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Elite Clubs National League

About the ECNL:
The ECNL is a national youth soccer league founded in 2009 for U-15 through U-18 girls’ teams for the purpose of providing the highest level of competition and the best developmental environment for American female youth soccer players, as well as an identification and development program, which will seek to include players in US Soccer’s National Teams. The 2010-11 season is the ECNL’s second season, during which each U-15 through U-17 team will play in three of the five regular-season events, as well as four Regional ECNL games. Each U-18 team will play in two of the first four regular-season events, as well as four Regional ECNL games.

Each of the 52 member clubs in 2010-11 will have a team in the U-15 through U-17 age groups, while 50 teams will compete in the U-18 age group. In total, each team in the U-15 through U-17 age groups will play 13 regular-season games and three postseason games, and each team in the U-18 age group will play 10 regular-season games with the top eight teams advancing to the ECNL National Championship.

Mission Statement:
The Elite Clubs National League, Inc. (“ECNL”) is a 501(c)(3) non-profit member-based organization founded in 2009 to enhance the developmental experience of the female youth soccer players in the United States through: (i) improving the competitive environment through creation of a true nationally-based competitive league with multiple flights; (ii) improving the process for identifying elite female soccer players for the U.S. Soccer youth national teams through a systematic scouting and identification program based on national competition; and (iii) improving the daily training environment at female youth soccer clubs through developing best practices and training and organizational guidelines for its member clubs.

2010-11 ECNL Competition:
The ECNL is the elite competitive league for youth female soccer players in the United States. In the 2010-11 season, the ECNL will consist of 52 of the top female youth soccer clubs throughout the United States competing in two 26-team flights - Challenge A and Challenge B. Each U-15 through U-17 team  will play 13 regular-season games and three postseason games, and each U-18 team will play 10 regular-season games. Each U-15 through U-17 ECNL team will play regular-season games at three ECNL events, selected from five regular-season ECNL events: (i) the ECNL Fall National Showcase in August in Temecula, Calif.; (ii) the ECNL Final Four Showcase in December in Raleigh, N.C.; (iii) the ECNL Regular-Season Event #3 in December in Sanford, Fla.; (iv) the ECNL Regular-Season Event #4 in March in San Antonio, Texas; and (v) the PDA College Showcase in May in Zarephath, N.J. Teams in the U-18 age group will play in two of the first four regular-season events.

Following the conclusion of the regular-season, the ECNL will host the ECNL National Championships July 14-16, 2011, at a location to be determined. At the ECNL National Championships, every U-15 through U-17 ECNL team and the top eight U-18 teams will compete in three post-season playoff games to determine final standings in each division at each age group. Teams will participate in one of four groups: the Championship Group (the top eight teams at each of the U-15 through U-18 age groups), the Promotion/Relegation Group (teams that finished third and fourth in Challenge B and 23rd and 24th in Challenge A in the U-15 through U-17 age groups), the Challenge A Field (all other Challenge A teams in the U-15 through U-17 age groups) and the Challenege B Field (all other Challenge B teams in the U-15 through U-17 age groups).

At the conclusion of the ECNL National Championships, individual age group ECNL National Champions will be crowned and an overall ECNL Club National Champion will be crowned. In addition to the two teams from Challenge B that will automatically be promoted to Challenge A and the two teams from Challenge A that will automatically be relegated to Challenge B in the U-15 through U-17 age groups at the end of the regular season, the Promotion/Relegation Group will determine the final two spots in each Challenge for the following season.

[2010-11 ECNL Flight Assignments]

2010-11 ECNL Player Identification Program:
The ECNL player identification program in 2010-11 will be organized in conjunction with US Club Soccer’s id2 player identification and development program. ECNL coaches and staff will work closely with id2 staff to identify elite female players in the 1996 and 1997 birth years for participation in one of three id2 National Camps. In addition, players in the 1994 and 1995 birth years will be scouted in ECNL competition for invitations to a special ECNL / id2 National Camp in early 2011. The ECNL will cover all costs of participation (except travel) for ECNL players identified in the 1994-95 age group for this camp.

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