September 19, 2007

Carolina RailHawks Announce USL W-League Team for 2008

Women's soccer returns to Carolina at SAS


Cary, N.C.-The Carolina RailHawks announced on Wednesday night the formation of a USL W-League women's soccer team for the 2008 season. The Carolina RailHawks Women (TBD) will play seven home games in the Atlantic Division of the USL W-League at SAS Soccer Park in Cary. The team will be coached by Jay Howell, Director of Coaching for the Capital Area Soccer League and will be comprised by some of the best talent the Triangle has to offer. Star players from Duke, NC State and UNC-Chapel Hill as well as Wake Forest University and UNC-Greensboro have already agreed to be a part of the team.

"The Triangle has a tradition of producing fantastic women's soccer teams and players at the club and collegiate level," said Jay Howell. "Like the Raleigh Wings and the Carolina Courage in the past, this team will showcase the best soccer talent from this area and beyond.  I am excited and honored to coach the new W-League team.  This will be a wonderful opportunity to work with high quality players, and to represent the Carolina RailHawks organization."

The W-League is the USL's highest level of women's soccer in the US and Canada. Founded in 1995, the 2007 season was comprised of thirty-five teams divided in four conferences playing twelve or fourteen regular season matches. The W-League is also an open league, giving college players the opportunity to play alongside established international players while maintaining their collegiate eligibility. The W-League features some of the top players in the world; fifty-four current and former W-League players are currently participating in the 2007 Women's World Cup in China representing nine countries and seventeen current W-League teams.

"We're thrilled to be bringing women's soccer back to the Triangle," said Carolina RailHawks President and GM Chris Economides. "This will be a great addition to the ever growing Carolina RailHawks Family."

This new W-League franchise is not the first women's soccer team to live in the Triangle. The Raleigh Wings were the area's first elite women's soccer team and were arguably the best club team in the world at the time, dominating play in the W-League between 1998 and 2000 with players like Wendy Gebauer, Siri Mullinix and Carla Overbeck. Overbeck was one of the founding members of the Carolina Courage of the now defunct Women's United Soccer Association, who in 2002 and 2003 took residence at SAS Soccer Park bringing soccer fans to the stadium to enjoy professional soccer.

"The Carolina Courage were such a big part of this community when they were here, from 2001-2003, that we felt an obligation to bring a women's team back to the Triangle," said Carolina RailHawks VP of Marketing and former Carolina Courage Sponsorship Director Brad Myers. "The fact that the now defunct WUSA was unsuccessful was not indicative of the Courage's success in this area.  From community relations, to sponsorships, to attendance, the Courage was a leader in the league and a model for other women's franchises.  We hope to emulate that success and put a quality product on the field as well as a team that is active in the community in which they play." 

The Carolina RailHawks continue to have a strong impact in the community both on and off the field. The addition of the W-League will further the success the RailHawks organization and help them soar to new heights in 2008.


As United Soccer Leagues starts its third decade of operation, soccer at all levels continues to grow in the U.S., Canada, and Caribbean. The largest organization of elite-level soccer leagues in North America, United Soccer Leagues is dedicated to growing the sport at the grassroots level in every community.  The USL First Division and Second Division (North American men's professional soccer), the USL Premier Development League (U23 North American men's amateur), the USL W-League (North American women's amateur), the USL Super-20 League (U20 North American men's and women's amateur) and the USL Super Y-League (North American boy's and girl's elite youth amateur) have provided a platform for thousands of players to reach their dreams since 1986.  This vision and commitment to develop a soccer nation by fans, investors, administrators, coaches, and players has created the foundation for the growth of the sport, while presenting affordable, exciting family entertainment in over 100 cities and towns on the continent.  


The Carolina RailHawks are a United Soccer League expansion team that entered the USL First Division in April 2007. The squad played 14 regular season home games and seven additional home playoff, exhibition and US Open Cup games in its Inaugural Season, with all home games played at SAS Soccer Park in Cary, N.C. Under Rochester Rhinos co-owner and USL Hall of Fame inductee Chris Economides, the RailHawks organization was formed in October 2005 and awarded the USL franchise in January 2006.

Primary Contacts

Marco Rosa, Public Relations Director Carolina RailHawks: (919) 859-5425 x8146 (