CHARLESTON, S.C. (July 12, 2012) – Chicago Magic and St. Louis Scott Gallagher (Mo.) each claimed a pair of championships at the Midwest Developmental League Playoffs, held July 6-8 at Libertyville Township Soccer Complex in Libertyville, Ill. Sockers FC also earned a championship at the National Premier Leagues (NPL) event, which included a Player Development Program (PDP) on July 7.
U-13 Champion: Chicago Magic
U-14 Champion: Chicago Magic
U-15 Champion: Sockers FC
U-16 Champion: St. Louis Scott Gallagher (Mo.)
U-17/18 Champion: St. Louis Scott Gallagher (Mo.)
With their victories, the five teams advance to the inaugural NPL Champions Cup, where NPL national championships will be awarded. That event will be held July 27-31 at Waukegan Sports Park in Waukegan, Ill.
The top eight teams in each age group based on the regular season advanced to the Midwest Developmental League Playoffs, which was the culmination of a season which began back in August for U-13 and U-14 teams and March for U-15, U-16 and U-17/18 squads.
Having already claimed the U-13 crown in early action on Sunday, Chicago Magic needed penalty kicks to defeat cross-town rival Chicago Fire Academy in the U-14 final following a scoreless draw in regulation. The 5-4 victory in the shootout gave Chicago Magic its second championship of the day.
The U-15 division saw Sockers FC come from behind to win the championship 4-3 over Chicago Fire Academy, which led all clubs with four finalists but was unable to claim a title.
St. Louis Scott Gallagher (Mo.) edged out the Chicago Fire Academy 2-1 in a highly competitive U-16 final match. The club added its second championship of the day with a penalty shootout over Chicago Fire Academy in the U-18 division.
“The club basically told us right at the beginning that NPL is the most important thing now and we want to see you get to the Playoffs. You can’t ask for a better finish for both of these groups,” said St. Louis Scott Gallagher (Mo.) coach Pat Barry of the club’s two champion teams.
On Saturday, 36 of the top players born in 1999 from around the league gathered for training as the league hosted a PDP. The players participated in technical training and high-quality 11v11 games. The coaching staff for the PDP included Mike Litvack (FC 1974) and Derrick Clanton (Eclipse Select).
Also at the PDP was U.S. Soccer Technical Advisor Tim Regan, who was in attendance to scout players for potential inclusion in future U.S. National Team Camps.
“This group in particular is the age group for our upcoming U-15 Boys National Team pool and throughout the course of the next 12 months, we will be bringing in 1999s to National Team Camps to view them,” said Regan. “Before we bring them in, we scout them and events like this are a good way for us to see a different pool of kids that we don’t see on a normal basis.”
US Club Soccer’s Player Development Programs (PDPs) are regionally-based identification and developmental programs conducted within the id2 Program umbrella and centered around the National Premier Leagues in specific geographic areas.
ABOUT THE NATIONAL PREMIER LEAGUES:
US Club Soccer’s National Premier Leagues have been created to provide a national competitive developmental 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;
using international rules of competition;
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.