Akira Fitzgerald, an up and coming goalkeeper in the RailHawks system, has signed a multiyear deal that will see him return for the 2013 NASL Season. Fitzgerald first joined the RailHawks as a member of the RailHawks U-23 program before signing his first professional contract in July of 2011. The Maryland native, saw his first professional action in 5 games during the 2012 season, recording 20 saves with 5 goals allowed and two shutouts.
“Akira is another important piece to building a championship caliber roster,” said RailHawks President Curt Johnson. “Starting with the U-23’s in 2011, we have seen Akira develop and improve each year. It is important that he will continue to be a part of the RailHawks organization and we look forward to seeing his progress in 2013.”
Fitzgerald made his first appearance for the RailHawks on May 22nd in the second round of the 2012 Lamar Hunt U.S. Open Cup, recording 3 saves in a shutout victory over PSA Elite. Over the 5 matches in which Fitzgerald started, the RailHawks recorded 4 wins, 1 draw, and 0 losses. The Wake Forest University product would go on to start four NASL matches and earned NASL Defender of the Week for his shutout performance against the Atlanta Silverbacks on August 25th. Arguably, Fitzgerald’s top performance would come against the NASL Regular Season Champion San Antonio Scorpions on September 16th. After a winless first 3 games against the Scorpions, Fitzgerald would come up with a 9 save performance to defeat the league leaders 2-1.
“It’s great to be able to continue my development with the RailHawks and to continue working with Coach Clarke and the staff,” said Fitzgerald. “I’m ready to get back on to the field and bring a championship to the Triangle.”
Fitzgerald and the RailHawks will open the NASL Spring Season on Saturday, April 13 with the Grand Opening of the New WakeMed Soccer Park as the RailHawks host league foe FC Edmonton. On February 24, the RailHawks will host, 2012 MLS Playoff participant, Vancouver Whitecaps FC, in the 5th Annual Hilton Garden Inn Durham Southpoint Community Shield Match. RailHawks 2013 Season Tickets and the Whitecaps 3-Pack are on sale now and can be purchased by calling the St. Lawrence Homes Box Office at 919-459-8144 or emailing tickets@CarolinaRailHawks.com. Additional information on 2013 ticket packages is available by visiting www.CarolinaRailHawks.com/STH. In November 2012, the Carolina RailHawks announced that it will donate 10% of its total ticket revenue for each of the 2013-2015 seasons back to the Triangle community. The RailHawks donation will focus on supporting soccer-related programs that will help to further build and strengthen soccer in our area.