Inaugural ECNL Regular Season Concludes

CHARLESTON, S.C. (June 7, 2010) – The final of five ECNL regular-season events has concluded as part of the PDA College Showcase in Zarephath, N.J., held May 29-31 at the PDA Soccer Facility.

Standings are now set in advance of the inaugural ECNL National Championship, slated for July 15-18 at 60 Acres Soccer Complex in Seattle. All 120 teams from the 40 member clubs will compete for individual age group championship, an overall club national championship as well as promotion and relegation.

As the host club for this event, PDA established itself as one of the favorites for the overall club national championship with both their U-16 and U-17 Challenge A teams finishing in the top four teams in their divisions to qualify for the championship group in Seattle. As a club, PDA went 8-0-1 during its home event and claimed a league-high four players on the ECNL All-Event team.

“The PDA Showcase was an unbelievable end to our regular season,” said Doug Bracken, ECNL Vice President. “So many games had meaning and you could see the players giving everything. It made for one of the best atmospheres I have seen in girls’ youth soccer.”

Joining PDA as a favorite for the club national championship will be FC Stars of Mass, which also has two entrants in the championship groups.  Reflecting the overall quality of the ECNL, only one team in all three age groups has the chance to complete a perfect season as Dallas Sting completed the regular season with a perfect 9-0-0 record in U-15 Challenge A play.

For the ECNL National Championship, multiple four-team playoff groups will be established in each flight based on the final regular-season standings. The top four teams in each age group in the Challenge A flight will compete for the ECNL National Championship. The bottom four teams in the Challenge A flight will compete in a relegation playoff in which the winning team will remain in the Challenge A division for the next season and the remaining three teams will be relegated to the Challenge B flight.  Similarly, the top four teams in the Challenge B division will compete for the promotion playoff in which the top three teams will be promoted to the Challenge A flight in the next season.  Finally, an overall club champion will be crowned based on the final standings in all three ECNL age groups.

“We are really looking forward to the ECNL National Championship in Seattle,” said ECNL President Christian Lavers. “It will be the first event of its kind – bringing 40 of the best female clubs in the country, with more than 2000 of the best female soccer players in the country, into one exceptional competition. This has been our dream since the beginning, and it should be a very special and valuable event for the players.”

About the ECNL:
The ECNL is a non-profit national youth soccer league founded in 2009 to provide the best possible developmental environment for American female youth soccer players through the creation of the highest level of national competition and an identification and development program to provide an avenue for players to participate in U.S. Soccer’s National Teams. The 2009-10 season is the ECNL’s inaugural season. Each of the 40 member clubs in 2009-10 will have a team in the U-15, U-16 and U-17 age groups, each competing for the ECNL National Championship, the ECNL National Club Championship, and promotion and relegation between flights. The ECNL is sanctioned by US Club Soccer.

About US Club Soccer:
US Club Soccer is a non-profit organization whose mission is to develop competitive club soccer in the United States. A member of the United States Soccer Federation since July 2001, US Club Soccer has grown to include member clubs and leagues in all 50 states. In addition to sanctioning and administering tournaments, leagues and other competitions as well as offering a range of programs for its members, US Club Soccer annually conducts the National Cup and the National Collegiate Showcase. US Club Soccer also directs its own player identification and development program – id2.