CARY, N.C. (Feb. 6, 2024) – North Carolina FC today announces the transfer of 18-year-old goalkeeper Nicholas Holliday to Charlotte FC of Major League Soccer for an agreed upon, undisclosed fee. The transaction includes potential additional compensation to NCFC based on both performance and re-transfer fees in the future.
The historic transfer marks the first direct move of a North Carolina FC player to a club that guarantees an MLS first team contract. Holliday, who signed his first professional contract with North Carolina FC in 2021 at 15 years old, will join Charlotte’s MLS Next Pro team, Crown Legacy FC, for the 2024 season with a three-year, guaranteed MLS contract starting in 2025.
Grown through the NCFC Academy, Holliday has been the brightest example for the club’s Youth to Pro model, bridging youth, academy, and professional soccer in the Triangle. North Carolina FC Sporting Director and Head Coach John Bradford has helped oversee the goalkeeper’s progression from its beginning.
“We are thrilled Nick and his family have this opportunity for the next step in his career. We began this journey when Nick was 12 years old, and I feel fortunate to have had the opportunity to work with him over the last six years. I genuinely thank Nick and his family for their trust and belief in our club’s pathway that has helped him mature into the player he is today. He is a talented, hardworking, and high-character young man that dedicates himself to his craft. We wish him all the best in this next step of his promising career,” said Bradford.
Holliday’s opportunities to train and learn in a professional environment, both with NCFC and abroad on trials, exponentially accelerated his growth as a goalkeeper. As part of his professional development pathway, Holliday was introduced to professional games in 2021, had an increased playing role in 2022, and – prior to injury – blossomed into the full-time starter for North Carolina FC in 2023 for a side that sat atop the USL League One table for much of the season.
Holliday started 13 matches in goal for North Carolina FC in 2023, logging 1,170 minutes with 26 saves for a 61% save percentage, including a saved penalty. Overall, Holliday has 2,340 minutes in goal across 27 professional fixtures from 2021 through 2023. He has 75 saves and a career 71.2 save percentage.
Through the club’s consistent support of player development and open desire to help player’s progress, Holliday had several trials in Europe while under contract. Since 2021, the young goalkeeper had trialed with PSV Eindhoven in the Netherlands and Fortuna Dusseldorf, Bayern Leverkusen, and Hertha Berlin in Germany. He’s garnered interest from overseas clubs but, in conversations with domestic and international suitors, Holliday, and his family, Charlotte FC proved to be the best option for all parties. Holliday will stay close to family in the Tar Heel State while finding a new challenge and fulfilling the club’s mission of providing a pro pathway for young talent.
North Carolina FC now has 24 players on the active roster, including a pair of goalkeepers in Jake McGuire and Akira Fitzgerald. The club plans to add to the goalkeeping core prior to the start of the 2024 season.
ABOUT NORTH CAROLINA FC
North Carolina FC returns to play in the United Soccer League (USL) Championship (USSF Division II) in 2024. North Carolina FC enters its 18th season of competition in 2024, having played in several professional leagues as both North Carolina FC and the Carolina RailHawks. The team won the NASL (USSF Division II) regular season championship in 2011 and 2013 and won the USL League One (USSF Division III) Championship in 2023. Follow North Carolina FC on the web at www.northcarolinafc.com and on social media @NorthCarolinaFC.