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Charlotte Independence Soccer Club

Rapids adds West Location

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE                  

Carolina Rapids add West location serving the Belmont, Steele Creek and  Gaston Communities. 
April 23, 2018

Former Rapids coach Neil Orridge to serve as director

CHARLOTTE, N.C.—Carolina Rapids Soccer Club, with the launch of Rapids West, have extended its footprint to serve communities in Belmont, Gastonia and Steel Creek, according to executive director Thomas Finlay.

“Growth is important to the Rapids but we are careful to grow at the right time and at the right pace,” explained Finlay. “Rapids West comes at the right time for us. The Belmont, Steel Creek and Gastonia regions have been on our radar for quite some time. We have even benefited from having players from that area.”

Neil Orridge, a former Rapids coach, will serve as director of Rapids.

“As a former coach in our program, Neil understands our philosophy and culture,” Finlay said. “Even better, Neil is a longtime resident of Gaston County, which will help our transition.”

As the Rapids goes through preparing for competitive team tryouts and building a Recreation program, the club will provide additional updates on staffing and teams in the coming weeks.

Said Orridge: “I have seen up close the growth of soccer in Belmont, Steel Creek and Gaston County areas. I look forward, with great anticipation, to being part of the Rapids again, and developing Rapids West into the soccer hotbed we know it can become.”

Added Finlay: “This is a good day for the Rapids. To see Rapids West finally realized is exciting. We’re looking forward to growing in that region – keeping development of our players, from Recreation to the US Development Academy, at the top of our agenda.”


Established in 1987, Carolina Rapids Soccer Club has over 5,000 members – serving Recreation, Competitive, Boys U.S. Development Academy, Boys Elite Club’s National League (ECNL), Girls ECNL, Women’s Premier Soccer League (WPSL) and Adult Recreation. Built on the tent poles to serve the community through soccer, the Rapids are the first and only club throughout greater Charlotte to have won a U.S. Youth National Championship. Providing an economic impact of $10 million to the communities it serves, the Rapids are a proud part of the Colorado Rapids Adidas Alliance, one of five clubs nationally to hold that acclaim. While its overall mission is player development – at all levels – the Rapids execute that mission with its “5 C’s” top of mind: CHARACTER, COMMITMENT, COMPETITION, COMMUNITY, and COMMUNICATION. The Rapids have enjoyed steady growth in its three decades, with geographic locations in Cabarrus, Denver, North Mech, South Charlotte and West. For more information, visit the club’s web home at, Twitter and Instagram.

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