North Carolina FC shifts to League One from USL Championship

North Carolina FC

North Carolina FC is shifting from USL Championship to USL League One, saying it will focus financial resources on a youth development pathway while also pursuing a new downtown stadium.

North Carolina FC bills itself running the largest youth-to-professional soccer organization in the United States, and positions the move as a way to attract the country’s top young players into the club’s development pathway through enhanced scouting and recruitment. USL Championship is in the second tier of the U.S. soccer pyramid; USL League One is in the third.

“We are pleased to continue the partnership we have had with the USL since 2018 as North Carolina FC prepares to compete in USL League One,” said North Carolina Football Club Chairman Steve Malik via press statement. “We are in the midst of a very important period with key initiatives. In addition to this strategic move to League One, we remain focused on the Downtown South project and the associated future professional soccer stadium, the 2021 NC Courage season, and enhancing our youth-to-pro development model for both boys and girls.”

North Carolina Courage will continue to participate in the NWSL.

“It is important that as the landscape of soccer in North Carolina evolves, our club does the same,” said North Carolina Football Club President and General Manager Curt Johnson via press statement. “We can do more to develop our best players and are committing that player development will be the focus of our professional team for the foreseeable future. I could not be more excited about the next step and can’t wait to collaboratively work with NCFC Youth Academy players and coaches as well as other elite players and coaches throughout the state and country.”

The Richmond Kickers and the Greenville Triumph will be the closest teams geographically to North Carolina FC and Cary, NC.

Archival photo courtesy North Carolina FC.

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