|Stumptown AC kicks off home schedule May 12 vs. Los Angeles|
|Team goal is to develop talent quickly|
|Published Monday, May 10, 2021 8:10 pm|
|COURTESY STUMPTOWN A.C.|
|Stumptown A.C., which opened the NISA season with a 2-1 win at Maryland Bobcats FC, play Los Angeles Force May 12 in the home opener at Sportsplex at Matthews.|
Stumptown A.C. will play for the first time in Mecklenburg County on Wednesday.
While the name may be reminiscent of the 2020 National Independent Soccer Association side, it is in fact brand new. Stumptown, which finished the NISA Legends Cup 1-1-1 in Chattanooga last month, opened the spring NISA season with a 2-1 win at Maryland Bobcats FC. Midfielder Alex McGrath and defender Travis Ward scored against Maryland, with Bobcats striker Kay Banjo scoring a late penalty kick.
The home opener is May 12 at Sportsplex at Matthews in a 7 p.m. match against the Los Angeles Force.
The club assembled a roster in a matter of weeks. To say it was a short turnaround would be magnanimous, but as head coach Rod Underwood said, everything is going to feel fast for this club.
“It's still moving fast,” said Underwood, the first Black head coach at any level of professional soccer in Charlotte. “It is going to be one of those things where I think it's just going to feel fast the whole time, because you know the season is short. It is kind of learning as we go, but at the same time of it’s been good. It’s been worthwhile. We’ve got quite a few players that we feel are good and we … got some rookie guys, we’ve got some guys that have some pro experience.”
Underwood intends to build a possession-oriented style of play, but with an attacking style and movement off the ball. Expect to see a consistent back four, with a bit of fluidity between strikers and midfielders.
“The system is not as important as our ideas, the culture we want to create and the style we want to play,” Underwood said.
Consistent progress from the developing side is also expected.
“We are not necessarily looking to be at our best today,” Underwood said. “We know that is not possible. We know that we can be a little bit better every day, and that is the goal. Can we be 5-10% better every day? We feel like going to into Maryland on the weekend we were a lot better. We still need improve in a lot of places, but we feel like we are in the right direction.”
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