North Carolina Tar Heels men's soccer

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North Carolina Tar Heels
men's soccer
2016 North Carolina Tar Heels men's soccer team
North Carolina Tar Heels logo.svg
Founded 1947
University University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill
Conference ACC
Location Chapel Hill, NC
Head coach Carlos Somoano
Stadium Fetzer Field
(Capacity: 6,000)
Nickname Tar Heels
Colors Carolina Blue and White[1]
NCAA Tournament Champions
2001, 2011
NCAA Tournament Runner Up
NCAA Tournament College Cup
1987, 2001, 2008, 2009, 2010, 2011, 2016
NCAA Tournament Quarterfinal
1987, 2001, 2008, 2009, 2010, 2011, 2012, 2014, 2016
NCAA Tournament Appearances
1968, 1987, 1988, 1990, 1991, 1993, 1994, 1999, 2000, 2001, 2002, 2003, 2004, 2005, 2006, 2008, 2009, 2010, 2011, 2012, 2013, 2014, 2015, 2016
Conference Tournament Champions
1987, 2000, 2011
Conference Regular Season Champions
2011, 2012 (shared), 2016 (shared)

The North Carolina Tar Heels men's soccer team represents the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill in men's NCAA Division I soccer competition.[2] They compete in the Atlantic Coast Conference.[3] The Tar Heels won the NCAA championship in 2001 and 2011.[4]


The UNC men's varsity soccer team was founded in 1947 by Dr. Marvin Allen, the teams first coach. Before the team had only been at the club level. Dr. Allen led the team until 1977 when the current UNC women's soccer team coach Anson Dorrance took over. Dorrance spent 12 successful seasons with the men's team until 1988. One of the main reasons for his retirement from the men's team was to focus on the women's program, which he had begun coaching while he was the men's coach. Dorrance led the Tar Heel's to their first ACC Tournament Championship in the tournament's inaugural year, 1987. Elmar Bolowich took the reigns from Dorrance and led the team to a National Championship in 2001, the first of the program. Bolowich resigned in 2011, and the former assistant coach, and current head coach, Carlos Somoano was hired. In his first year as head coach, Somoano won the 2011 national championship, a feat only accomplished by one other coach, Indiana's Mike Freitag. The same year, he also won the ACC regular season, and the ACC Tournament, winning every title possible for the year. Since the programs founding in 1947, Carolina has posted only 2 losing seasons. Making 4 consecutive College Cup appearances from 2008–2011, UNC has established itself as a powerhouse in modern-day college soccer in one of the most dominant conferences in the country.[5]


Fetzer Field[edit]

Fetzer Field was originally built in 1935 as a part of president Franklin D. Roosevelt's Works Project Administration, which brought much needed jobs to native Tar Heels. It was originally constructed for the track and field team, named after a previous UNC athletic director, Bob Fetzer. However, Fetzer Field soon served home to men's soccer in 1947, men's lacrosse in 1949, women's soccer in 1979, and women's lacrosse in 1996. It has also served as a site for numerous men's and women's lacrosse and soccer ACC Championship events, National Junior Olympic events, and as the home training site for the U.S. Track and Field Team in 1996.[6]

McCaskill Soccer Center[edit]

Located right next to Fetzer Field, the McCaskill Soccer Center serves multiple functions for Tar Heel men's and women's soccer. It holds the offices of both men's and women's coaches and a meeting room on the second level, complete with a deck. On the first level there are the men's and women's team locker rooms, as well as a team meeting room. Named after long time Tar Heel supporters, the McCaskill family, the McCaskill Soccer Center has been in use since 1999.[6]

National Championship NCAA Tournament overviews[edit]


The 2001 NCAA Division I Men's Soccer Championship was the first national title that the men's soccer team had earned. The road to the championship game saw the #7 seeded Tar Heel's defeat #3 seeded Stanford by a score of 3–2 in overtime of the semifinals. That moved the tar heels along to the National Championship game against #4 seeded Indiana. The game would be won 2–0 by the Tar Heels in regular time with goals from Ryan Kneipper and Danny Jackson. When asked about the game, Coach Bolowich said, "I thought David- as well as our entire defense – played a fantastic game and the team effort was there". The team's record of 21–4 saw the program claim its first national title.[6]


