BOONE – Professional soccer is coming to the High Country.

The inaugural Ted Mackorell Soccer Classic takes place at 5:30 p.m., July 9, pitting the Tri-Cities Otters (Johnson City, Tenn) against Tobacco Road FC (Durham).

The match will take place at the Ted Mackorell Soccer Complex in Boone and is organized through the Boone Area Sports Commission.

The Tri-Cities Otters and Tobacco Road FC each compete in the USL League Two South Atlantic Division. USL League Two is the leader in pre-professional soccer in the U.S. and Canada. The League holds a vital role as it continues to provide the elite platform for those pursuing professional careers domestically and internationally.

“We are excited to bring this type of showcase for the sport of soccer to the High Country,” Roachel Laney, executive director of the Boone Area Sports Commission said in a statement. “We’ve been working with a local soccer council that includes representatives from High Country Soccer Association, Watauga County Parks and Recreation, Watauga High School and Appalachian State to enhance the visibility of soccer in our area. In one of our first meetings, the idea of hosting a professional game was discussed. We soon entered talks with Tri-Cities FC, and their President, David Strickland, agreed to bring the Otters to Boone to host a USL League Two match. We feel this event will show the type of soccer facilities we have at the Ted Mackorell Complex and will serve as an example to show other organizations what types of soccer events can be successful here.”

Tickets to the Ted Mackorell Soccer Classic are $5 per person, and all gate proceeds will go to fund further turf and facility upgrades at the facility. Sponsorships for the event are still available by contacting the Boone Area Sports Commission at 828-264-2225.

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