Now that preseason is officially upon the NWSL, the North Carolina Courage has announced their upcoming match-ups to prepare for their season opener against the Washington Spirit on April 15th. The Courage’s announcement comes a bit later than their league counterparts, though the team’s offseason move to North Carolina from Western New York, and subsequent re-branding may have contributed to their preseason schedule not being able to be announced until after the team had already come together to train for the matches.
Like some other teams in the league, the Courage are exclusively taking on college teams for their preseason opponents, starting with the University of Tennessee on March 25th and Wake Forest University on April 1st, which should provide an easier transitional period for a roster made up primarily of players that contributed to the Western New York Flash’s championship run last year. This somewhat less aggressive approach from head coach Paul Riley could possibly leave the Courage vulnerable against the teams with a preference towards preparing against league opponents for preseason, though the team's final two fixtures against 2016 College Cup finalists Duke University on April 5th, and the storied North Carolina Tar Heels on April 8th should provide stiff competition and the opportunity for the Courage to improve throughout their schedule. All of these games will be free and open to the public, which should be a great opportunity for the local supporters to get a first look at the team at their new Cary, NC home, featuring the recently unveiled NC home and away jerseys.
Full NC Courage Preseason Schedule:
Saturday, March 25 vs. University of Tennessee- 5:30 p.m.- Queens Sports Complex in Charlotte, NC
Saturday, April 1 vs. Wake Forest University- 1 p.m.-WakeMed Soccer Park, Field #3
Wednesday, April 5 vs. Duke University- 6 p.m.- WakeMed Soccer Park, Field #3
Saturday, April 8 vs. UNC-Chapel Hill- 6 p.m.- WakeMed Soccer Park, Field #3