US Youth Soccer National League Sets The Stage For The Country's Top Talent
It all starts next month, September 8.
This fall, EDP will manage four Conferences in the East Region of the new US Youth Soccer National League. All existing EDP leagues, tournaments and showcases will now be sanctioned by US Youth Soccer. This relationship will continue to provide EDP’s players and clubs with pathways to one of the nation's best competitions—the National Championship Series.
“With league play, cup play and regional/national events, players are going to face quality opponents every game.” US Youth Soccer National League Commissioner Paul Luchowski explains. The current system of four regional leagues will be replaced by the National League with redefined regional Conferences focused on less travel and better competition—all starting this Fall.
The US Youth Soccer National League is for the nation's top Under-14, Under-15, Under-16, Under-17, Under-18 and Under-19 teams—split into two divisions for boys & girls age groups. The top team from each of the two divisions advances to the US Youth Soccer National Championships Series. Through the restructuring of US Youth Soccer, teams have the opportunity to qualify for the Championship series different ways—with the National League being a collection of League winners throughout the country. They will then play winners from cup competitions such as the State Cups.
EDP will now be responsible for the management of the New England, North Atlantic, Mid Atlantic and South Atlantic Conferences, covering all areas between Maine and Virginia.
Overall, there are more than 3,000 teams that play with EDP in US Youth Soccer across the country. Each team earns its place in the National League through its success in either Conference play or the US Youth Soccer National Championship Series—furthering EDP's commitment to bringing the best clubs regardless of size onto the biggest stages.
“With thousands of teams across the country, we’re providing a wider net of development (by allowing both cup and league winners to qualify for the National Championship Series)” Luchowski explains. “Players mature and develop at different rates. What we provide is a platform for players to play at a high level against other high-level teams.”
Of the roughly 60,000 players to participate in the National Leagues each year, nearly all go on to play in college, with many continuing their careers professionally. Notable National League alumni include Manchester City’s Jack Harrison, the No. 1 overall pick in the 2016 MLS Super Draft by New York City FC, and U.S. Women’s National Team midfielder Morgan Brian, the youngest member of the 2015 Women’s World Cup-winning squad.
“Our goal is to develop players for all levels, so we’re trying to make the development process very streamlined,” Luchowski said. “Most go on to at least college, and we’ve had a number of professional and National Team players, as well. Players can excel in this environment then move on.”
With the 2018 National Championship Series just wrapping up in Frisco, Texas, next year's competition is expected to be even tougher with this year's expanded format and partnership with EDP Soccer. Three EDP clubs were crowned National Champions last week, with Baltimore Celtic, Arlington Soccer Association and SJEB all walking away with the James P. McGuire Cup—one of the oldest trophies in Youth Sports.