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FAQs - Team Selection Process

The following overview provides an outline of Carolina Rapids offerings and issues specifically related to the Team Selection Process (TSP) / Tryouts.

If you still have questions after reading the information please contact your team coach (if you’re a current Rapids member) and then your Coaching Director.  If you’re a non-Rapids member, please contact the appropriate Coaching Director by email stating age group for efficiency.

Girls Programs

Girls Youth Academy (U9/U10) – Emily McMillan at emcmillan@carolinarapids.org
Girls (U11-U12) - Emily McMillan at emcmillan@carolinarapids.org
Girls (U13-U14) - Neil Roberts at neil.roberts@cms.k12.nc.us
Girls (U15-U18) - Kalla Stark at kstark@carolinarapids.org
Girls ECNL - Nathan Williams at nwilliams@carolinarapids.org
WPSL - Stephen Glass at sglass@carolinarapids.org
GK Director – Scott Schweitzer at sschweitzer@carolinarapids.org

Boys Programs

Boys Youth Academy (U9/U10) – John Tart at jtart@carolinarapids.org
Boys (U11-U12) – TBD
Boys (U13-U14) - Jeff Bilyk at jbilyk@carolinarapids.org
Boys (U15-U18) - Kalla Stark at kstark@carolinarapids.org
US Academy  - Kevin Flanagan at kflanagan@carolinarapids.org
Boys ECNL - Kevin Flanagan at kflanagan@carolinarapids.org
GK Director – 
Scott Schweitzer at sschweitzer@carolinarapids.org

What age group do I try out for? 

Click to see the age group chart.   When registering online for the TSP, you are automatically placed into your appropriate age group for tryouts. Coaching Directors at the club will make any decision regarding playing up. Please contact them directly if you have any questions. 

How do I register for the Tryouts/TSP?

You can register for the team selection process online or at the fields prior to the process.  We highly recommend online registration as it is part of the club’s preliminary registration process.  The online registration fee is $20 for Youth Academy, $35 for U11-U18. Walk ups on any night of training will be required to complete paperwork at the field, but will also need to register online in order to create an account so you can be notified of team placement.  There will be an additional $10 assessed for on-field registration regardless of program.

How do I sign up for the US Development Academy or the ECNL?
The ECNL and the Boys US Development Academy are not holding open tryouts at this time.  If you are interested in a trial with one of those teams, please contact:

Girls ECNL – Nathan Williams

Boys DA  or Boys ECNL - Kevin Flanagan at kflanagan@carolinarapids.org

Why a fee for Tryouts/TSP’s?

The fees we charge for TPS’s help cover the operational costs that we incur for t-shirts, numbers, online fees, field usage, staffing etc.

What if my child cannot attend the Tryouts/TSP scheduled sessions?

Please send an email to the appropriate Coaching Director listed above and explain your situation.  Please state player's name and age group in your email.  If you’re a current Carolina Rapids member, please copy your team coach on the email as well.  The Coaching Director will advise.

You must still register online for Tryouts/TSP’s even if you cannot attend the sessions. No player will be considered at this time for the Tryouts/Team Selection Process unless they are registered in the system.  Players should attend both nights for their appropriate age group as there are benefits to being seen on more than one occasion.

Does Carolina Rapids recruit players?

It is contrary to the philosophy of Carolina Rapids to illegally recruit youth soccer players for a developmental program.  We believe we have some of the best training facilities in the area (each team receives half a field regardless of age), along with our fully qualified professional coaches for each team.  We believe that the Carolina Rapids’ standards for excellence will attract competitive soccer players in search of the best possible soccer environment that we create at the Carolina Rapids.

What should players wear/bring to the sessions?

A training t-shirt will be provided at the site to be kept as one of the official Rapids training t-shirts for the year.  In addition, each player will receive a tryout number to wear on both nights of the team selection process.  It is important to wear the t-shirt and the assigned number to all tryout sessions, as players are identified by the number. Continuity on both nights is important to ensure fair evaluation of all players.  Players must also wear shin guards, soccer shorts, socks, cleats and bring plenty of water along with enthusiasm/energy for the sessions.  

Can the parents attend and watch the TSP?

Parents are welcome to observe from the designated spectator areas.  These are the parking areas of our complexes.  Parents are not allowed on the fields or hills during the process.  Age group meetings with the parents will be held at the beginning of each session for each age group at the specific designated field on both nights.  For more information on our parents during tryout sessions, please click here.  Please note:  for safety purposes, there is no parking allowed on the top of the hill closest to Beatties Ford Road at Richard Barry Park.

