Further strengthens NCFC’s commitment to and global reach of its youth-to-pro player-development pathway | Image Credit: North Carolina FC
CARY, N.C. – North Carolina FC and Club de Fútbol Monterrey today jointly announce a multi-faceted partnership agreement, whereby the clubs will share knowledge and resources to create a powerful pro pathway opportunity for young players across the U.S. and establish an active and collaborative relationship between the two North American clubs at the academy and professional levels.
This is the first formal agreement of its kind for North Carolina FC, joining forces with one of the top soccer clubs in the world. While NCFC is already a renowned development and youth-to-pro destination in the U.S., having developed and signed to pro contracts many teenage players with highly attractive prospects at both the club and international level, this partnership will present additional and unique opportunities for the most talented young players in the country to develop professionally at both clubs.
More specifically, the clubs have agreed to partner to create a broader sporting development program in the following three key areas:
"This is an amazing opportunity to partner with one of the strongest and most respected soccer organizations in the world and combine our shared resources and knowledge to grow and improve our clubs at the youth, academy, and professional level. Rayados' leadership shares our strategic vision for player development, and we are confident that this will be a tangibly impactful partnership for both clubs," said Peter Sciandra, NCFC's Executive Vice President and leader of the club's global expansion strategy.
"We're extremely excited about this partnership and look forward to learning from, and growing with, a prestigious club like Rayados. Their soccer knowledge and prioritization of player development will be a huge asset to our club and players from both sides will get major benefits from the opportunities the partnership will present them," said NCFC Head Coach and Academy Director, John Bradford.
The partnership also brings international competition opportunities at the academy and professional levels. Rayados will play an international friendly at WakeMed Soccer Park next March against fellow Liga MX side Atlético de San Luis. With the partnership established, more fixtures will be set, both domestically and abroad, to enhance player experience and training, which should be a major piece of player recruitment at the academy and USL Championship levels.
Club de Fútbol Monterrey Rayados, often known simply as their nickname, Rayados, is a Mexican professional football club based in Monterrey, Mexico which currently plays in Liga MX, the top tier of Mexican football. Founded on June 28, 1945, it is the oldest active professional team from the northern part of Mexico. Since 1999 the club has been owned by FEMSA, Latin America's largest bottling company. Its home games have been played in the Estadio BBVA (capacity 53,500) since 2015, one of the venues for the 2026 FIFA World Cup.
Monterrey has won five league titles, three domestic cups, and five CONCACAF Champions League titles (notably, three consecutive tournaments in 2011, 2012 and 2013). In 2020 Monterrey became the second Mexican club to complete the continental treble.
The club consistently ranks as the highest in Liga MX attendance and currently features one of the most expensive squads in the country, including national team players from Mexico, Argentina, Ecuador, Colombia, Chile and Spain.
The youth academy is considered one of the top academies in Mexico and are the current Liga MX national champions in the U-14, U-16, and U-18 age divisions, historic achievements for a Liga MX club. Also, the academy has a system of 160 soccer schools in Mexico and in the US, with over 12,000 players registered and will host six international Copa Rayados USA events in 2024.