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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 2013-2003 (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 Return-to-Play Protocols 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

Fall 2021
August 16
Practices Begin
October 2-3
#5 Play Date
August 28-29
#1 Play Date
October 9-10 Columbus Day Classic
(Built in bye for Challenge teams)
September 4-5
(Labor Day)
No Games
October 16-17
#6 Play Date
September 11-12
#2 Play Date
October 23-24 #7 Play Date
September 18-19 #3 Play Date
October 30-31Rain Make Up Weekend
September 25-26#4 Play Date  

Please note that Challenge teams will play 8 games in 7 weekends. Challenge teams will have 1 reschedule request for the Fall 2021 season.

**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 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, Durham-Chapel Hill, Chatham, and Wendell. *Only children of NCFC Challenge head coaches are guaranteed placement onto a NCFC Challenge team.

Challenge players are selected to teams through a tryout and draft process, with the overall goal of the Challenge program to be parity for all teams in the program. Due to specific Challenge team building policies set by the state association that NCFC Youth follows, we are not able to take requests for team placement. Players, parents, or coaches may not request placement on a specific team.

Click here to view our Tryout page

Team Regions
Unlike our Recreation program, where players are rostered to a team based on neighborhood/field proximity, Challenge players' practice location may not be specific to your neighborhood or school, but will still be in your region of choice. Regions include: Raleigh, Cary, Wake Forest, Garner, Durham/Chapel Hill, Holly Springs/Fuquay-Varina, and Wendell.

During registration for Challenge, players select a region to be evaluated for during tryouts. A player can select a first and second region to be evaluated for. If a player is not selected for their first region, the player could potentially be offered a spot in their second region. If you are not open to being on a team in an alternate region, please do not select a second region as an option. 

*Example: Joey lives in Raleigh. During his registration, he selects Raleigh as his first region of choice and Wake Forest as his second region of choice. He then attends tryouts and is evaluated. During the draft, the Raleigh team rosters fill up, but Joey hasn't been selected yet. A Wake Forest coach still needs players so he offers Joey a spot on his team.

Age Groups

This birth year chart below is for the Fall 2021 - Spring 2022 Season. Our Challenge Program is offered to players born in 2013-2003 (ages 9-19). Challenge age groups are done by Birth Year, different from Recreation's Calendar Year age groups.

Birth YearAge Group

2013 (U9) Program
The U9 (2013) age group is a developmental portion of the Challenge program. The focus is on development, and the coaches are educated to teach the game. We do not emphasize winning at these ages, and want to foster a love for the game with these young players.

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 (2013-2008) 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 (2007-2003) Teams
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.

*Please note that coaches are volunteers and choose their team's practice locations. 


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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