39 Spots Remain as the Club Calls for the Community to Nominate Players, Coaches, Teams and Contributors to Fill the Remaining Squad Members

Raleigh, NC (March 11, 2024) – North Carolina FC Youth (NCFC Youth), the largest youth soccer organization in the state serving more than 16,000 local players annually, has announced the formation of an All-Star Commemorative Team as part of its 50th anniversary of serving the greater Triangle area community. March 11 marks the club’s official 50th anniversary, which was founded originally under the name Capital Area Soccer League (CASL). The club rebranded in 2017 to NCFC Youth after a collaboration with Triangle Futbol Club Alliance - a neighboring powerhouse youth soccer club headquartered in Hillsborough, NC - and North Carolina Football Club.

In true soccer format, NCFC Youth is giving a nod to the Starting XI; a foundational group whose contributions and support to the club undoubtedly played an impactful role. NCFC Youth will rely on nominations from the community to fill the remaining spots on the 50-members-for-50-years squad through the first half of 2024. Nominations can be submitted through this online form or by visiting ncfcyouth.com.

Notably absent from the Starting XI are foundational examples of individual players and coaches. This is intentional knowing that hundreds of thousands of each have come through NCFC Youth since 1974 and, in some sense, are all worthy of attention for their participation and contributions to the game. Nominations will help guide the club through the years and the legacies many players, coaches, and other individuals have left on the game and in the lives of those participating.

All-Star Commemorative Team: Starting XI

  • ‘77 Spartans - The '77 CASL Spartans (girls), led by Hall of Famer Izzy Hernandez, marked CASL's first USYS National Championship. Their dramatic comeback win in penalty kicks against De Anza Magic secured their legacy, culminating in a 2013 NC Soccer National Champions Hall of Fame induction.
  • CASL Founders:  Bill Plunkett, Bill Holleman, Steve Almasi, & Pat Hamilton These visionaries revolutionized youth soccer, leading to the creation of WRAL Soccer Park and shaping the club's future, with their legacies enshrined in various Halls of Fame.
  • Founders of Triangle Futbol Club Alliance - John Rennie (Duke), Bill Hempen (Duke), Anson Dorrance (UNC), Elmar Bolowich (UNC), George Tarantini (NC State), and Laura Kerrigan (NC State) are/were local area university coaches who founded TFCA in 1999. Over the years, TFCA transformed into a major youth soccer entity, eventually collaborating with CASL to create NCFC Youth.
  • Capitol Broadcasting Company - Led by Jim Goodmon, CBC was pivotal in developing WRAL Soccer Park, transforming 118 acres into a premier 22-field sports complex. Ongoing support, including forgiving a significant mortgage and financing renovations, has been crucial in expanding youth soccer access and facilities in the community.
  • Wake Stone Corporation - From providing the initial gravel for WRAL Soccer Park to the land donation for Wake Stone Athletic Park, The Bratton family’s and Wake Stone Corporation's contributions have been crucial to NCFC Youth's growth, facilities enhancement, and access to the soccer.
  • Greater Raleigh Sports Alliance - The Greater Raleigh Sports Alliance, a division of the Greater Raleigh Convention & Visitors Bureau, has supported NCFC Youth’s visitRaleigh.com Showcase Series since 2008, elevating the visitor experience for traveling teams and bolstering NCFC Youth’s reputation on a local and national scale.
  • Soccer.com - Soccer.com, founded in 1984 by Mike and Brendan Moylan, developed a revolutionary and evolutionary process to outfit players, teams, and clubs on a large scale – allowing NCFC Youth to adapt and expand efficiently with the growth of participation.
  • TowneBank - TowneBank has been pivotal in NCFC Youth's financial management and growth, offering strategic support and ensuring fiscal health, particularly through the challenges of the COVID-19 pandemic. Their comprehensive banking services, significant contributions toward financial aid, and community support have fortified NCFC Youth's financial stability and capacity for future development.
  • WakeMed Health & Hospitals - Deeply integrated into Raleigh and Wake County, like NCFC Youth, WakeMed has significantly contributed to the health and safety of the community and players through resources, sponsorship, and medical services since 1998. The partnership and support expanded in 2017, when Wake Orthopaedics, a WakeMed Physicians Practice, became NCFC Youth’s official Sports Medicine provider. WakeMed’s and Wake Orthopedics’ ongoing commitment, including providing athletic trainers and medical programs, underscores a shared priority for player safety and well-being.
  • William “Billy” Trott - As CASL's volunteer Board President in 1985, Billy played a crucial role in addressing field, funding, and expertise shortages, significantly contributing to the club's growth and the further development of WRAL Soccer Park. His leadership in securing financial relief and expansions paved the way for CASL's evolution into a premier youth soccer organization, enhancing our community and economic impact. And, this was all completed out of passion, drive, and Billy’s generous volunteerism outside of his day-to-day work as a local attorney.
  • North Carolina Football Club – Majority Owner Steve Malik’s vision and passion to bring professional soccer to the Triangle and the state couldn’t be stopped. He bought the men’s team (at the time Carolina RailHawks) and rebranded the team to North Carolina FC. Shortly after, he relocated an NWSL team (now NC Courage) to Cary. In 2017, the banner of North Carolina Football Club provided the opportunity for CASL to collaborate with TFCA and rebrand to NCFC Youth, offering a pipeline and connection from youth to professional soccer, grow the game, and combine resources to improve the overall playing experience and opportunities for kids at all levels of play.

"We are filled with immense pride as we celebrate this significant anniversary by unveiling an All-Star Commemorative Team," said Gary Buete, Chief Executive Officer of NCFC Youth. "Delving into our rich history and engaging with pioneers of the past, we've selected our 'starters' to highlight just a fraction of the remarkable individuals who have built the foundation of NCFC Youth. With gratitude and recognizing the contributions of every player, coach, community partner, and supporter who has ever been involved with the club, this team of 50 gives us a chance to both honor and share a small selection of the impactful stories that have shaped us through the years. We encourage everyone to help us round out the team with their nominations!”

Everyone connected to NCFC Youth's storied history is invited to participate in this momentous occasion by submitting nominations in the categories of players, teams, coaches, and contributors. A committee will review nominations and support the selection of the rest of the team and announce additions to the anniversary team throughout the spring.


About NCFC Youth
Since 1974, NCFC Youth is a non-profit organization committed to enhancing each player’s soccer experience at every level and age of play. Through innovative soccer programming, player development opportunities, and a focus on coaching education, NCFC Youth creates an environment for more than 16,000 players and 1,900 coaches to grow on and off the field. As the largest club in North Carolina, NCFC Youth is proud to offer Recreation, Juniors, Challenge, Classic, Elite Clubs National League, and community outreach programs. NCFC Youth strives to improve the quality of life for our players, families, and community through the game of soccer. For more information, visit www.NCFCYouth.com

Media Contact
Michael Susong