North Carolina Courage

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North Carolina Courage
North Carolina Courage.PNG
Full name North Carolina Courage
Founded 2009 (as Buffalo Flash)
2011 (as Western New York Flash)
2017 (as Courage)
Stadium Sahlen’s Stadium at WakeMed Soccer Park
Cary, North Carolina
Capacity 10,000
Owner Stephen Malik
General Manager Curt Johnson
Head Coach Paul Riley
League National Women's Soccer League
Website Club website
Current season
Active teams of North Carolina FC
Football pictogram.svg Football pictogram.svg Football pictogram.svg Football pictogram.svg

The North Carolina Courage is a professional women's soccer team based in Cary, North Carolina. Its former incarnation, the Western New York Flash, was a founding member of the National Women's Soccer League (NWSL), the top level of women's soccer in the U.S., in 2013. They relocated to North Carolina for 2017.[1] They are affiliated with the men's team North Carolina FC of the United Soccer League, and play their home games at Sahlen’s Stadium at WakeMed Soccer Park.

In 2018 the North Carolina Courage became the first team in NWSL history to win the NWSL Shield and the NWSL Championship in the same season.


Team name, crest, and colors[edit]

The North Carolina Courage name is a nod to the original Carolina Courage – who won the 2002 Women's United Soccer Association (WUSA) Founders Cup – as is the stylized lioness image, which matches the head of the lioness on the WUSA team's badge with very minor alterations. The badge features elements from the flag of North Carolina with both the star and the color scheme, the latter keeping in line with the NCFC brand. The lower right point of the star represents the Research Triangle, a geographical region that includes Chapel Hill, Durham, and Raleigh. The Courage's primary colors include "Atlantic blue", "cardinal red," and "Southern gold."[2]


Period Kit manufacturer Sponsor
2017 United States Nike BlueCross BlueShield of NC
2018– Continental


The North Carolina Courage play their home games at WakeMed Soccer Park, a soccer-specific stadium shared by North Carolina FC, a team in the United Soccer League also owned by Stephen Malik.

The soccer complex consists of a purpose-built main stadium, two lighted practice fields, and four additional fields. The main stadium and the 2 lighted fields (2 & 3) are all FIFA international regulation size (120 yards x 75 yards). The main stadium seats 10,000 with the expansions of 2012. Field 2 also has 1,000 permanent bleacher seats.

The park is on 150 acres (0.61 km2) that the State of North Carolina has leased to Wake County. Money to build the soccer park came from $14.5 million in county-wide hotel room and prepared food and beverage taxes. The Town of Cary assumed responsibility for operations and maintenance in 2004 from Capital Area Soccer League. On January 26, 2006, the Town of Cary council amended its lease to allow it to sublet the property to Triangle Professional Soccer through the year 2011 for the exclusive promotion of professional soccer and lacrosse events at the complex. This deal was extended for the new ownership group through 2014.[3]

On December 6, 2016, along with a name change, North Carolina FC announced plans for a stadium seating 24,000.[4]


Season NWSL Regular Season Position NWSL Playoffs
2017 24 16 7 1 38 22 49 Shield Runner-Up
2018 24 17 1 6 53 17 57 Shield Champions
Top Scorer
Season Player Nation Goals
2017 Lynn Williams  United States 9
2018 Lynn Williams  United States 14


Current squad[edit]

As of July 2, 2018
No. Position Player Nation
0 Goalkeeper Katelyn Rowland  United States
1 Goalkeeper Sabrina D'Angelo  Canada
4 Midfielder Elizabeth Eddy  United States
5 Midfielder Samantha Mewis  United States
6 Defender Abby Erceg (captain)  New Zealand
7 Midfielder McCall Zerboni  United States
8 Midfielder Denise O'Sullivan  Ireland
9 Forward Lynn Williams  United States
10 Midfielder Debinha  Brazil
11 Defender Merritt Mathias  United States
12 Forward Frannie Crouse  United States
13 Defender Abby Dahlkemper  United States
14 Forward Jessica McDonald  United States
15 Defender Jaelene Hinkle  United States
16 Defender Cari Roccaro  United States
17 Midfielder Heather O'Reilly  United States
19 Forward Crystal Dunn  United States
20 Defender Yuri Kawamura  Japan
21 Forward Darian Jenkins  United States
22 Defender Julie King  United States
23 Forward Kristen Hamilton  United States
25 Defender Meredith Speck  United States
30 Midfielder Sarah Teegarden  United States
31 Defender Kaleigh Kurtz  United States


Owner Stephen Malik
General Manager
Curt Johnson[6]



As of 2017, Courage games are streamed exclusively by Go90 for American audiences and via the NWSL website for international viewers.[7] As part of a three-year agreement with A&E Networks, Lifetime broadcasts one NWSL Game of the Week on Saturday afternoons.[8][9] For the 2017 season, the Courage will be featured in five nationally-broadcast Lifetime NWSL Game of the Week broadcasts on June 3, July 1, August 19, and July 15, 2017.[10]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ "North Carolina Football Club enters into agreement to acquire rights to NWSL's 2016 champions Western New York Flash". 9 January 2017. Archived from the original on 10 January 2017. Retrieved 9 January 2017.
  2. ^ "The New State of Soccer: We Are Now North Carolina FC". Archived from the original on December 10, 2016. Retrieved December 6, 2016.
  3. ^ "Archived copy" (PDF). Archived from the original (PDF) on July 14, 2014. Retrieved July 4, 2014.
  4. ^ "RailHawks announce plans to pursue MLS bid, stadium". News & Observer. December 6, 2016. Retrieved December 6, 2016.
  5. ^ "North Carolina Courage".
  6. ^ "NORTH CAROLINA COURAGE SELECTS FOUR IN CLUB'S FIRST NWSL DRAFT". North Carolina Courage. 12 January 2017. Archived from the original on 16 January 2017.
  7. ^ "NWSL, go90 announce exclusive streaming partnership". Black and Red United (SBNation). Vox Media. Retrieved April 14, 2017.
  8. ^ "Lifetime To Air National Women's Soccer League Games As A+E Networks Kicks In For Equity Stake". Retrieved February 3, 2017.
  9. ^ "A+E Networks, National Women's Soccer League Ink Major Deal". Variety. Retrieved February 3, 2017.
  10. ^ "North Carolina Courage will be feature in five NWSL Game of the Week broadcasts". Vavel. April 1, 2017. Retrieved 26 April 2017.

External links[edit]