carolina rapids



Interested in being considered for the Rapids Development Academy? Registration is now open! 
Sign up for the 2018-2019 Competitive Program and attend as many sessions as you would like!  
For more information about the Development Academy, check out the US Soccer Development Academy site!

Download our USDA/Boys ECNL Webinar here

Remaining DA Talent Identification Sessions

May 13
When: 6-8pm
Where:  Bailey Road Park (map)
Who:  Boys Born in 2008-2000

NEW PROGRAM! 11U (Birth Year 2008) Pre-DA

During the regular team selection process, we’ll be identifying top true 11U (2008 birth year) players who will be offered spots on the Pre-Development Academy squads.  These players will mirror the U12 DA program in training and match schedule.  Our purpose is to provide an age appropriate environment that will best prepare our players for the highest level of play for a youth soccer player in the United States and competing in US Soccer’s Development Academy (DA) Program.

Players will then be selected based on the appropriate level of play for their current skills and abilities. 

Questions can be directed to Academy Director, Kevin Flanagan at

What is a DA Pathway? The United States Development Academy (DA) is the highest level of play for a youth soccer player in the United States.  Our pathway, beginning at 10U, seeks to prepare players and provide an age appropriate environment to best ready them to successfully compete in the DA program.

What if I don’t make it? The selection process is very tough and we have a lot of good players that wish to play in our Development Academy.  This is the highest level of play (in the country) and we have a limited number of spots available. Just because your son is not offered a full-time spot in the program at this time, does not mean he cannot get there as he continues to develop as a soccer player.  We continue to track and monitor our players within the club and when players are ready for the DA we bring them in. 

Learn more about the program!


Coaching Staff for the 2018-2019 Season
Director, Kevin Flanagan
Director, Craig Conger

TeamHead CoachesAssistant Coaches
11 PDA Kevin FlanaganTy Haddock
12sKevin FlanaganTy Haddock
13sJeff Bilyk 
14sJeff Bilyk 
15sKelly Findley  
16/17sKyle Gookins  
18/19sKyle Gookins  

2018-2019 Season Timeline

PreparationAugPre-Season (3 weeks)
Fall Competitive Period
Sep-Nov14 weeks
TransitionDecBreak (Futsal)
Futsal Period (U12-U13)Jan-FebFutsal Period
Spring Competitive PeriodJan-June
(U12/13 Feb-Jun)
25 weeks

Training and Matches

The specific training schedule for the 2018-2019 season is TBA

Age GroupWeekly Training Sessions# of Matches
11s 329
13s3 + 127

College Information Webinar

Did you miss the college info webinar? You can still get the great information - watch the recording here!

US Soccer Development Academy News

Cordova to travel with Colorado to Houston
Steven Cordova (U15 Carolina Rapids DA) will join the Colorado Rapids 2003 squad for the 2nd round of the Generation Adidas Cup from Feb 15-19 in Houston, Texas.

The Generation adidas Cup takes place over three rounds, with two sets of regional qualifiers leading up to the final event in April 2018 in Frisco, Texas. At the end of the two rounds of qualifying, the top two teams in each region will advance to the Championship Division at the GA Cup proper, with the rest slotting in the Premier Division. All teams will face international Academy Clubs out in Texas.

Visit to Jamaica included training sessions with national team for Max Wright

U17 DA forward also represented Rapids as Passback Ambassador, donating gear to local high school

When Max Wright stepped onto the training ground pitch at the University of the West Indies in Kingston in June, he looked the part of the new kid trying to find his place among a pool of 40 national team hopefuls, all yearning to solidify a spot with the country’s U15 National Team.

“The session with the U15s was a very different experience and was difficult to adjust to at first,” admits Max, who was visiting his grandparents and got a chance to train with the team. “My biggest takeaway was the step up in level for all players,” Max continued. “The level of play was a big increase, in terms of individual technical ability, for very player on the field. The style of play all circulated around speed, and individual technicality. Everyone runs at full speed with no hesitation.”

A rising junior who will play for Coach Jeff Bilyk’s U17 Development Academy team, Max was grateful to play in a country in which he has strong roots; his grandparents live the parish of St. Elizabeth, and his father was raised in Jamaica until he was 12.

