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North Carolina FC Youth

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Apr, 2020

North Carolina FC Boys Academy enters ECNL

The Move Comes Following US Soccer’s Termination of the Development Academy Program

Raleigh, NC (April 15, 2020)- With the anticipated communication coming from US Soccer effectively terminating the US Soccer Development Academy Program, North Carolina FC Academy Program is prepared and motivated to transition into a new era of youth soccer in the United States.  Our Academy Program is excited to gain entrance into the Elite Clubs National League (ECNL), effective immediately and ready for the upcoming 2020-2021 season.

Collectively under the North Carolina FC Youth umbrella, our club will continue to provide the highest level of competitive programming in the United States, with two varied annual season calendars.  The North Carolina FC Boys Academy Program will enter the ECNL and will continue to provide 10-month programming for all age group teams.  Additionally, the North Carolina FC Youth Boys ECNL Program will continue to compete in the ECNL and will continue to provide 6-month programming for the 15-19 age groups, as well as the 10-month programming at the 13’s and 14’s age groups.

“At North Carolina FC Youth, we have grown and established our Boys Academy Program to be a true developmental pathway for the most talented and aspiring players in our club and community.  We have anticipated youth soccer landscape changes nationally and consistently evolved to best serve our Academy players and families.  We look forward to working with the ECNL leadership, as well as other motivated club leaders, to make the most of this transitional moment for youth soccer in our country,” said John Bradford, NCFC Boys Academy Director and North Carolina FC Assistant Coach.

A long-serving pioneer in youth soccer locally, regionally, and nationally, North Carolina FC Youth (then CASL) was the first club invited and accepted into the US Soccer Development Academy in 2007, after the program was created by the US Soccer Federation.  Again in 2016-2017, when US Soccer installed the U12 age group into the Development Academy, NCFC Youth was called upon to help lead the movement.  The club was awarded (3) Divisions, a North Division, a South Division, and a Del Sol Division based on the history of the club, the quality player pools in varied geographic regions, and proven staff and leadership.

In 2017-2018, The NCFC Youth Academy Program expanded the NCFC Youth (then Capital Area RailHawks) South Division to the U13 and U14 age groups, growing youth soccer development further in the southern region and providing more opportunities to top-level players. Consistently a nationally respected leader in on-field team success, player development accomplishments, and groundbreaking initiatives, North Carolina FC Academy Program has evolved over the years to create a solid model for player development.

Through the 13 year duration of the Development Academy Program tenure, North Carolina FC Youth (CASL, CASL Chelsea FC Academy, Capital Area RailHawks, North Carolina FC Youth) have helped place over 50+ players into US Soccer Youth National Teams, 170+ into collegiate soccer programs, 15+ professional players into MLS, USL, or European professional clubs, and 19 players into amateur contracts with our North Carolina FC first team.

“Prior to the US Soccer Development Academy Program, our club led the country in collective US Soccer YNT placements, collegiate commitments, and overall production of top-level youth soccer players.  Through the Development Academy, there have been many positive strides forward and we thank US Soccer, the US Soccer Development Academy Program, and the countless individuals who have dedicated their careers to furthering our sport in the United States.  We look forward to continuing and improving this trend, as we move into the ECNL and help shape the next phase of top-level soccer in the United States,’ continued Bradford.

North Carolina FC Academy Program will be releasing more information in the near future about these exciting developments.


North Carolina FC Youth
5017 Memory Road 
Raleigh, North Carolina 27609

Phone : 919-834-3951
Email: [email protected]



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