What if my child is injured during the TSP and can’t participate?

If the player is a returning member of the Carolina Rapids - no problem, we know what they can do if they have been with us this past year!  If the player is new to Carolina Rapids, please contact the appropriate Coaching Director, who will be able to discuss options and opportunities that may be available for your player.

Who picks the team?

We have a very well balanced process that results in the overall selection of the team.  Weighted input is gained from the current coach, next year’s coach and then the Coaching Directors. Additional evaluators will be on hand to assist the team/age group coaching staff.

When will the players be notified and how?

Players will be notified within 48 hours after the second session via email (please be sure to enter all family email accounts when registering online). If you do not receive notification by then please contact the appropriate Coaching Director immediately via email.  If you do not see an invitation in your email box, please check your spam/junk folder as well.  Some email systems tend to see our email addresses as spam and they never make it to your inbox!

When do the players need to respond to a team invitation?

Players must respond to the invitation within 24 hours of receiving the invitation.

To accept your spot, log in to your Blue Sombrero account, accept the position, and complete the registration online. To decline your spot, log in, click the pink Accept/Decline button and and choose "no". 

When can we talk to the staff regarding player placement?

The coaching staff will be available 24 hours after notification of your team placement.  This is a competitive team selection process; final player placement is dependent on where that player’s current abilities and potential is best served.  No discussions will take place before or during the evaluation week.  No discussions will take place on the field during or immediately following the TSP sessions.

Can my child play another sport and soccer at the same time?

Yes – for balance, motor-skill development, cross-training and other reasons, participation in multiple sports can be good for young soccer players.  However, families and coaches must evaluate the demands of specific teams/ playing seasons of each sport.  The developmental curve of a soccer player will be affected by the commitment level.  Our Burgundy teams from U13 and up do require a much higher commitment level as this is the highest level of play within our organization.

What additional paperwork is needed for TSP’s?

For TSPs, any required documentation we need is found on the online registration system.  If you register at the field, an information sheet and medical waiver signed by the player's guardian is required to participate.  With this in mind, please have a parent or guardian register the player if you are signing up at the field.  We will not be able to allow the child to participate without a signed medical waiver.  Once your spot has been accepted, there is a Forms Package that that must be completed in order to complete your registration.  Information about paperwork/registration meetings will be posted soon.

Can my child play club AND school soccer?

Yes – we are proud of our many players who enjoy success on their respective school teams.   

Attention should be paid to the rest/recovery needs of young, growing athletes in determining when a break from training is in the best interest of the individual’s mental and physical health.  Two soccer teams in the same season can be very taxing on a player and must be delicately balanced.  A commitment towards Rapids training with regular attendance is expected.

Are practices and games mandatory?

Carolina Rapids training sessions, games, and all team events are designed to maximize individual and team growth, as well as safety and fitness.  Therefore, they are a mandatory commitment.

What is the Carolina Rapids policy on multiple teams within one age group?

Teams will be sorted by ability into: Burgundy, Blue, White, Gold, and Silver designations.

Who decides if a team will be Select or Classic?

Carolina Rapids will keep a team at the Select level (available beginning at U11 and may be offered through U13 year), or will move a team into Classic soccer (available at U11).  We will not push a team into Classic if they are not ready.  The Coaching Director, along with the coaching staff will determine the level of play for each team.  After an initial decision is based on Select vs. Classic, team performance will dictate the level of play from then on out.  Anticipated level of play is posted on the website (although subject to change after tryouts, based on team readiness).

Can I choose for my child to remain at Select instead of Classic, or Classic instead of Premier etc.? 

No, players will be placed according to their ability.  The professional coaching staff of Carolina Rapids will decide what the best level of play is for the members.  Please contact the appropriate Coaching Director for any further questions.

What is the club’s policy on roster size?

Carolina Rapids will strive to keep teams to a size which allows sufficient numbers for training and maximized playing time. As a general rule, we keep squads of 9v9 soccer to fourteen (14) players, and 11v11 soccer to sixteen-eighteen (16-.18) players.  There are exceptions to these numbers, but we strive to keep it as close to this as possible. Individual teams will have different needs based on schedules, level of play, physical demands, and potential conflicts, all of which can influence the size of a roster.

For questions specific to the US Development Academy or Boys ECNL, please refer to their page
For questions specific to the Girls ECNL, please refer to their page.