The NPL was created to elevate and change the competitive youth soccer landscape by extending developmental principles espoused by U.S. Soccer into more age groups and clubs, by linking competition with player development and identification platforms, and by providing meaningful weekly competition culminating in the NPL Finals.
NPLs are independent leagues, unified under one national competition platform, and based on a common technical framework designed to improve long-term player development. 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; and
- that provides an avenue for qualification for the NPL Champions Cup.
EXECUTING US CLUB SOCCER’S 10-YEAR VISION:
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 occurs 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.
- NPLs, 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.
Beginning in March 2014, the NPL will include an annual NPL Showcase to bring teams from NPLs across the country to one site for intra-league competition and player showcasing. The 2014 NPL Showcase will include U-16, U-17, and U-18 boys age groups and will take place at Heritage Park in suburban Las Vegas, Nev.
The targeted destination for all NPL teams, and the culminating event each season, is the NPL Finals (formerly known as the NPL Champions Cup), where NPL national champions are determined. The NPL Finals feature qualifiers in U-13 through U-18 boys and girls age groups from every NPL across the country in a true “champions league” competition.