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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 2011-2001 (ages 9-19) and is led by Challenge Director Brett Malone.

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

Age Groups

This birth year chart below is for the Fall 2019 - Spring 2020 Season. Our Challenge Program is offered to players born in 2011-2001 (ages 9-19). Challenge age groups are done by Birth Year, different from Recreation's Calendar Year age groups.

Birth YearAge Group
20119U (11)
201010U (10)
200911U (09)
200812U (08)
200713U (07)
200614U (06)
200515U (05)
200416U (04)
200317U (03)
200218U (02)
 200119U (01)

2011 (U9) Program
The U9 (2011) 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 (2011-2006) 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 (2005-2001)
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.

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.


Important Dates

Fall 2019
August 12
Practices Begin
September 28-29
#5 Play Date
August 24-25
#1 Play Date
October 5-6 #6 Play Date
August 31-Sept. 1
(Labor Day)
No Games
October 12-13
Bye Weekend
(Columbus Day Classic)
September 7-8
#2 Play Date
October 19-20
#7 Play Date
September 14-15 #3 Play Date
October 26-27Rain Make-up Weekend
September 21-22#4 Play Date  

Spring 2020
February 17
Practices Begin
April 4 - 5
#6 Play Date
(1st weekend of WCPSS Spring Break)
February 29 - March 1
#1 Play Date
April 11 - 12 No Games
(Easter weekend)
March 7 - 8
#2 Play Date
April 18 - 19
#7 Play Date
March 14 - 15
#3 Play Date
April 25 - 26
March 21 - 22 #4 Play Date
May 2 - 3Rain Make-up Weekend
March 28 - 29#5 Play Date  

Policies and Forms

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


Challenge FAQs

Helpful Links

Challenge Sponsors








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WorldStrides Excel

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Contact Us

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

'11 (9U) - '09 (11U) & Assistant Director: Patty Scharville

[email protected]

'06 (14U) - '01(U18/19): Brett Malone
[email protected]

'08 (12U) - '07 (13U): 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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