The National Premier Soccer League (NPSL) is proud to announce that Tobacco Road FC (Durham, NC) has joined the league as an expansion team. The club will compete in the South Region’s South Atlantic Conference.
“We are thrilled to add another team in the Carolinas,” NPSL Chairman Joe Barone commented. “Tobacco Road FC is joining a great conference, one with a high level of play and incredibly talented players and staff. This addition should be welcome by our fans and supporters in the region.”
Home matches will take place at the Durham Bulls Stadium, the centerpiece of Raleigh, North Carolina’s newly renovated WRAL Soccer Center. Amenities include seating for over 500, a recently updated turf playing surface, concessions, restrooms facilities, and scoreboard.
TRFC is led by founding partners Seth Kaplan and Cedric Burke.
A lifelong player and fan of the game, Kaplan relocated back to Chapel Hill, North Carolina in 2011 to continue his career as a hotel executive, and immediately re-immersed himself in the adult soccer landscape. Born and raised in Chapel Hill, Kaplan is dedicated to leading an organization that supports the local community with a focus on promoting elite, competitive soccer.
Raised in Durham, Burke starred at Jordan High School prior to enjoying a successful playing career at Duke University. Since his graduation in 2003, he has enjoyed professional success in the local banking industry. His allegiance to the Durham/Chapel Hill market has been steady and consistent both as an active community leader and soccer player. He has served as TRFC’s captain for several years.
“Tobacco Road FC will become entrenched within the framework of the Durham community,” Kaplan added. “The club’s motto is to compete for championships on and off the field. The club will lay the foundation for a program that competes at the highest level on the field while partnering with key collaborators to help improve the socio-economic landscape of the surrounding region.”
TRFC has existed as a highly successful amateur program for many years in the Triangle Adult Soccer League (TASL). Initially as Clockwork Orange and later Telepathic Graphics, the club has competed both locally and regionally in amateur leagues and tournaments. Following the club’s transition to TRFC, it won the North Carolina Adult Soccer Association’s State Cup in 2013 with a goal differential of 19-2. It followed that with four consecutive league championships in TASL. In preparation for a move to the NPSL, the club embarked on two very successful scheduling campaigns in both 2014 and 2015, playing several local colleges and NPSL franchises during their preseason.
“The ownership of Tobacco Road FC aspires to identify and develop a highly talented team while competing for championships,” Burke concluded. “The club’s founding principles are built on the framework of commitment, creativity, quality, passion and integrity. The club is local at its core and will aim to continue establishing powerful synergy within the community at the youth, high school, and collegiate level. Additionally, the club has embraced an inclusive approach to growing the game.’