RALEIGH, North Carolina (WTVD) --Looking to stay "on the cutting edge of youth soccer," the Capital Area Soccer League announced Friday that it is entering into a collaboration with North Carolina FC and Triangle Futbol Club Alliance (TFCA) to combine resources and expertise.
"This collaboration ensures our commitment to offer local players and families the best youth soccer experience and player development opportunities," CASL said in a news release.
As part of the collaboration, CASL and TFCA will rebrand as North Carolina Football Club Youth (North Carolina FC Youth), giving the Triangle area a cohesive and easily distinguishable link from the grass roots of youth soccer all the way to the top levels of U.S. soccer.
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Current CASL CEO, Gary Buete, will be the CEO of North Carolina FC Youth. All CASL teams will play under the name "CASL" for the spring 2017 season.
CASL sais once the transition to North Carolina FC Youth begins this spring and summer, players and parents will notice developments and enhancements the operation.
Among the goals are to:
- Continue to serve players and families in Wake County and expand services to Durham & Orange Counties.
- Have access to and scheduling control of more fields & facilities.
- Keep and attract talented coaches and players.
- Have a clear pathway from youth to the men's (North Carolina FC) and women's (NC Courage) professional teams.
- Provide more training and development opportunities.
- Create a strong connection between the youth soccer community and the men's and women's professional teams.
- Change the name and club branding to match the North Carolina FC brand (e.g., uniforms, website, social media, signage, etc.).
"We are very excited about this collaboration and the positive impact it will have on all of you and our community," Buete said in a release. "We owe a huge credit to CASL's founders, predecessors, current and former players, coaches, and volunteers whose commitment, success, and good decisions put us in a position to take this next step."
The announcement comes at a burgeoning time for soccer in the Triangle, which has recently secured a National Women's Soccer League (NWSL), the Courage, and is vying for a Major League Soccer franchise with North Carolina FC, formerly known as the Carolina Railhawks.
CASL will host a Town Hall meeting on Wednesday, March 15 from 6 p.m. to 8 p.m. where the public can ask questions and provide feedback. The meeting will be upstairs of the Clubhouse building at WRAL Soccer Park.
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