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Preseason Roundup – Five find net for North Carolina FC against Carolina Core

By Staff, 02/18/24, 8:33AM EST


Gutierrez, Torres send Battery to victory against Independence; Agudelo scores in SAFC preseason opener

North Carolina FC's Garrett McLaughlin (center) celebrates with teammates during his side's preseason victory against Carolina Core FC on Saturday afternoon at WakeMed Soccer Park. | Photo courtesy Zach Taft / North Carolina FC

CARY, N.C. – Five different players found the net as North Carolina FC took a 5-2 victory against Carolina Core FC of MLS NEXT Pro on Saturday afternoon at WakeMed Soccer Park.

2023 standouts Oalex Anderson and Garrett McLaughlin both cleaned up second-chance opportunities to put NCFC on top early. Louis Perez then added a third goal from the penalty spot before the Core pulled a goal back before the halftime break.

El Salvador international Nelson Blanco Flores and new arrival Rodrigo Da Costa went on to find the net in the second half either side of a goal for the visitors as NCFC continued to tune up for its Southern Derby home opener against the Charleston Battery on March 9.

CHARLESTON BATTERY 2, CHARLOTTE INDEPENDENCE 0: Second-half goals four minutes apart by Diego Gutierrez and Juan David Torres sent the Battery to victory against the Independence at Patriots Point.

Neither side was able to find the net despite chances in the first half, but the Battery broke the deadlock with 16 minutes to go when Mark Segbers delivered a low cross from the right to Gutierrez at the back post, where he had time to control and shoot into the bottom-right corner.

Gutierrez added an assist with four minutes later as he set up Torres for the Colombian’s first goal in the Battery’s colors since his arrival this past week from Millonarios F.C.

HOUSTON DYNAMO II 3, SAN ANTONIO FC 2: Juan Agudelo scored his first goal in San Antonio’s colors as the club’s First Team lineup put in a strong opening half against Houston before a collection of trialists and Academy products complemented by new arrivals Kendall McIntosh and Kameron Lacey conceded three times in the second half to the MLS NEXT Pro side.

Agudelo opened the scoring with a headed finish off a cross by Jorge Hernandez, while Lacey also found the net with a long-range strike as put together its first official preseason scrimmage while waiting for reinforcements to arrive in camp.

“We’re hopeful that we get some of our international guys in,” said SAFC Head Coach Alen Marcina. “As we saw, we only have 10 or 11 guys available. As a coach, you’d like to work with as close to your entire team as possible so hopefully we get guys coming in, and then we’ll continue to build on our first-half performance.”

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