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Mar, 2021

15 Academy Players Sign with NCFC

15 Academy Players Sign with North Carolina FC In a Monumental Step in Youth-to-Professional Development

NCFC provides opportunity for young players as the team focuses on youth development in USL League One

North Carolina FC signed 15 players from the NCFC Academy to academy contracts, the club announced today, in an exciting step forward in the commitment to a youth-to-pro pathway. Will Buete, Curtis De Leon, Britton Fischer, Cole Frame, Nicholas Holliday, Drew Kerr, Marvin Mariche, Nata Martinez, Collin McCamy, Aaron Messer, Parker O’Ferral, Yekeson Subah, Samuel Terranova, Rohit Thakur, and Caden Tolentino will be available to train and play in USL first-team matches while maintaining their college eligibility.

“In January, we made the strategic move to compete in USL League One to build and invest in a clear youth-to-professional player pathway and development model,” said NCFC Head Coach and NCFC Academy Director John Bradford. “Today’s signing of 15 youth Academy players marks a key moment for our club, as we take the first of many steps in bringing this vision to life. This landmark signing serves as a message to our community, both locally and nationally, that North Carolina Football Club is the place to be for professional development. I’m excited to bring this deserving group of academy standouts and our professionals together to build a highly competitive development environment for all.”

These 15 academy contract signings represent players from the U17 and U19 NCFC Academy teams, some of which will train and play with the first team up until their collegiate seasons begin while others will complete the full USL LeagueOne season.

Will Buete is a graduate of Crossroads Flex and will be attending NC State in the fall. The midfielder has played for NCFC Youth for seven years, five of which were with the NCFC Academy team.

Curtis De Leon will be signing his academy contract ahead of attending the University of Alabama at Birmingham (UAB). In 2019, the midfielder played with the U17 Trinidad Youth National Team. De Leon’s older brother, Shane, was one of five players on academy contracts during NCFC’s 2020 season.

“The ability for our incoming players to sign a USL Academy contract is extraordinary,” said UAB Men’s Soccer Head Coach Jeff Kinney. “High-level training with high-level matches for North Carolina FC will only help prepare these players for the next chapter in their playing careers. We are excited that Curtis has earned this opportunity, and we look forward to his growth within the program before coming to us.”

Britton Fischer is a junior at DH Conley in Greenville, NC who has been part of the NCFC Academy for two years. The defender is a past NCFC Hamilton Sportsmanship Award recipient for his sportsmanship on and off the field. Fischer also competed in the 2018-2019 ECNL National Finals.

Cole Frame is a graduate on Crossroads Flex and has played with the club for 12 years, five of which have been with the NCFC Academy. Frame and his team won the US Youth Soccer National Championship in 2016 and the SuperCup NI Globe Championship in 2019.

The youngest of the group, Nicholas Holliday, signs an academy contract at 15 years old for the second time following his academy contract in 2020, where the goalkeeper trained with the first team for a good portion of the season. Just a freshman in high school, Holliday has been a member of NCFC Youth for three years.

Midfielder Drew Kerr, a sophomore at Accelerator School, signs an academy contract following five years as a player for the NCFC Academy. Kerr is excited for the opportunity to learn alongside the other academy players:

“I’m excited to learn and grow in this professional environment and to play alongside other ambitious players on a daily basis,” said Kerr. “I am grateful for this opportunity and look forward to working with the NCFC coaches and players.”

Marvin Mariche brings youth national team experience with him as he signs an academy contract with NCFC. In 2018, Mariche was called up to the U15 US Youth National team camp. The sophomore in high school has played for the NCFC Academy for three years.

Nata Martinez is a midfielder and a player for NCFC Academy for the past three years. Martinez recently graduated from Jordan High School. He signs an academy contract alongside the 14 other academy players.

Midfielder Collin McCamy signs an academy contract for the second consecutive year. McCamy trained with the first team during the 2020 season. He graduated from Crossroads Flex and will be attending West Point in the fall.

“Exciting times ahead for Collin at the USL professional level as he continues to grow towards his potential ability and versatility,” said Army Men’s Soccer Head Coach Russell Payne. “He will be in an optimal high-performance environment that will prepare him to make an impact at both the college and professional level.”

Aaron Messer adds leadership to NCFC as he brings his experience as captain of the NCFC U17 and U19 NCFC Academy teams. The midfielder is committed to play at the University of Pennsylvania

UNC commit Parker O’Ferral has played for NCFC Youth for 11 years, four of which are with the NCFC Academy. He was named to the 2018-2019 ECNL Mid-Atlantic All-Conference Team:

“Singing with the first team allows me to continue my development by providing me the chance to play with and learn from more experienced players,” said O’Ferral. “This invaluable opportunity will also help to prepare me to play at UNC in the fall of 2022.”

Forward Yekeson Subah, a junior a Rolesville High School who is committed to play collegiately at UNC, has played or the NCFC Academy for five years:

“I just want to say thank you to the coaches for this amazing opportunity,” said Subah. “I also want to give thanks to my family, friends and teammates for always pushing me to be the best me and always motivating me to work hard every day. It’s been an honor to represent this club at an academy level, and it’s going to be an honor to represent NCFC at a professional level because it’s always been a dream of mine to play professional soccer.”

Samuel Terranova will have the opportunity to learn from recent NCFC signee Jake McGuire at the goalkeeper position. The junior in high school attends Terry Sanford High School and has been a member of the NCFC Academy for five years.

Forward Rohit Thakur signs his academy contract after three years as a member of the NCFC Academy. Thakur has an impressive resume including ECNL Mid-Atlantic Conference Best XI and Player of the Year.

Caden Tolentino joins the NCFC first team following five years with the NCFC Academy. He brings leadership to the team as the captain of the U15 and U17 academy teams. Tolentino is a midfielder who is committed to play at NC State.

The 15 academy players will join the NCFC roster which already includes Nazmi Albadawi, Luis Arriaga, Josh Coan, Malyk Hamilton, Robert Kristo, Shermain Martina, Malick Mbaye, Jake McGuire, Selmir Miscic, Pecka, and Peter Pearson. On Monday, the USL League One schedule was announced. Click here to view the schedule.


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