RALEIGH, N.C. (WNCN) — Two Triangle youth soccer leagues are joining together with the newly-rebranded North Carolina Football Club to form a massive youth soccer program.
Capital Area Soccer League CEO Gary Buete announced in a press release Friday that the league would collaborate with Triangle Futbol Club Alliance and the North Carolina Football Club to “combine our resources and expertise,” which will ensure the league’s commitment “to offer local players and families the best youth soccer experience and player development opportunities.”
As part of the collaboration, both CASL and TFCA will rebrand as North Carolina Football Club Youth, which will be known as North Carolina FC Youth.
A press release posted on TFCA’s website says that the North Carolina FC Youth program will be “the largest youth-to-pro soccer club in the United States.” The program will have 20,000 members, according to TFCA.
The announcement came as a surprise for CASL players and brothers, Jayden and Josh Murray.
“I think it’s awesome. I’m going to be able to play with some of my friends from TFC,” Jayden Murray said.
Parents Julie and Jeff Murray are thrilled at not only the doors this opens for their kids, but the inclusiveness it creates.
The CASL release states that the collaboration will give players “a clear pathway from youth to men’s (North Carolina FC) and women’s (NC Courage) professional teams.”
“They’ve played at every level of soccer play and now they have this great pathway to the pros,” Julie Murray said.
“We ultimately want to be able to not only have more rec players, but take the best players and give them the best opportunities to improve themselves,” said Steve Malik, owner of North Carolina FC.
CASL teams will play under the CASL name for this spring’s season before changing names.
And this for Triangle Futbol Club Alliance:
TFCA members are asked to attend a town hall on March 13 from 6:30 p.m.-8 p.m. at the Embassy Suites in Cary, 201 Harrison Oaks Blvd.
A town hall for CASL members is being held March 15 at 6 p.m. upstairs of the Clubhouse at WRAL Soccer Park.
The announcement comes just a few months after North Carolina FC submitted a bid to become a Major League Soccer franchise. Eleven other cities, including Charlotte, also submitted bids to get a professional team. Four cities will be awarded franchises.