CHARLESTON, S.C. (May 16, 2018) - US Club Soccer is proud to welcome the East Coast NPL, a new league member of the National Premier Leagues (NPL) and Elite National Premier League (ENPL) beginning in Fall 2018. Eight clubs have initiated the East Coast NPL with more to be announced soon:
- FC Copa Academy (N.J.)
- FCUSA (N.J.)
- Ironbound SC (N.J.)
- Manhattan SC (N.Y.)
- PDA Hibernia (N.J.)
- PSA Wildcats (N.J.)
- STA (N.J.)
- TSF Academy (N.J.)
The formation of the East Coast NPL is another example of US Club Soccer’s continued commitment to its members in the Northeast. That commitment – lead by a Players First philosophy – results in an optimal environment of quality competition and player development and identification.
These eight clubs have proven themselves over the years in the NPL platform, and because of that experience, the East Coast NPL is eligible for ENPL qualification pathways in its inaugural season next year. There will be 262 clubs competing in the ENPL during the 2018-19 season through qualifying competitions in the NPL (191 clubs) and Boys ECNL (71 clubs).
“These clubs, which we’ve worked alongside for years, are getting an opportunity to help shape the foundation of an NPL member league that already has a lot to offer,” said Leo Garcia, US Club Soccer Vice President of Competitions and NPL General Manager. “Beyond the strength of the NPL’s club-based model, these clubs have a pathway to the ENPL, exposure to id2 and PDPs, benefits of Players First and our Player Health & Safety initiatives and more.”
While girls teams within the league will aspire to the annual Girls NPL Finals, boys teams look towards the ENPL to make their national impact. The ENPL represents the highest level of boys competition in US Club Soccer. There are numerous qualifying competitions throughout the country – made up of NPLs and Boys ECNL Conferences. The inaugural ENPL Playoffs takes place this summer.
Competitive opportunities are not the only highlights of the East Coast NPL. Most notably, these clubs will continue to experience the benefits of Players First – a philosophy that US Club Soccer has used to accomplish its mission and vision since the platform launched nearly three years ago.
Players First is a branded, holistic club soccer experience for parents and players which emphasizes the development of each individual to his or her full potential, and helps parents make better choices about where their children should play. Players First is anchored by five pillars:
- Club Development
- Coaching Development
- Player Development
- Parent Engagement & Education
- Player Health & Safety
US Club Soccer has been consistent that Player Health & Safety is US Club Soccer’s “first and most important responsibility.” That commitment has been demonstrated through various initiatives and Players First partnerships, including 11+, Fit for 90, Player’s Health and Sideline Sports Doc. Information about Players First club licensing is coming soon.
US Club Soccer has implemented best-in-class background checks, as part of its background screening process for all registered staff. The effort is coupled with a requirement for those registered staff to complete a Sideline Sports Doc/US Club Soccer online injury recognition course.
Quotes from participating clubs:
- Roberto Aguas, FC Copa Academy, Executive Director of Coaching: “FC Copa Academy looks forward to the continued relationship with US Club Soccer as a member of the newly formed East Coast NPL. The league will continue to provide our players a pathway to compete against the top teams and clubs in the region, and ultimately in the nation via the NPL Finals, which we have enjoyed competing at every year. Our expectation is that the league and club leaders will continue to work together to provide a highly competitive club vs. club model that will challenge our players and teams to be at their best week in and week out. We believe that competing against like-minded professional leaders who are devoted at assisting our athletes reach their goals in a quality environment is in line with our core values. We welcome the opportunity to be part of the newly formed East Coast NPL and are confident in the benefits it will bring to the development of our players.”
- Steve Amorim, Ironbound SC, Director of Coaching: “Ironbound SC is always looking to provide its players with proper player development and matching it with the best competition possible. We believe that in the ENPL environment our teams will be competitive. Ironbound has a good relationship with US Club Soccer since its inception and will continue to grow that relationship.”
- Ray Selvadurai, Manhattan SC, Director of Coaching: “Manhattan Soccer Club is delighted to continue our relationship with US Club Soccer and the ENPL structure through ECSL. Our teams look forward to national level club competition with a pathway to a true league-based national championship. I am confident that this league structure will continue to provide valuable experiences for our players and teams to develop in a challenging environment.”
- Lee Bakewell, TSF Academy, Academy Director: “TSF Academy is excited to continue our relationship with US Club Soccer and the newly formed NPL league structure. We are confident that working alongside like-minded clubs and directors will further strengthen the high level of competition in the region and provide valuable opportunities to all the players in the area for the benefit of youth soccer. The goal is always to find the best ways to enhance what we offer, not just to our players, teams and families, but for the region and youth soccer in general. We are looking forward to the future and continuing to strive towards providing the best possible learning environments and challenges for everyone at our club.”
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.