CCFC Latest News

CCFC Announces FREE Youth Academy

Carolina Core FC Academy will join MLS NEXT in fall 2024, beginning with two teams U13 and U14. The Carolina Core Soccer Foundation (CCSF), was created with the intention of bringing the sport of soccer to NC Core youth players without having to worry about the financial barriers normally associated with high level youth soccer.

CCSF will provide free access to MLS NEXT for youth players at an annual estimated cost to the Foundation of $20,000 per player. The player expenses for MLS NEXT will be covered through fundraisers and donations to Carolina Core Soccer Foundation 501(c)(3). Through MLS NEXT, these youth players will compete against the best youth talent in North America. Additionally, players will have the opportunity to travel across the country for league and tournament games.

"As a club, it has always been important for us to remove all barriers to access for our MLS Next program. A player's socio-economic status certainly shouldn't determine whether or not he makes it to the professional level. For us, the pro-player-pathway will always be an equitable proposition available to anyone who's good enough," Eddie Pope, CCSF Executive Director.

MLS NEXT was established with a commitment to player development on and o the field. Currently, the league membership includes 133 clubs, 590 teams, and over 11,000 players across the United States and Canada. Players in this league compete against the best talents

North America has to offer. The league features 90% of the current youth national team player pools. With a commitment to player development, MLS NEXT is always looking to the future and how to grow the talent and success of youth soccer.

MLS NEXT is the beginning of the Pathway To The Pros model. Through the Pro Pathway, youth players are fast-tracked to the highest level professional soccer through an intentional pipeline created by the MLS. Players will follow a stair-step path from developing in our MLS NEXT program to success on our MLS NEXT Pro team and even further on MLS first teams. This Pathway has been carefully created with player development and success at the forefront of their mission.

"At the Carolina Core Soccer Foundation, we believe that by achieving our mission of providing access for all youth, regardless of finances, to high-level soccer, we are also broadening access to the positive values of soccer that include hard work, grit, confidence, professionalism, self-improvement, teamwork, and personal responsibility. We are committed to ensuring that our youth are fully equipped to excel in soccer as a means to personal and community development," Leah Hazelwood, CCSF Chairwoman.

CCSF was established with the mission of ensuring access to high quality programs in central North Carolina as it promotes and enhances the development of youth players on and o the field, building individual leadership and strengthening communities. Its leadership board includes Leah Hazelwood, Alex Moore, Manny Pereda, Julie Hill, Andy Smith, and David Upchurch. Eddie Pope serves as the Foundation’s Executive Director.