The 2011 NCAA Division I Men's Soccer Championship was the second national title the men's soccer team had earned. During the course of the tournament, the #1 seeded Tar Heels defeated Coastal Carolina (3–2), Indiana (1–0 in OT), and Saint Mary's (2–0) respectively, to reach the College Cup. In the semifinal, the Tar Heels faced #13 seeded UCLA, and would win the game 2–1, by way of a penalty kick shootout (3–1). Carolina faced the unseeded Charlotte 49ers in the final, winning the game 1–0 on a second-half Ben Speas goal. Team captain, Kirk Urso, who died due to a congenital heart defect at age 22, said in an interview after the game "My whole college career has been awesome, but there was something extra about this team. To cap it off with this is something I'm going to remember the rest of my life." A final record of 21–2–3 illustrates what a special year the Tar Heels had.[7]



The North Carolina vs. Duke rivalry is considered to be one of the greatest rivalry in the history of sports. That doesn't change when the two schools meet on the soccer field. Rated the No. 5 greatest rivalry in the history of college soccer by College Soccer News,[8] this matchup not only has conference ramifications, but also Carlyle Cup ramifications, a trophy in which the two schools compete against each other yearly, encompassing all sports.

Current coaches[edit]

Carlos Somoano[edit]

Coach Somoano was hired as the head coach in 2011 after serving as an assistant to Elmar Bolowich since 2001. Somoano led the team to the 2011 National Championship and was also named National Coach of the Year. During his time away from Carolina Somoano also works with the Capital Area Soccer League youth club. Since 2002 he has contributed to the youth development by being a scout for the U.S. Soccer Development Academy. In his college career as a player at Eckerd College, he earned four letters, and was team captain twice, while he majored Biology with a concentration in pre-med. Somoano was inducted into the Eckerd College Athletics Hall of Fame in 2013.[9] His previous jobs include an assistant at Virginia Commonwealth University from 1996–2001, and an assistant at Eckerd College from 1992–1995.[10]

Jeff Negalha[edit]

Jeff Negalha joined the team in 2005 as an assistant coach under Elmar Bolowich, and currently holds the assistant position under Carlos Somoano. Negalha was instrumental in the 2011 National Championship year, winning the NSCAA assistant coach of the year award. He is a key part of the recruiting process, helping bring the No. 1 ranked class in 2011. Prior to his career at Carolina Negalha served as the assistant coach for the USC Spartanburg from 1999–2002, which is his alma mater.[11]

Grant Porter[edit]

Grant Porter is a current assistant coach and former UNC men's soccer player from 2000–2003. He was a key part of the 2001 national title, the first ever for the program. He was hired in 2011 and helped the team to the National title the same year. Before Carolina, Porter served as an assistant coach for UC Santa Barbara in 2005. From 2006–2011 he served as the Director of Soccer for Charlotte United Football Club in Charlotte, NC.[12]

Season awards[edit]

Kirk Urso Heart Award[edit]

Due to the death of Kirk Urso in 2012 from a congenital heart defect, the team, as of 2012, votes on the "individual that most embodies Urso's selflessness and tireless work ethic."[13] Urso was a midfielder for the Columbus Crew at the time of his death.

2012– Jordan Gafa[14]

2013– Verneri Valimaa[15]

Tom Evins Jr. Most Improved Player Award[edit]

This award is presented to the player who has improved the most over the course of the previous year. Tom Evins Jr. is a former player and letterman from the class of 1961.

2012– Boyd Okwuonu[14]

2013– Brendan Moore[15]

Mercer Reynolds "Tar Heel" Award[edit]

This award is to given to a player who exemplifies characteristics of what it means to be a Tar Heel student-athlete on the field, in the classroom and in the community.[15]

2012– David Walden[14]

2013– Alex Walters[15]

Mike Thompson Most Valuable Player Award[edit]

This award goes to the player who is voted most valuable by his teammates. Mike Thompson was a former player, captain, and letterman that graduated in 1959.

2012– Boyd Okwuonu[14]

2013– Jonathon Campbell[15]

Nicholas Douglass Potter Coaches Award[edit]

This award is given to the "player who comes to practice and games everyday seeking to get better and is also a coachable player that helps to improve others around him."[15] Nicholas Douglass Potter is an avid supporter of the men's soccer team and of UNC Athletics as a whole.

