Oct. 23—HIGH POINT — A number of area players took their shot toward making the Carolina Core FC's roster Saturday.
They did it during an open tryout the new MLS Next Pro club conducted Saturday at Phillips Park.
About 110 invited players were divided into eight squads. They rotated among four fields as they played in timed scrimmages while watched by 15 evaluators, who also changed fields. A separate tryout was held for prospective goalkeepers.
A good number of those auditioning were from the immediate area according to Carolina Core FC Chief Sporting Officer Eddie Pope.
"What was important to us was to give individuals from the community and people from other places who were attracted to this area an opportunity to tryout, so it wasn't so much of a closed thing," Pope said.
The club, which will play its home games at Truist Point, will conduct another open tryout for another 100 or so players. Those who show enough talent on Saturday will be invited to the second one. Pope said he didn't have a set number that would make the cut.
"You just never know," Pope said. "It's hard for them because they've never played together before. So you try to pick out individual qualities and things like that."
The tryouts are in addition to the club evaluating talent from the MLS, MLS Next Pro, USL and international ranks. Pope said some of those players are being signed.
Practice starts in February. The league has not released a 2024 schedule. Its season started in late March this year.