Carolina Core FC Academy Announces Andy Williams and JC Martinez as MLS NEXT Coaches

Carolina Core FC Academy Announces Andy Williams and JC Martinez as MLS NEXT Coaches

As recruiting begins, CCFC Academy Announces Andy Williams and JC Martinez head coaches of first season

High Point, NC – CCFC Academy today announced the appointment of Andy Williams as the Head Coach of their MLS NEXT U14 boys team and JC Martinez as the Head Coach of their MLS NEXT U13 boys team.

CCFC Academy is a fully-funded scholarship soccer academy that is designed to develop professional and collegiate soccer players. CCFC Academy participates in the MLS NEXT league, which is the highest level of youth soccer in the US. Starting in the fall of 2024, CCFC Academy will have a U13 (2012 birth year) boys and U14 (2011 birth year) boys teams during this first season.

Williams joins CCFC Academy with ample experience as a Technical Director with FC Arizona, where he was responsible for managing and organizing the team and the daily operations of the entire club. Subsequently, Williams led the scouting department for Real Salt Lake (RSL), where he scouted and procured international and domestic talent. Many of these players still play for RSL or have gone on to play throughout Europe and Latin America. In addition to his scouting responsibilities, Williams also served as the first team assistant under Head Coach Jeff Cassar from 2013–2015.

“As a former World Cup and MLS veteran, Andy Williams brings an immense amount of knowledge that can be disseminated throughout the MLS NEXT program. Andy also serves as one of the coaches on our pro team,” said Eddie Pope, CCFC Academy Executive Director and Chief Sporting Officer of the CCFC MLS NEXT Pro team.

Working alongside David Upchurch, who was recently appointed as Academy Director, new CCFC Academy U14 Head Coach Andy Williams will help find and develop players as the academy embarks on its inaugural season.

“We’re excited about the experience Andy brings as a coach and a scout, especially his ability to identify unique player profiles in young players to help them progress toward the professional level,” said Upchurch.

With the high-level knowledge from Pope and the leadership of Upchurch, new CCFC Academy U13 Head Coach JC Martinez will also be joining the staff to provide immense youth soccer experience to help further youth soccer development in the Core of North Carolina.

Martinez joins CCFC Academy having amassed over 13 years of experience in coaching, working in various positions and levels. Since March 2016, Martinez has worked for the Houston Dynamo and Dash organization. Most recently, Martinez worked under now-CCFC Head Coach Roy Lassiter as the U20 Assistant Coach, and helped the team towards their first conference title and Round of 16 appearance. Martinez has also assisted with every age group in the Academy level, including the U19 and U17 teams that were previously under the now-current Dynamo 2 head coach Kenny Bundy, as well as the younger U15-U13 age groups, where he was the Head Coach for the U13 age group before making the move to CCFC Academy.

In this role as U13 Head Coach, Martinez’s duties include, but are not limited to, developing training models and methods that will help to create a common training methodology between the professional team and the MLS NEXT teams.

“JC comes to us with experience coaching the Houston Dynamo U13’s. As one of our coaches for the pro team, he will bring a wealth knowledge to our MLS NEXT program,” said CCFC Academy Executive Director Eddie Pope.

For an elite level player’s first year in the MLS NEXT program, the involvement of Andy Williams and JC Martinez from the CCFC MLS NEXT Pro team provides a unique opportunity for young players, and ensures that the training and playing philosophies of the pro team are integrated into the MLS NEXT program as well.