The MTA has been selected to participate in a new girls league that will try to emulate the USSF’s boys Development Academy. The Development Academy has been a hugely successful program in developing talent for the USSF men’s teams. The concept of fewer games, more practices and higher quality competition will also be hallmarks of the ECNL. The league will replace a prior league named Red Bull National League which has been in existence for nearly two years.
The league will start in the 2009-2010 season. The ECNL season will feature 40 of the top youth girls clubs in the United States in the U15-U17 age groups competing in a 12-game season.
“The ECNL is a great step for elite girls youth players in this country,” said Christian Lavers, ECNL President. “The ECNL is founded on the concept that elite female player development in the United States needs a structure that will reduce the total number of games on the schedule and increase the number of meaningful, quality games. The ECNL sets forth a vision that gives us a clear path to that goal – a national competition schedule and a national identification program linked to that competition.”
According to Mark Cook, MTA Girls Elite Director, The ECNL is being sanctioned by US Club Soccer. “MTA is one of 40 clubs that accepted an invitation to join,” said Cook. “Clubs were invited based on club strength at the national level. No individual teams can join and future expansion can only happen if the 40 original member clubs vote to accept a new club.”
Read the press release after the jump.
MILWAUKEE, WI – On Tuesday, April 28,
2009, the Elite Clubs National League (“ECNL”) announced the inaugural
member clubs for the 2009-2010 season. The ECNL will kick-off its
inaugural season at the Eclipse Select Challenge Cup August 14-16, 2009
in Chicago, IL, and will continue with year-long competition in
conjunction with multiple national showcase events that culminates in
the ECNL National Championship in Seattle, WA in July 2010. In addition,
the ECNL will provide a subsidized player identification program for
players to be scouted for youth national teams in conjunction with the
US Club Soccer ID2 Program.
In 2009-2010, the ECNL season will feature 40 of the top youth girls clubs in the United States in the U15-U17 age groups competing in a 12-game season. Teams in the ECNL will compete for individual age group ECNL National Championships and an overall ECNL Club National Championship.
In each age group, teams will be placed in two flights of 20 teams each, (Challenge A and Challenge B), based on team strength. The ECNL will host stand-alone events and partner with existing national showcase events for completion of a 10-game regular season. Upon completion of a 10-game regular season, multiple four team playoff groups in each flight will be established based on the regular season standings. The top four teams in each age group in the Challenge A division will compete for the ECNL National Championship and the winner will be crowned the age group ECNL National Champion. The bottom four teams in the Challenge A division will compete in a relegation playoff where the winning team will remain in the Challenge A division for the next season and the remaining three teams will be relegated to the Challenge B division. The top four teams in the Challenge B division will compete for the promotion playoff where the top three teams will be promoted to the Challenge A division for the next season.
“The ECNL is a great step for elite girls youth players in this country,” said ECNL President Christian Lavers (FC Milwaukee). “The ECNL is founded on the concept that elite female player development in the United States needs a structure that will reduce the total number of games on the schedule and increase the number of meaningful, quality games. The ECNL sets forth a vision that gives us a clear path to that goal –a national competition schedule and a national identification program linked to that competition.”
“A great deal of work has gone into making the ECNL a reality. That, coupled with the commitment of the clubs involved, provides very exciting prospects for us all moving forward. This league is going to be something very special,” said ECNL Vice President, Doug Bracken (Ohio Elite Soccer Academy).
2009-2010 ECNL clubs include some of the most accomplished girls youth clubs in the United States: Albertson Fury, New York; Arsenal FC, California; Atlanta Fire, Georgia; Bethesda SC, Maryland; Birmingham United, Alabama; CASL, North Carolina; CESA Premier, South Carolina; Challenge SC, Texas; Charlotte Soccer Academy, North Carolina; Colorado Rush, Colorado; Concorde Fire, Georgia; Connecticut FC, Connecticut; Crossfire Premier, Washington; Dallas Sting, Texas; D’Feeters, Texas; Eclipse Select, Illinois; FC Dallas, Texas; FC DELCO, Pennsylvania; FC Milwaukee, Wisconsin; FC Stars of Mass, Massachusetts; FC Virginia, Virginia; Freestate Soccer Alliance, Maryland; FSA SoccerPlus, Connecticut; Irvine Strikers, California; Lonestar SC, Texas; Minnesota Thunder, Minnesota; Mustang SC, California; Neusport FC, Nevada; Ohio Elite Soccer Academy, Ohio; Ohio Premier, Ohio; PDA, New Jersey; Pleasanton Rage, California; Real Colorado, Colorado; San Juan SC, California; SC Del Sol, Arizona; Sereno SC, Arizona; Solar, Texas; St. Louis Scott Gallagher, Missouri; Virginia Rush, Virginia; West Coast FC, California.
The ECNL is incorporated as a not-for-profit organization and will apply for 501(c)(3) status. The ECNL is operated and managed by a Board of Directors elected by the member clubs. The member clubs will also vote on admission of new clubs, the competitive format of the league, and all league rules and policies.
For more information about Elite Clubs National League contact Christian Lavers at Christian@fcmilwaukee.com or Doug Bracken at firstname.lastname@example.org.