2012– Scott Goodwin[14]

2013– Boyd Okwuonu[15]

All time-record[edit]

Year Head Coach Overall (W-L-T) ACC ACC Tournament NCAA Tournament
1947 Marvin Allen 6–3–0 1–1–0 (Southern Conference)* N/A N/A
1948 Marvin Allen 7–1–2 3–0–1 (Southern Conference)* N/A N/A
1949 Marvin Allen 6–3–0 5–1–0 (Southern Conference)* N/A N/A
1950 Marvin Allen 4–4–0 3–3–0 (Southern Conference)* N/A N/A
1951 Alan Moore 4–4–1 3–2–1 (Southern Conference)* N/A N/A
1952 Alan Moore 4–5–0 2–4–0 (Southern Conference)* N/A N/A
1953 Marvin Allen 3–4–1 0–3–1 N/A N/A
1954 Marvin Allen 3–4–1 3–2–1 N/A N/A
1955 Marvin Allen 4–2–2 3–1–2 N/A N/A
1956 Marvin Allen 4–3–0 1–3–0 N/A N/A
1957 Marvin Allen 2–3–2 0–2–2 N/A N/A
1958 Marvin Allen 8–2–0 3–1–0 N/A N/A
1959 Marvin Allen 10–1–0 3–1–0 N/A DNQ
1960 Marvin Allen 8–3–0 2–2–0 N/A DNQ
1961 Marvin Allen 8–4–0 2–2–0 N/A DNQ
1962 Marvin Allen 7–2–0 3–1–0 N/A DNQ
1963 Marvin Allen 5–3–2 1–1–2 N/A DNQ
1964 Marvin Allen 5–2–2 2–1–1 N/A DNQ
1965 Marvin Allen 8–3–0 3–1–0 N/A DNQ
1966 Marvin Allen 7–2–1 3–1–0 N/A DNQ
1967 Marvin Allen 10–2–0 4–1–0 N/A DNQ
1968 Marvin Allen 8–3–0 3–2–0 N/A First Round
1969 Marvin Allen 6–4–0 3–2–0 N/A DNQ
1970 Marvin Allen 5–2–3 2–1–2 N/A DNQ
1971 Marvin Allen 6–4–1 2–2–1 N/A DNQ
1972 Marvin Allen 6–3–1 2–2–1 N/A DNQ
1973 Marvin Allen 8–2–1 2–2–1 N/A DNQ
1974 Marvin Allen 4–3–4 1–2–2 N/A DNQ
1975 Marvin Allen 7–4–0 3–2–0 N/A DNQ
1976 Marvin Allen 9–5–0 2–3–0 N/A DNQ
1977 Anson Dorrance 14–3–1 4–1–0 N/A DNQ
1978 Anson Dorrance 12–3–4 3–1–1 N/A DNQ
1979 Anson Dorrance 16–3–5 3–1–1 N/A DNQ
1980 Anson Dorrance 17–4–1 3–2–1 N/A DNQ
1981 Anson Dorrance 15–6–0 3–3–0 N/A DNQ
1982 Anson Dorrance 11–7–4 0–4–2 N/A DNQ
1983 Anson Dorrance 16–3–2 2–3–1 N/A DNQ
1984 Anson Dorrance 12–7–1 3–3–0 N/A DNQ
1985 Anson Dorrance 12–8–1 3–3–0 N/A DNQ
1986 Anson Dorrance 13–7–1 1–4–1 N/A DNQ
1987 Anson Dorrance 20–5–0 3–3–0 Champions Semifinals
1988 Anson Dorrance 14–9–1 3–3–0 Runner-Up Second Round
1989 Elmar Bolowich 9–9–1 1–4–1 First Round DNQ
1990 Elmar Bolowich 13–7–0 2–4–0 First Round Second Round
1991 Elmar Bolowich 15–6–1 3–3–0 Semifinals Second Round
1992 Elmar Bolowich 9–7–4 2–2–2 Semifinals DNQ
1993 Elmar Bolowich 13–7–2 2–2–2 Semifinals Second Round
1994 Elmar Bolowich 13–7–0 3–3–0 First Round First Round
1995 Elmar Bolowich 11–8–1 0–5–1 Semifinals DNQ
1996 Elmar Bolowich 8–8–1 2–3–1 First Round DNQ
1997 Elmar Bolowich 6–13–0 1–5–0 First Round DNQ
1998 Elmar Bolowich 11–6–2 3–3–0 First Round DNQ
1999 Elmar Bolowich 12–7–1 2–3–1 Semifinals First Round
2000 Elmar Bolowich 21–3–0 5–1–0 Champions Quarterfinals
2001 Elmar Bolowich 21–4–0 4–2–0 Semifinals Champions
2002 Elmar Bolowich 14–7–1 3–2–1 First Round Second Round
2003 Elmar Bolowich 12–4–4 2–3–1 First Round Second Round
2004 Elmar Bolowich 10–9–2 4–3–0 Semifinals First Round
2005 Elmar Bolowich 17–4–3 3–3–2 Runner-Up Quarterfinals
2006 Elmar Bolowich 11–6–3 3–4–1 First Round Second Round
2007 Elmar Bolowich 7–8–5 3–5–0 Semifinals DNQ
2008 Elmar Bolowich 15–8–1 3–5–0 First Round Runner-Up
2009 Elmar Bolowich 16–2–4 5–2–1 Quarterfinals Semifinals
2010 Elmar Bolowich 16–4–4 7–0–1 Finalist Semifinals
2011 Carlos Somoano 21–2–3 5–1–2 Champions Champions
2012 Carlos Somoano 16–4–3 6–1–1 Finalist Third Round
2013 Carlos Somoano 9–6–5 4–2–5 First Round Second Round


