Youth soccer in the United States is growing at an amazing rate. With MLS and now NWSL becoming a supporter of the youth movement, many children are getting the type of training large clubs in Europe are receiving. North Carolina FC has made a large step towards securing youth talent by joining forces with Capital Area Soccer League (CASL) and Triangle Futbol Club Alliance (TFCA) to form what will be the largest youth-to-pro soccer club in the United States.
As with any partnership, everyone needs to have the same goals. CASL is a non-profit youth club that has its roots in Raleigh, NC. They were established in 1974 and helps more than 11,000 players at all levels of play each year.
TFCA is a few years younger than CASL forming in 1999. Just like CASL though, they are a non-profit organization. They are also a little smaller, developing close to 2,500 players a year in the Triangle Area.
With this huge partnership, the soccer life in North Carolina is going to explode. North Carolina Football Club is the parent company of North Carolina FC, a team in the NASL (men's second division), and the North Carolina Courage, a team in the NWSL and the former Western New York Flash who won the NWSL championship in 2016. As the groups team up, the youth in North Carolina will be in very capable hands. Between the three organizations, there is 61 years worth of coaching experience. As with any coming together of clubs, there will be a rebranding. CASL and TFCA will join forces and become North Carolina FC Youth. The transition is scheduled to be completed by the summer and NCFC youth will have the NCFC crest brand their jerseys by the fall.
With more clubs joining forces with youth clubs, the United States will be able to close the gap that has formed with Europe's youth clubs that are run by the large clubs like Manchester City and Arsenal. Only time will tell if this is the start of a movement to make the United States a major player in soccer.