RICHMOND, VA (June 28, 2021) – The ECNL Girls is excited to announce the continued expansion of the ECNL Girls Regional League platform into the 2021-22 season with the addition of the ECNL Regional League – NorCal, to be operated in conjunction with long-standing US Club Soccer league NorCal Premier Soccer.
The ECNL Regional League – NorCal will provide a clear pathway for any team in NorCal Premier Soccer to earn their way into the ECNL Regional League competition. Each fall, the top teams in each of NorCal Premier Soccer’s geographically-based NPL divisions, from U14 – U18/19, will compete to qualify for the spring ECNL Regional League – NorCal. Based on these results, each spring, the top teams in each age group will compete in the ECNL Regional League – NorCal for the league championship and for qualification into the postseason ECNL Regional League Championship Event – California. At U15, U16 and U17 age levels, they will also ultimately compete for participation in the Open Cup at the ECNL National Playoffs.
“We are thrilled to announce this new Regional League in the talent-rich region of Northern California, and together with NorCal Premier Soccer, to be able to provide a clear pathway for any team in NorCal to qualify into the competition,” said ECNL Girls Commissioner Jen Winnagle. “This pathway, and the support of NorCal, will make the league one of the top Regional Leagues in the country, and provide great opportunities for players, teams, and clubs to develop and compete against the best in America.”
“Our goal has always been to provide regionally-based competition for our clubs, using promotion and relegation in U14s and older, to ensure teams are playing at the appropriate and earned level of play,” said NorCal Premier Soccer President Ben Ziemer. “With this step, future expansion of the ECNL Girls National Division in Northern California will come from the proving ground of the ECNL Regional League – NorCal. This opportunity provides our NPL clubs a chance to prove their teams belong at the ECNL Girls Club Competition level by demonstrating their competitive level on the field.”
In recent years, the number of high school aged soccer players has reached an all-time high, fueling the pool of talent. The ECNL Regional Leagues are designed to support exceptional player and team development.
The ECNL Girls Regional League will include 14 leagues, with more than 1,000 teams across the United States in the 2021-2022 season. Teams in the ECNL Girls Regional League platform will be eligible to participate in regular season ECNL Regional League National Showcase events, and have a postseason pathway to the ECNL Open Cup at core recruiting age groups. The ECNL Regional Leagues provide players and teams the opportunity to develop, compete, and be showcased every year, and provide clubs a proving ground for consideration for participation in ECNL Club Competition in the future.
About NorCal Premier Soccer:
A California Nonprofit Benefit Corporation, NorCal Premier Soccer is the leading organization for developing players, clubs, coaches and referees in the passionate soccer region that is Northern California. Through a membership of more than 250 different clubs, NorCal Premier Soccer aims to assist both the development of member clubs and the overall soccer environment in Northern California, by providing an unmatched level of quality programs in youth soccer, including year-round competition, NorCal State Cup, a free Player Development Program, and heavily subsidized coach, referee, and club education programs.
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.