* From 1947 to 1952 the Tar Heels competed in the Southern Conference, they joined the ACC in 1953

N/A-The NCAA Division I Men's Soccer Tournament did not exist until 1959, and the ACC Men's Soccer Tournament did not exist until 1987

DNQ-Did not qualify

Current roster[edit]

Number Name Position
1 Brendan Moore Goalkeeper
2 Jonathan Campbell Defender
4 Boyd Okwuonu Defender
5 Alan Winn Forward
6 Colton Storm Defender/Midfielder
7 Nyambi Jabang Midfielder
8 Tyler Engel Forward
9 Jordan McCrary Defender/Midfielder
10 Andy Craven Forward
11 David Walden Midfielder
12 Sam Euler Goalkeeper
13 Evan Krause Defender
14 Omar Holness Midfielder
15 Glen Long Midfielder
16 Rob Lovejoy Forward
17 Jesus Bolivar Midfielder
18 Verneri Valimaa Midfielder
19 David October Defender
20 Warren Marshall Midfielder
22 C.J. Odenigwe Defender
23 Andy Lopez Midfielder
24 James Pyle Goalkeeper
25 Eric O'Brien Forward
27 Nick Williams Defender
28 Alex Olofson Midfielder
29 Zach Wright Forward
30 Cole Brooks Goalkeeper
31 Nico Melo Midfielder
32 Luke Ciocca Defender
33 Raby George Midfielder
34 Ryan McAnallen Defender
36 Tucker Hume Forward
37 Walker Hume Defender


Notable alumni of the program[edit]

Eddie Pope[edit]

Eddie Pope played for the Tar Heels from 1992–1995. In 1994 he earned a spot on the first team All-American squad, as well as All-ACC and All-South Region honors. Pope was a key member of the Tar Heels' defensive line, who started every game of his college career. He also held the position of place kicker as a freshman for the UNC Football team, but choose to focus on soccer.[18] Pope was eventually selected second overall in the MLS College Draft by D.C. United. He is a notable alumni member of the Tar Heel's men's soccer because of his induction to the North Carolina Soccer Hall of Fame, his 82 appearances and 8 goals for the USA full national team, and his charity The Eddie Pope Foundation.