Said Rapids Academy Director Kevin Flanagan: “It’s great to see a player training at this level outside of his environment. Max’s ability to play and train at a high level allowed him this great opportunity to work with the youth national team in a country where his has strong roots.”

While on his visit, Max also served as a Rapids Passback Ambassador, donating new and gently used soccer equipment donated by Rapids families to a local high school.

“I cannot begin to tell you how grateful we are for this donation,” said Bobby Laing, the energetic and gracious coach of St. Jago High School's U17 soccer team, the recipient school. “No donation is too small, and we are happy to have forged this link with the Carolina Rapids.”

As for his on-field performance, Max felt he held his own, and the coach who watched him, agrees: “He responded well – especially for a first time training with other kids and being out of his comfort zone,” said U15 National coach Aaron Lawrence, a former goalkeeper who played on the 1998 “Reggae Boyz” team that qualified for the FIFA World Cup in France. “He showed himself well; it’s unfortunate that he couldn’t be in the squad with us. He definitely performed to standard.”

Asked if he’d answer the call to one day represent Jamaica, Max is wide open.

“Of course I’d consider it,” he said. “You get to play at the highest level against players from all over the world.” 

GABE ROSARIO United States National Team Call-up with the Under-18’s

Big news for Gabe Rosario, our former Development Academy player, on his United States National Team Call-up with the Under-18’s. Gabe and the squad will be competing in the Under-18’s Mens National Tournament in Lisbon, Portugal.

(April 12-15, 2017)

Wesley Atoyebi (USDA U12) selected by us youth futsal to represent our country with the national team!

RYAN FINE NAMED IN 2015 NSCAA All-Great Lakes Region


join us in welcoming wes knight and kyle gookins to our academy staff!
Read more

Matthew  jegier named CAA rookie of the week!  Read more

Phillip goodrum had a busy summer! Read More
rapids alum, matt pacifici training with the colorado rapids in may

Congratulations to Carolina Rapids Alumni and current Davidson Wildcat Goalkeeper, Matt Pacifici.  Matt will train with your very own Major League Soccer’s Colorado Rapids for a week this month.  What a fantastic achievement to Matt and very deserved.

An excellent Goalkeeper in our US Development Academy program, Matt has continued to excel and develop his game to the next level.

His bio lists - 2014-2015 Academic All-American, 2014-2015 All Region Team, 2014-2015 All Conference A10 (second team), 2014-2015 All Region Academic Team, Broke Davidson Record for Goals Against Average, Top in the Conference in Goals Against Average and Save Percentage, Fewest Losses in the Country (beat #2 Virginia, Duke), ESPN All-American and Academic All-American in high-school, Academy Select Player, Region III ODP Team and Broke National Record for Consecutive Shutouts (16)

Learn More About the Development Academy


In August of 2007 North Meck SC (now, Carolina Rapids) was accepted as a charter member of US Soccer’s Development Academy, a nationwide youth development initiative, organized by the U.S. Soccer Federation, created to enhance the development of the country’s top players through high technical standards and a focus on meaningful competition.  In 2013, North Meck SC aligned with the Colorado Rapids of the Major Soccer League to enhance player development as well as provide a path to professional soccer. At this time, the club re-branded to become the Carolina Rapids.
Formed in accordance with Major League Soccer’s 2007 Homegrown Player Initiative, our goal is to create a program for each player that will allow him to reach his full potential, whatever that may be. For the majority of our players college soccer will be the pinnacle of their careers, but a select few will have the ability to play beyond that level.
The Carolina Rapids Academy train four days per week with a match on the weekend.  Video analysis of games and training as well as core strength training and futsal are part of our program. 
The U.S Soccer Development Academy features 80 of the top youth teams in the country competing in a league system at the U-18, U-16 levels, and U-14 age groups. The teams are divided into 9 geographically based conferences with each team playing at least 26 games. 
Further questions about the Development Academy can be answered by the U.S. Soccer FAQ
Interested in learning more about the Carolina Rapids US Academy program?  Contact Craig Conger at