With two weeks to go before the start of the 2015 USL Pro season and after two preseason matches, Wilmington Hammerheads FC continue to train and tweak their roster following the clubs friendly against Seoul E-Land FC at WakeMed Soccer Park in Cary on Wednesday.
The Hammerheads recently announced the addition of midfielder Nick Zimmerman and defender Anthony Peters to the 2015 squad.
“Nick [Zimmerman] has ‘no-brainer’, high-level player qualities that make him a major acquisition to our team,” said Wilmington Hammerheads FC Head Coach Carson Porter. “What I like just as much as his soccer qualities is the passion he works with. He loves the game, he is committed to himself and his teammates, and he wants to be here and help this team succeed.
“Anthony [Peters] is a great addition to our club and a player that we are very happy to have with us. His physical presence is the first thing that you notice. His size and athleticism make him excellent in the air and an imposing figure to opponents.”
Zimmerman joins the Hammerheads after spending four seasons in the North American Soccer League with the Carolina RailHawks. The midfielder made 60 appearances and scored 21 goals during his time with the club and named Most Valuable Player in 2012.
Wilmington fans were able to get their first glimpse of Peters as he made his debut with the team last week during a preseason match versus the University of North Carolina Wilmington.
The 6-foot-6 defender began his professional career in 2009 with the Cleveland City Stars before signing with Major League Soccer’s D.C. United a few months later. He was later loaned to the Harrisburg City Islanders and Richmond Kickers before returning to the Stars.
After two full 90s against UNCW and the club from Seoul, South Korea, Porter is beginning to get his starting 11 in shape and remains confident the talent brought in during the offseason will translate into a quality product worthy of the communities support this season.
“I keep telling people in we have some really high level players that we brought in and its my job to put them in the best place to succeed,” Porter said on Monday’s edition of The Sports Connection, which airs at 6 p.m Mondays and 11 a.m. Saturdays on Hometown Wilmington Media’s 103.7 FM. “I think our fans will be impressed with what we put out and now its crunch time. People are fighting for playing time and we’ll give our 11 some big minutes in the upcoming game against Chapel Hill.
“If you haven’t been to a Hammerheads game recently or in a few years, I can tell you I think you’ll be enjoy what we have to offer this season.”
Coming off a 2-1 setback to the UNCW men’s soccer team in the opening exhibition on March 6, Porter was relieved to have his team uninjured and expressed gratitude to UNCW Coach Aidan Heaney, along with the rest of the support the club has received heading into its regular season slate.
“Our relationship with UNCW has been a valuable one,” said Porter. “It gave our guys an opportunity to get their legs beneath them as each player saw 45 minutes. It was the first time out there for us, and like I told the guys, there will be bigger games ahead for us and the important thing is we are healthy and working toward March 28.
“You have to credit UNCW. Coach Heaney does a great job and has helped work with our goaltenders. Those types of things will be big for us getting that support.”
The Hammerheads take the field for their final preseason match at 5:30 p.m. March 21 at Legion Stadium versus the University of North Carolina. Admission to the match is free. The team kicks off their 2015 USL regular season at 7 p.m. March 28 versus the Richmond Kickers at Legion Stadium.