Kirk Urso[edit]

Kirk Urso was a member of the men's soccer program from 2008–2011, where he captained the team to the 2011 National Championship. He was drafted #10 in the 2012 MLS Supplemental Draft by the Columbus Crew in Ohio. Urso died of a congenital heart defect on August 5, 2012 after he had recorded 6 appearances with 5 starts for the Crew. Urso is a notable alumnus of the program because of the contribution that he gave to the team day in and day out. The Kirk Urso Heart Award is now given in his honor. Current head coach Somoano said "He's still remembered in our program, and always will be."[19] The Columbus Crew have created The Kirk Urso Fund, "which supports research and programming focused on congenital heart defects and sudden cardiac death in youth."[20]

Gregg Berhalter[edit]

Gregg Berhalter played at UNC from 1991–1994 under Elmar Bolowich. He left after his junior year to turn professional and signed for the Dutch club Zwolle. He spent a period abroad until returning to the US to play for the LA Galaxy in 2009. When he retired from his playing career in 2011, he also opened his managerial career by becoming the head coach at Hammarby IF in Sweden. He coached former player Billy Schuler, a member of the 2011 National Championship team, at Hammarby If. In 2013 Berhalter became the head coach of the Columbus Crew. He is a notable alumnus of the program because of his many years as a professional, and he is also the first American to manage a professional soccer team in Europe.[21]

Ben Speas[edit]

Ben Speas was a member of the Tar Heel's during the 2011 season only, after transferring from Akron University. He scored the winning goal in the 2011 National Championship game; giving the Tar Heels its second national title. He also was named the NCAA College Cup MVP after the final game.[22] He was also a key member of the 2011 team, who made 25 starts in 26 games. Speas played a major role for the Tar Heels championship.


  1. ^ "Primary Palette" (PDF). Carolina Athletics Brand Identity Guidelines. North Carolina Tar Heels. 2015-04-20. Retrieved 2016-04-02. 
  2. ^ "North Carolina Men's Soccer – 2012 North Carolina Mens Soccer Yearbook" (PDF). Retrieved 17 December 2014. 
  3. ^ "Acc Official Website". Retrieved 17 December 2014. 
  4. ^ "DI Men's Soccer". Retrieved 17 December 2014. 
  5. ^ "North Carolina Men's Soccer – 2011 North Carolina Mens Soccer Yearbook". Retrieved 17 December 2014. 
  6. ^ a b c "Fetzer Field/Belk Track". Retrieved 17 December 2014. 
  7. ^ "North Carolina Tar Heels win men's soccer title on Ben Speas' long goal – ESPN". Retrieved 17 December 2014. 
  8. ^ "North Carolina and Duke Rivalry". Retrieved 17 December 2014. 
  9. ^ "Eckerd Tritons – Eckerd Athletics Banquet/Hall of Fame Induction Ceremony Stamps End to 2012–13 Academic Year". Eckerd College. Retrieved 17 December 2014. 
  10. ^ "Carlos Somoano Biography". Retrieved 17 December 2014. 
  11. ^ "Jeff Negalha Biography". Retrieved 17 December 2014. 
  12. ^ "Grant Porter Biography". Retrieved 17 December 2014. 
  13. ^ "Kirk Urso Heart Award". YouTube. Retrieved 17 December 2014. 
  14. ^ a b c d e "Tar Heels Hold Annual Banquet". Retrieved 17 December 2014. 
  15. ^ a b c d e f g "Men's Soccer Hosts Annual Banquet". Retrieved 17 December 2014. 
  16. ^ "North Carolina Men's Soccer – 2012 North Carolina Mens Soccer Yearbook" (PDF). Retrieved 17 December 2014. 
  17. ^ "Men's Soccer – Roster – University of North Carolina Tar Heels Official Athletic Site". Retrieved 17 December 2014. 
  18. ^ "North Carolina Soccer Hall of Fame". Retrieved 17 December 2014. 
  19. ^ "The Daily Tar Heel  :: U.S. national team's Jozy Altidore honors late UNC men's soccer player Kirk Urso". Retrieved 17 December 2014. 
  20. ^ "Kirk Urso Memorial Fund". Columbus Crew. Retrieved 17 December 2014. 
  21. ^ Phil Shore. "Gregg Berhalter Is First American to Coach Professional Soccer in Europe". Bleacher Report. Retrieved 17 December 2014. 
  22. ^ "Ben Speas". Columbus Crew. Retrieved 17 December 2014. 

External links[edit]