Eight clubs from North Carolina, South Carolina create Carolina Champions League

US Club Soccer is proud to welcome the Carolina Champions League (CCL) beginning in the fall 2018 season. The league is made up of eight clubs in North Carolina and South Carolina, which feature 8-U through 19-U boys and girls age groups:

  • Asheville Shield FC (N.C.)
  • Carolina Rapids (N.C.)
  • Charlotte Eagles (N.C.)
  • Discoveries SC (S.C.)
  • FC Athletico (N.C.)
  • FC Carolinas (N.C.)
  • FCBEscola Charlotte (N.C.)
  • ISL FC (N.C.)

By using a flexible league model – based on location, experience, age groups and development levels of players, teams and clubs – the CCL is intent on maximizing player development opportunities.

“The Carolina Champions League is a great addition to US Club Soccer,” said John Borozzi, US Club Soccer Vice President. “US Club Soccer was created to foster the development of clubs nationwide, and the CCL is built to do the same in the greater Charlotte area.”

The creation of the CCL mimics some other leagues that were built by a collection of top clubs working together to form the best environments for the players. Examples of those leagues are: United Soccer Clubs (Texas) in 2015, Oklahoma Premier Clubs in 2017 and the newly announced Arkansas Premier Clubs and Carolina’s Premier League.

The CCL receives a wide array of benefits as part of its US Club Soccer membership. This includes Players First, which is the primary vessel for US Club Soccer to accomplish its mission to foster the growth and development of soccer clubs throughout the United States to create the best possible development environment for players of all ages in every club.

Players First is a branded, holistic club soccer experience for parents and players which emphasizes the development of each individual to his or her full potential, and helps parents make better choices about where their children should play. Players First is anchored by five pillars:

  • Club Development
  • Coaching Development
  • Player Development
  • Parent Engagement & Education
  • Player Health & Safety

US Club Soccer has been consistent that Player Health & Safety is US Club Soccer’s “first and most important responsibility.” That commitment has been demonstrated through various initiatives and Players First partnerships, including 11+, Fit for 90, Player’s Health and Sideline Sports Doc.

US Club Soccer has implemented best-in-class background checks, as part of its background screening process for all registered staff. The effort is coupled with a requirement for those registered staff to complete a Sideline Sports Doc/US Club Soccer online injury recognition course.

CCL members will also enjoy exposure to Player Development Programs (PDPs) and the id² Program. These programs help provide identification and development to the entire country, including those regions traditionally underserved by opportunities.

Quotes from participating clubs:

  • Tom Deeley, Asheville Shield FC Director of Coaching: “Asheville Shield FC is extremely excited to be a part of the Carolinas Champions League. This is something that will give our club the perfect stage to grow, and give our players consistent, competitive football. We are looking forward to competing with clubs who hold similar values to our own, which will provide a fantastic environment for our players to develop in. The league has all the potential to be a great success, and with the caliber of the directors, coaches and other individuals involved, I have no doubt that it will be.”
  • Thomas Finley, Carolina Rapids Executive Director: “It’s been really positive to work with US Club Soccer and the co-founding members to create a specifically tailored league that is focused on the player and their total soccer environment and experience. Our staff has done a great job. It just checks the right boxes: selective matchups, program oversight on game day, membership-friendly game travel, variety of opponents/styles, technical oversight committee and the list goes on.”
  • Josh Wood, Charlotte Eagles Youth Club Director: “The Charlotte Eagles are thrilled to be a part of the inaugural season of the Carolina Champions League. The CCL not only provides the opportunity for consistent local competition, but also gives our players a platform to test themselves against some of the best clubs in the region.”
  • Dave Carton, Discoveries SC Executive Director: “Everyone at Discoveries Soccer Club is excited about the formation of this new platform. Each one of the clubs involved are committed to providing their players with sound developmental environment in a structured alignment. This new league will reduce travel for our Academy families, while maintaining a competitive level of play for all DSC Academy players. We look forward to the fall, working with these clubs.”
  • Tinashe Mugabe, FC Athletico Founder: “FC Athletico is honored to be a part of the Carolina Champions League for the inaugural 2018-19 season and beyond. The quality and number of local clubs participating in this league not only makes this exciting for us, but ensures that all of the teams and players in our club will have consistent, highly competitive, local games that challenge them in a positive environment for player development. We are really proud to be a part of an organization in US Club Soccer that is filling this need with the high standards and values that we as a club share for our boys and girls.”
  • Jordi Lluch, FCBEscola Charlotte Executive Director: “We are very excited to become a part of the Carolina Champions League, which will provide many youth players in the Charlotte area with the opportunity to find competitive games within local reach. The professionalism and player development approach of the league representatives was very convincing, and we believe it is very much what the area needed. We cannot wait to get started.”
  • Pau Casassa Busquets, FCBEscola Country Manager: “FCBEscola Charlotte truly believes the Carolina Champions League is the most consistent initiative to not only grow the soccer environment in the Charlotte area, but to enhance it too. The focus on the players’ and teams’ necessities, the professionalism and the willingness to constantly improve that have been surrounding the project since the beginning, match perfectly with our values and objectives. We will keep our standards as high as possible to support the league in becoming the best option of youth soccer in the Carolinas.”
  • Erik Imler, FC Carolinas Director of Coaching: “We are excited to be a part of the Carolina Champions League, as it brings quality competition week in and week out without the need to travel extensively. We look forward to building our relationship with US Club Soccer in a way that complements our view on youth development.”


A National Association member of the U.S. Soccer Federation, US Club Soccer fosters the growth and development of soccer clubs in order to create the best possible environment for players of all ages.

Anchored by Players First and its five pillars of Club Development, Coaching Development, Player Development, Parent Engagement & Education and Player Health & Safety, US Club Soccer offers registration, league- and cup-based competition platforms, player identification and a variety of other programming, resources and services.

US Club Soccer is sponsored by Nike and supported by LaLiga through a technical partnership.


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