CHARLESTON, S.C. (Sept. 11, 2012) – Following a highly successful inaugural year, the 2012-13 National Premier Leagues (NPL) season kicked off throughout the country, with games and showcases in almost every league last weekend. US Club Soccer has unveiled a number of enhancements in conjunction with the start of the new NPL season.
The NPL now includes 17 leagues, nearly doubling the number of leagues in competition since September 2011. Beyond the addition of new leagues and playing divisions, the NPL’s online presence has been strengthened with a redesigned website at NationalPremierLeagues.com, featuring a new look and increased content for each league.
The NPL and many of the member leagues also have new and more modern logos beginning in the 2012-13 season, all of which can be seen at NationalPremierLeagues.com.
“The quality of the NPL was certainly seen in the quality of play and the excitement at the 2012 NPL Champions Cup,” said US Club Soccer Executive Vice President Christian Lavers. “We are even more excited to start the 2012-13 season with more leagues, more events, and more clubs participating in the top league-based national competition in the country.”
The NPL provides a unified, league-based national developmental platform with each league providing the highest level of competition in its geographic area. The NPL was created to elevate and change the competitive youth soccer landscape based upon US Club Soccer’s fundamental principles and extends developmental principals espoused by the U.S. Soccer Development Academy into younger age groups and additional clubs.
In addition to the regular-season league schedule, NPL members have the opportunity to take part in scouting showcases and Player Development Programs (PDP), which are platforms for additional player identification and development. The culminating event of NPL competition is the season-ending NPL Champions Cup, which includes the winners from all NPLs across the country and is held in July of each year to crown NPL national champions. Dates and location for the 2013 NPL Champions Cup will be announced shortly.
Among the opening events of the 2012-13 season was the Midwest Developmental League Fall Scouting Showcase, held Sept. 8-9 at Sportscore Soccer Complex in Rockford, Ill. The event included a total of 32 teams from 16 clubs in the U-13 and U-14 boys age groups and offered teams the chance to play cross-divisional opponents in front of scouts from both US Club Soccer’s id2 Program and U.S. Soccer.
Also taking place on Sept. 8 at HBC Complex in Long Island, N.Y., was a US Club Soccer PDP hosted by the New York Club Soccer League. The event brought together approximately 30 boys born in 1999 and 30 girls born in 1998. id2 Program scouts were on-site at the event to scout players for potential inclusion in upcoming id2 Program Training Camps.
Additional scouting showcases and PDPs will be hosted by other NPL member leagues throughout the fall and spring.
As the 2012-13 NPL season gets into full swing in the coming weeks, visit nationalpremierleagues.com for updates and news on all the leagues across the country.
ABOUT THE NATIONAL PREMIER LEAGUES:
The NPL has been created to provide a unified, league-based national developmental platform with the highest level of competition in given geographic areas, and to elevate and change the competitive youth soccer landscape based upon US Club Soccer’s fundamental principles.
The NPL extends developmental principals espoused by the U.S. Soccer Development Academy into younger age groups and additional clubs, providing a platform for long-term player development.
More specifically, the NPL provides a platform:
- focused on long-term player development;
for the country’s top soccer clubs, allowing consistent, meaningful high-level games appropriately scheduled with higher training-to-game ratios;
- that allows players to be scouted and evaluated by U.S. Soccer National Staff and Technical Advisors;
- that is designed and structured by the clubs, based on the needs of the clubs;
- that provides an avenue for qualification for the NPL Champions Cup.
The NPL is an important component of US Club Soccer’s 10-year vision to refine the landscape for competitive youth soccer. This vision recognizes that:
- properly-structured youth soccer clubs are the vehicle through which player development does and must occur in the United States.
- clubs should play in leagues that provide meaningful games, allow establishment of the proper training-to-game ratio, and eliminate calendar congestion.
- National Premier Leagues, as well as the best clubs, should be integrated in US Club Soccer’s id2 National Identification and Development Program, include Player Development Programs (PDPs) in select local markets, and work closely with U.S. Soccer staff regarding player identification, and player and coach development.
The culminating event each year is the NPL Champions Cup, where national championships will be awarded. The NPL Champions Cup will feature qualifiers from every NPL across the country in a true “champions league” competition.
For a listing of all leagues and clubs within the NPL, please visit nationalpremierleagues.com.
ABOUT US CLUB SOCCER:
US Club Soccer is a non-profit organization committed to the development and support of soccer clubs and players in the United States. A National Association member of the U.S. Soccer Federation, US Club Soccer maximizes flexibility and offers youth and adult player and staff registration, integrated competition platforms at the recreational and competitive levels, as well as a variety of other programming, including the Olympic Development Program-sanctioned id2 Program and Player Development Programs.
Unique to US Club Soccer is the ability of member clubs to unite youth and adult programs within one organization, creating a “members for life” culture within each club.