RICHMOND, VA (March 16, 2021) – The ECNL Girls is excited to announce the addition of Cleveland Force (OH), Kings Hammer (KY), and Midwest United FC (MI) for the upcoming 2021-22 season. The addition of Cleveland Force and Kings Hammer into the Ohio Valley Conference, and Midwest United into the Midwest Conference, will elevate the competition level within both conferences, while also creating a better overall structure. Since its inception, the ECNL has fostered the next generation of collegiate and professional athletes through a complete dedication to facilitating the comprehensive development of the best players, coaches and clubs in the country.
“We are thrilled to welcome Cleveland Force, Kings Hammer and Midwest United to the ECNL,” said ECNL Girls Commissioner Jen Winnagle. “These new additions will continue to add quality to both the Midwest and Ohio Valley Conferences, providing more top players and teams with the opportunity to compete in the ECNL platform.”
Along with the introduction of these three new clubs, ECNL Girls will also welcome the re-branded and restructured Liverpool FC Michigan to the Midwest Conference. Created through a merger between current ECNL club Vardar SC and Liverpool Michigan, part of the Liverpool International Academy system, the combined organization will have teams at all age levels in the ECNL.
Cleveland Force Soccer Club is Northern Ohio’s largest soccer program with more than 5,000 players, ages 2-19, made up of community affiliates, club affiliates, and full-time registered players. The organization provides soccer players an unparalleled club structure, focused on empowering intelligent, humble and hard-working boys and girls who approach goals with a positive outlook, both on and off the field. Cleveland Force develops and challenges players from start to finish by being the innovators in the evolution of soccer development through the integration of community clubs, premier clubs and the best competition available across the country.
“Cleveland Force Soccer Club is excited to become a new member of the ECNL Girls for the 2021-22 season,” said Rob Miller, Girls Director. “The strength of the ECNL in terms of the exposure, competition, club collaboration and educational opportunities are unmatched. Having the ability to compete against the very best clubs in the country will provide our players with a development path into college and beyond. A pathway that now includes the ECNL and the ECNL Regional League gives us the ability to develop and showcase future generations of the top talent in Northeast Ohio. We look forward to collaborating with all member clubs in a continued effort to raise the game both regionally and nationally.”
Kings Hammer’s mission is to positively impact the development of young people by providing soccer and educational opportunities to players of all ages and playing abilities and to create a lifelong passion for the sport of soccer. The club plays an active role in the leadership, development and personal growth of its athletes and staff by being an active member of the community through service, partnerships and programs. Kings Hammer’s ultimate goal as a club is to encourage, inspire and empower each player and coach to be able to reach the highest level possible within the game and their lives, while helping develop leaders and individuals who will inspire others to do the same.
“Kings Hammer is extremely excited to join the ECNL with our Academy girls program,” Chris Black, Kings Hammer Academy Girls Director. “The consistency and strength of the ECNL has made the league the top platform in the country for many years. The conference competition along with the national showcases will create a strong development environment and provide exceptional opportunities for Kings Hammer players. We look forward to competing against top clubs and coaches across the country in 2021-22.”
Midwest United FC
Grand Rapids, MI
Midwest United FC was established in 2015, though its roots trace back to elite soccer in Michigan since 1990. The club’s mission is to provide the players in Western Michigan a quality soccer program to promote the growth of, and appreciation for, the beautiful game. With more than 80 teams across all age groups, Midwest United FC continues to work diligently to ensure each player reaches their full potential and has been successful in doing so, with more than 500 alumni committing to collegiate soccer.
“We are very excited for the opportunity and can’t wait to get started in the ECNL this fall,” said Lewis Robinson, Midwest United Director of Coaching. “We can’t wait to see our players compete in the ECNL on the regional and national stage alongside the top clubs and players in the country. Thanks to all of our players, families, and staff for their continued support and work to create this opportunity and we’re really looking forward to getting to work in the fall!”
About the ECNL:
The ECNL is the nation’s leading youth soccer development platform. The ECNL respects and celebrates the unique individuality of every youth soccer player and club, supporting and enabling them to unleash their unfettered passion and fierce tenacity in striving to achieve their potential.
The ECNL mission to Raise the Game is a total commitment to create the best possible environment for players, coaches, referees and administrators, with a determination to constantly question convention and challenge the status quo in youth sports.
The ECNL Commitment:
We will lead, set our eyes on new horizons, and pursue them relentlessly. Born out of the belief in a better way. Continued in the ever-evolving pursuit of excellence.