ECNL Member Club Sends Two Coaches to Military World Games


TAMPA, FL (September 21, 2015) – Two West Florida Flames ECNL coaches were recently selected to the coaching staff of the 2015 U.S. Armed Forces Women’s Soccer team – West Florida Flames ECNL U18 Head Coach, Dale Buterbaugh and ECNL Director Jorge “Yoyo” Zavala.  Buterbaugh was named the Head Coach of the U.S. Armed Forces Soccer Team and Zavala will serve as his assistant.

The U.S. Armed Forces Women’s Soccer Team qualified for the 6th Conseil International du Sport Militaire (CISM) Military World Games, the largest military event in the world, taking place October 2-11 in Mungyeong, Korea. The Military World Games has some of the greatest military athletes from around the world representing their countries and their militaries. Rosters can often mirror a country’s National Team/FIFA Women’s World Cup rosters.

Buterbaugh, who was previously the assistant for the U.S. Armed Forces team, was on active duty for 21 years and served as an Air Force sergeant before retiring in 2011.

In addition, the West Florida Flames are hosting training at their facilities, the J.C. Handly Sports Complex in Brandon, FL. The J.C. Handly Sports Complex is close to the MacDill Airforce Base, providing the team with regulation-size fields to train on, as well as access to the West Florida Flames Performance Facility.

The location and amenities are ideal.  “The area offers a variety of options to compete against high-caliber teams, both collegiate and youth clubs, to ready the team for play.” said Buterbaugh.  “It brings together my home, the military, my soccer club, women’s soccer, and the local soccer community.”

The players arrived on September 13, and come from all branches of the armed forces and different soccer backgrounds. To be eligible to be selected for the player pool, players must be on active duty or in the reserves within a U.S. Military branch, Army, Marine Corps, Navy, Air Force, or Coast Guard. Since the players arrived September 13, each woman is competing for one of 20 roster spots with one additional match delegate spot.  On September 21, the US named Team USA’s roster, a similar process to the U.S. Women’s National Team preparation for the 2015 FIFA Women’s World Cup. The coaches and players will leave on September 30 for Korea.

“At West Florida Flames, we have had several girls continue their soccer careers through playing collegiately at one of the military academies,” said Zavala. “It is an honor to represent our alums in the Military Games, and provides an opportunity for our current youth players that may follow a similar path.”

The West Florida Flames ECNL U17 and U18 teams scrimmaged the U.S. Armed Forces team, helping to prepare them for the World Games. Wednesday, September 23, the Orlando City ECNL U18 team, a Southeast Conference rival, will travel to play them as well.

For more information, visit the 6th CISM World Games Korea Facebook page, the United States Armed Forces Sports Facebook page, Twitter (@USMilitarySport), or with #2015USACISM, #armedforcessports, #2015MilGames.

The West Florida Flames will give game updates throughout the World Games, October 2-11, using their Twitter handle: @WFFlames_ECNL.

The ECNL is pleased to have a member club involved with the U.S. Armed Forces team competing in the Military World Games in Korea, and looks forward to following the journey of the #AmazingYoungWomen representing our country.

Final Roster for the 2015 Military Games:

Player Name University ECNL Member Club
Alyson Gleason Stanford University San Juan SC
Jennifer Grijalva US Naval Academy
Morgan Dankanvich US Naval Academy Continental FC (FC Delco)
Rachel Hunter US Naval Academy CASL
Kate Herren US Naval Academy
Kristen Laraway US Naval Academy
Molly McGuigan US Military Academy
Stephanie Strine US Naval Academy
Sophia Lockerby US Air Force Academy
Krystin Cooper US Air Force Academy
Meagan Capra US Air Force Academy
Stephanie Patterson US Air Force Academy
Leah Bratt US Air Force Academy
Kelly Stambaugh US Air Forece Academy
Kelly Lauvert US Air Force Academy
Karen Mutcher Charleston Southern University
Harley Spier University of Utah Utah Avalanche
Bridgett Castro US Air Force Academy
Susan Finch US Air Force Academy
Celine Ziobro Virginia Military Institute
Caprice Kelty US Naval Academy Maryland United
Michelle Lauren Moeller US Naval Academy Ohio Elite

Photos courtesy of


About the Elite Clubs National League: The Elite Clubs National League (ECNL) was founded in 2009 to enhance the developmental experience of female youth soccer players in the United States through: (i) Improving the competitive environment through creation of a true national competitive league; (ii) Improving the process for identifying elite female soccer players for the U.S. Soccer youth national teams through a systematic scouting and identification program based on national competitions; and (iii) improving the daily training environment at top female youth soccer clubs through developing best practices and training and organizational guidelines for its member clubs.  The ECNL is sanctioned by US Club Soccer and is sponsored by Nike Soccer.   |   Facebook:  /theECNL |  Twitter: @theECNL