RICHMOND, VA (April 30, 2020) – The Elite Clubs National League Girls is excited to announce the addition of California Thorns and La Roca FC for the 2020-21 season, adding two top clubs into the Northwest Conference. The clubs will raise the competitive level of the league, and will help continue to make travel within the conference better for all clubs.

“We are excited to welcome the California Thorns and La Roca FC to the league. These clubs have excelled at raising the game for their players and are a significant add to the competition across the conference and the league,” said ECNL Girls Commissioner Jen Winnagle. “Welcoming these clubs into the ECNL is another meaningful step in unifying the pathway for elite players and teams across the United States.”

The California Thorns was established to create a platform, opportunity and identity for young female athletes in the De Anza organization, with the aim to support their growth into confident and capable young women full of desire and skill on and off the field.  “We are extremely excited for the opportunity to join the ECNL,” said Academy Director Paul Bravo.  “We believe this partnership aligns with our core values and gives our players the best opportunity to reach their potential on and off the field. We want to thank everyone at ECNL for the opportunity and look forward to forging a successful, long term partnership.” 

La Roca FC, headquartered at La Roca Park in South Weber Utah has 125 competitive teams and has won over 70 Utah Youth Soccer Association State Cup Championships.  In its 16 year history, more than 400 players have moved on to college soccer, dozens of players have been called into National Team Camps in both the United States and South America, and 13 players have gone on to play professionally in various leagues around the world including the MLS, USL, Liga MX, the Bundesliga and more. “We are excited to be part of the ECNL and we will do our best to represent our club and our state in the most professional way possible,” said Technical Director Adolfo Ovalle.

Nearly 90% of ECNL Girls alumni move on to play in college, overwhelmingly dominating the 2019 individual conference honors in the “Power 5” conferences. In total, over 1,100 ECNL Alums played this year in these five conferences, accounting for more than 62% of all rostered players in the Power 5.

Additional information on participating member clubs for the 2020-21 Season will be released in the coming weeks.


About Elite Clubs National League Girls: The Elite Clubs National League Girls (ECNL Girls) 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 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 Girls is sanctioned by US Club Soccer and is sponsored by Nike Soccer. 

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Media Contact:

Mary Conway