Spotlight: A league of our own

Carolina RailHawks' Nacho Novo (10) controls the ball while defended by Ottawa's Mike Randolph (29) during the first half. The Carolina RailHawks took on the Ottawa Fury in their season opener at the WakeMed Soccer Park in Cary, N.C. on April 4, 2015.

Rob Kinnan 

by Mimi Montgomery

There’s no World Cup this summer, but that doesn’t mean you have to go without your soccer fix. In fact, you don’t have to go far at all. You already know the Carolina RailHawks play at WakeMed Soccer Park in Cary, but this summer there are new reasons – besides the the return of key players like Tiyi Shipalane, Austin da Luz, and captain Nazmi Albadawi, and the introduction of Mexican soccer start Omar Bravo – to check out our own North American Soccer League team on its home turf.

There’s a new beer garden featuring local brews; a “Duck Donuts Family Zone” for kids featuring face painting, inflatables, and soccer-themed activities; and a new RailHawks Fan Bus that will pick up soccer fans in downtown Raleigh and Cary and bring them to and from the stadium. There’s a renewed commitment to philanthropy, too: For each home goal scored at WakeMed Soccer Park, the RailHawks’ community partners will donate $2,500 to Make-A-Wish Eastern North Carolina. If you can’t make it there in person, RailHawks games are now televised throughout the Triangle and the Carolinas.

Medfusion founder Steve Malik, who purchased the RailHawks last October, is working hard to instill local support as the team enters its 10th year. This month, there are two home games to choose from.

Apr 2, 2016; Cary, NC, USA; The Carolina RailHawks hosted Minnesota FC in a spring season NASL match at Wake Med Soccer Park. Mandatory Credit: Rob Kinnan-Carolina RailHawks.

 Rob Kinnan

Saturday, August 13 vs. Puerto Rico FC; 7:30 p.m.; Tickets start at $12

Saturday, August 20 vs. Indy Eleven, 7:30 p.m.; Tickets start at $12

WakeMed Soccer Park: 101 Soccer Park Drive, Cary;