RICHMOND, VA (August 10, 2021) – The ECNL announced today San Diego Surf as the first-ever ECNL Boys Overall Club Champion. This honor is awarded to the club that has earned the highest point totals from regular-season Conference titles, advancement into the ECNL National Playoffs and Finals, and overall success in these Postseason events. Achieving this recognition is no small feat, requiring consistent excellence across all age groups throughout the 2020-21 season.
“We are very proud to be named the ECNL Boys Overall Club Champion,” said Benoit David, San Diego Surf Academy Director. “It’s a very different type of emotion to receive an award of this nature. Our consistency across all age groups is something that, for me personally, I am very proud of. The league is very strong in the Southwest Conference and after seeing the level of competition at the ECNL Playoffs and Finals, with very competitive clubs and teams from across the country, earning this award makes me very proud for all of us involved at San Diego Surf.”
Common philosophy has helped shape Surf into the club it is today. The entire Surf staff implements training sessions with aligned philosophies that center around hard work, togetherness, respect for teammates and respect for opponents. Everything is funneled toward achieving greatness together, as a single, cohesive team. With this alignment, Surf was able to find greatness across all age groups to bring home the first-ever ECNL Boys overall club championship.
“The plan started six years ago with Josh Henderson and Cody Worden coming to the club and putting their vision into work,” David said. “We have and have had amazing people in our administrative staff who work around the clock to help us with all logistics. Our coaching staff has always had a culture of togetherness, whether that be on the field with our passion for the game or in regards to our model of play and teaching philosophy.”
To capture this award, Surf finished atop the Southwest Conference in three of six age groups (U13, U16, U18/19), along with two second-place finishes (U14 and U17) and one third-place finish (U15). The club posted an overall record of 73-8-8, a .820 win percentage and 2.46 points per game across all age groups. That regular-season success saw the club qualify a team to the ECNL Boys National Playoffs in five of the six age groups.
At the ECNL Boys National Playoffs, San Diego Surf finished runners-up to Charlotte Independence at the U18/19 level, while also advancing two teams to the ECNL Boys National Finals. The U16 team fell in the semifinals in St. Louis to the eventual champions, Dallas Texans Academy, while the U17 team also finished as runners-up to Eclipse Select SC.
Finishing second in the Overall Club Championship was Dallas Texans. Dallas Texans placed first in the North Division of the Texas Conference in three age groups, including one Texas Conference regular-season title at the U13 level. The club won the U16 National Championship, defeating CESA in the title game, and had two teams in the national event in St. Louis last month.
Eclipse Select won the U17 National Championship, finished atop their division in four age groups, and won two overall Midwest Conference titles en route to third in the overall club rankings. CESA earned the club’s first national championship ever, lifting a trophy at the U15 level, and finished runners-up at the U16 level where they fell to Dallas Texans Academy, which put the team in fourth place. And rounding out the top five is Crossfire Premier, who won the U14 National Championship along with four regular-season Northwest Conference titles.
“Congratulations to San Diego Surf for winning the ECNL Boys’ first-ever Overall Club Championship,” said Jason Kutney, ECNL Boys Commissioner. “Josh Henderson, Benoit David, Bobby Reiss and the rest of San Diego Surf have put in considerable work at the club, and it’s the tenacity of great leaders that in turn creates the tenacity in their players. The ECNL is filled with exceptional talent and teams, and Surf was able to rise to the top of that list this year. Achieving greatness across an organization, especially during such an extraordinary season, is a feat to be celebrated and respected.”
Below are the Top 25 clubs. Congratulations to all the clubs who made this list, including Utah Avalanche, Crossfire Premier, CESA, Dallas Texans, Eclipse Select and Charlotte Independence Pro, who won the ECNL’s first-ever national championships.
2020-21 Top 25 Clubs
- San Diego Surf
- Dallas Texans
- Eclipse Select
- Crossfire Premier
- NCFC Youth Academy
- Charlotte Independence Pro
- Charlotte SA Academy
- Louisville City
- FC Dallas
- Pipeline SC
- San Diego SC
- Albion Hurricanes FC
- Florida Premier
- Richmond United
- Houston Dynamo Youth
- Arlington Soccer
- NTH-NASA (T)
- Utah Avalanche (T)
- Lonestar SC South
- Florida Kraze
- Ohio Premier
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.