CHARLESTON, S.C. (Aug. 17, 2016) - The format and structure of the Elite National Premier League (ENPL), the new competition and development platform for boys collaboratively launched by US Club Soccer and the Elite Clubs National League, is taking shape well ahead of the league’s August 2017 kick-off.
Released today, the logo for the ENPL reflects the collaborative effort between US Club Soccer and the ECNL by incorporating elements from both brands. This collaboration is fundamental to the platform, leveraging the strengths and resources of two of the biggest brands in youth soccer.
ENPL competition will include U-14, U-15, U-16, U-17 and U-19 boys age groups, and will include participating teams from two independent qualification paths: (i) qualifying teams from National Premier Leagues across the country; and (ii) qualifying teams from ECNL club-based conferences across the country. These teams will come together to compete for the ENPL National Championship in a two-stage post-season event in 2018. By providing qualification paths for both team-based and club-based competitions, and through a variety of competition formats, the ENPL will feature the very best boys players in US Club Soccer.
While the NPL and the ECNL will each determine their own regular season competition format, all qualifying leagues and conferences must meet ENPL guidelines on the minimum number of matches, basic roster and competition rules, and other development standards to insure a top quality environment. The ENPL will determine the total number of post-season berths and the post-season competition structure.
The inaugural ENPL Playoffs will be held in June 2018 in two locations – an East and West venue – where teams will be seeded based on their regular season performance. Playoff winners will advance to the 2018 ENPL National Championships in early July 2018.
No teams are guaranteed entry into the ENPL Playoffs. Whether qualifying through an NPL or an ECNL conference, all teams will earn their place into the ENPL Playoffs through a full season of regular league play.
The initial footprint of NPLs and ECNL conferences will be released in the coming months.
The Elite Clubs National League (ECNL) was founded in 2009 to enhance the developmental experience of female youth soccer players in the United States through: (i) Improving the competitive environment through creation of a true national competitive league; (ii) Improving the process for identifying elite female soccer players through a systematic scouting and identification program based on national competitions; and (iii) improving the daily training environment at top female youth soccer clubs through developing best practices and training and organizational guidelines for its member clubs. The ECNL is sanctioned by US Club Soccer and is sponsored by Nike Soccer.
ABOUT US CLUB SOCCER:
A National Association member of the U.S. Soccer Federation, US Club Soccer fosters the growth and development of soccer clubs in order to create the best possible development environment for players of all ages.
Anchored by Players First and its five pillars of Club Development, Coaching Development, Player Development, Parent Engagement & Education and Player Health & Safety, US Club Soccer offers registration, league- and cup-based competition platforms, player identification and a variety of other programming, resources and services.
US Club Soccer is sponsored by Nike and supported by LaLiga through a technical partnership.