes played (13,310), fourth in assists (18) and fifth in goals (23) for the club all-time.

But more than the numbers he’s accumulated for the club, da Luz’s spirit and contributions to the community have made him stand out and become arguably the most admired player in NCFC’s history. In addition to his local work in the community, the Playing for Pride initiative da Luz began in 2017 has made a national impact over the past three years. On Friday, the club announced he had been awarded its 2019 Community Service and Leadership awards.

“He just embodies what this club’s about,” said NCFC Head Coach Dave Sarachan. “You know with Austin, he really cares about this team, and so his commitment to the team, to the club, to the community, because this is my first year with Austin, I didn’t really work with him before, but I knew of him, all of those variables that I had heard about has come true.”

Ahead of the clash against Saint Louis FC (7 p.m. ET | Match Center | ESPN+), the club and its players and fans took to social media to pay tribute to a man that has come to be known as Mr. North Carolina FC.

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