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North Carolina FC Youth

Program Information

Challenge Program

The NCFC Youth Challenge program is the intermediate division of soccer at NCFC Youth. Challenge soccer is a competitive program that requires players to try out and provides a higher level of competition and commitment than our Recreation program, but lower time and financial commitment than Classic. Challenge is offered to players born between 2012-2002 (ages 9-19) and is led by Challenge Director Brett Malone.

Quick Facts:
  • Intermediate program for players ages 9 - 19
  • Teams train 2x/week and play a game on the weekend
  • Teams are led by volunteer coaches supported by a full-time Challenge Director & 2 full-time Administrators
  • Option to compete in select local/travel tournaments throughout the year


All players interested in our Challenge program must create an account in PlayMetrics in order to register for tryouts (Intent to Play). (Parents/Guardians should create an account in their name and add each child as a participant.) If you already have an existing PlayMetrics account, please login to register.

Return-to-Play Protocols

View our Challenge specific Return-to-Play Protocols and projected timeline that we've put in place to ensure a safe and fun environment for our players, coaches, and families as we return to the fields.

Important Dates

Spring 2021
February 22
Practices Begin
April 17-18
#5 Play Date
March 13-14
#1 Play Date
April 24-25 #6 Play Date
March 20-21
#2 Play Date
May 1-2
#7 Play Date
March 27-28
#3 Play Date
May 8-9 #8 Play Date
April 3-4
(Easter Weekend)
No Games
May 15-26Rain Make Up Weekend
April 10-11 #4 Play Date  

Please note that Challenge teams will play 8 games in 8 weekends. For the Spring 2021 ONLY, teams will not have a bye weekend and instead have 2 reschedule requests.

**Preseason Saturday practices for those teams practicing on WCPSS fields (with no lights) will be February 20, February 27, and March 6.

Team Formation

All new players interested in playing Challenge soccer must register and attend tryouts. After each player is fairly evaluated at tryouts, Challenge Coaches use a draft system to pick their team in effort to form competitively balanced teams in each region. Challenge teams are formed based on players' birth year (mandated by USYS) and region in which they live: Raleigh, Cary, Garner, Wake Forest, Holly Springs, and Durham-Chapel Hill. Only children of NCFC Challenge head coaches are guaranteed placement onto a NCFC Challenge team.

Click here to view our Tryout page

Team Regions
Challenge players are selected to a regional team, unlike Recreation, where players are rostered to a team based on neighborhood/field proximity. This means your practice location may not be right next to your neighborhood or school, however it would still be in your region.

Challenge players are selected to teams through a tryout and draft process. Players, parents, or coaches may not request placement on a specific team due to specific Challenge team building policies set by the state association.

Age Groups

This birth year chart below is for the Fall 2020 - Spring 2021 Season. Our Challenge Program is offered to players born in 2012-2002 (ages 9-19). Challenge age groups are done by Birth Year, different from Recreation's Calendar Year age groups.

Birth YearAge Group
20129U (12)
201110U (11)
201011U (10)
200912U (09)
200813U (08)
200714U (07)
200615U (06)
200516U (05)
200417U (04)
200318U (03)
200219U (02)

2012 (U9) Program
The U9 (2012) age group is a developmental portion of the Challenge program. U9 teams are disbanded after the Spring season and all U9 players are then required to attend Challenge tryouts again over the Summer to be selected for a U10 team. This is done to ensure parity at the U10 level and above.

The U9 program is a good opportunity for our young players to test the waters of competitive soccer and see if Challenge might be a good fit for them.

U9 teams do not play in any tournaments. U9 teams are permitted, however, to participate in the NCFC Columbus Day Classic in the Fall. For the Spring season, our Challenge Director and Tournament Director have developed a U9 Festival for our teams to participate in during the month of May.


U9-U14 Challenge teams are a year-long commitment. These teams play in the Fall (end of August - end of October) and Spring (mid-February - end of April). When a player registers over the summer, they are automatically enrolled for the full year (both Fall and Spring seasons). If you make the decision to try out and accept a spot on a Challenge team, we ask you to understand that you are making a commitment to your team for the full year.

High School Age Teams
U15-U19 Challenge teams are seasonal due to high school soccer. U15-U19 Girls play Challenge in the Fall only. U15-U19 Boys play Challenge in the Spring only. Players who wish to play soccer with NCFC Youth during their off-season can play in our Recreation division without losing their veteran status on their current Challenge team.

Training & Games
9U - 14U (2012-2007) Teams
9U-14U teams practice twice a week, and have 8 games per season, which are scheduled on Saturdays, Sunday afternoons, with occasional Friday evening games.

15U - 19U (2006-2002)
15U - 19U teams practice once a week (for an extended 90 minutes) to minimize conflict with school activities and ensure maximum player attendance. Coaches may request a second practice through our Scheduler once all other NCFC practices have been scheduled. Teams will have 8 games per season, which are scheduled primarily on Sunday afternoons.


Policies and Forms

Read more about Challenge Policies including refunds, uniforms, insurance, and equipment.


Challenge FAQs

Helpful Links

Challenge Sponsors








On or off the field, WakeMed's Urgent Care and ED provides top quality care across the Triangle.

WakeMed Urgent Care and ED Locations

WorldStrides Excel

Learn more about WorldStrides Excel and their international soccer trips!

WorldStrides Excel

Contact Us

Questions? Check out our FAQ page and if you still have questions contact your area administrator.

'12 (9U) - '09 (12U) & Assistant Director: Patty Scharville

[email protected]

'08 (13U) - '02 (U18/19): Lindsey Todd
[email protected]

Challenge Director: Brett Malone
[email protected]


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

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



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