1993–2000: A men’s pro soccer team called variously the Raleigh Flyers, Express and Capital Express is in existence, first in the United States Interregional Soccer League and then in the A-League. Both leagues were forerunners of United Soccer League’s First Division.
1999: The United States women’s national team, featuring stars from UNC squads, wins the World Cup.
2001: The Carolina Courage begin play in the Women’s United Soccer Association (WUSA) at Fetzer Field on the UNC campus
2002: Construction is completed on a new, publicly funded $14.5 million soccer facility in Cary. SAS purchases the naming rights and the Courage play their games there.
2003: Despite respectable attendance numbers, the Courage fold, along with WUSA.
2006: The founding of the Carolina RailHawks is announced, with Chris Economides leading the ownership group.
2007: The RailHawks begin play in the USL-1 league. In September, WakeMed purchases the naming rights to the stadium, for $300,000 a year.
2008: Retired Cisco executive Selby Wellman is recruited to beef up the team’s capitalization. The RailHawks have a poor season, missing the playoffs.
At the end of the season, Selby Wellman becomes majority owner, Economides departs and Brian Wellman becomes team president.
Coach Scott Schweitzer is not retained. Martin Rennie is hired as the new coach.
2009: As the team improves markedly under Rennie, the Wellmans grow disenchanted with the USL and begin to build alliances with other disaffected teams.
At season’s end, the efforts of the dissident owners to purchase the USL are rebuffed. The owners respond by announcing the formation of a breakaway league, the North American Soccer League (NASL).
2010: The United States Soccer Federation declines to sanction either the NASL or the USL for Division 2 play and oversees a one-year league called the USSF D-2 Pro League.
In July, the RailHawks announce that they are seeking additional investment of $1 million, but say that the team’s future is secure.
The RailHawks have another good season, losing in the playoff finals to Puerto Rico.
In November, the USSF announces that it will provisionally sanction NASL for Division 2 play in 2011.
In early December, reports emerge that Selby Wellman has turned to Miami-based Traffic Sports USA, the biggest backer of NASL, for help in keeping the RailHawks running.
At month’s end, Wellman dissolves Carolina Railhawks, LLC and Triangle Professional Soccer, LLC, filing papers with the N.C. secretary of state’s office that were first reported in early January by Triangle Offense, the Indy‘s sports blog.
2011: The assets of the RailHawks are liquidated on eBay and Craigslist. Traffic buys the rights to the RailHawks name, web domain and mascot for $14,999.
Traffic announces that a new team will play in Cary as the RailHawks, and that Rennie will be the team’s coach. Curt Johnson is named president.
Compiled by David Fellerath