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Girls ECNL

ECNL Overview


MISSION: The Elite Clubs National League, Inc. (“ECNL”) was founded in 2009 to enhance the developmental experience of the female youth soccer players in the United States through:

  • Improving the competitive environment through creation of a true national competitive league with multiple flights;
  • 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
  • Improving the daily training environment at top female youth soccer clubs through developing best practices and training and organizational guidelines for its member clubs.

GOAL: The goal of the Elite Clubs National League is to change the landscape for elite female soccer players in the United States through innovative, player-centered programming and to enhance the overall experience by creating a better, more enjoyable, and more successful player, coach, and club development model.

IMPLEMENTATION: The ECNL is led by a Board of Directors elected by the member clubs. Day-to-day operations are managed by the ECNL Commissioner. The ECNL has four primary platforms:

ECNL Competition Platform

For a soccer player to have the best opportunity to play in college, they need to be seen on a playing platform where they can showcase their talents against the best female players in the country. College coaches around the country want to see the best teams/players playing meaningful games at the highest levels possible against other elite ECNL programs. By doing this, college coaches have the most accurate assessment of player performance, potential, and development. 

The ECNL operates the 6 of the biggest college showcase events in the country.  Each of these showcases attracts coaches from over 200 universities across the country - from every region, and from every level.  The only teams that play in these events are ECNL teams.  With this being said, the ECNL competition platform helps facilitate the best playing against the best, in the most prominent and prestigious environment in the country.

List of ECNL Showcase Events: Click Here
FC Pride ECNL Ohio Valley Conference Alignment 2020/21: Click Here

Player Identification Program

ECNL Player Identification
The ECNL Player Identification Program is intended to provide a better, more efficient, and streamlined process for identifying players with the potential to play with the US Soccer Youth National Teams, and to provide additional exposure and opportunity to top players across the ECNL. The ECNL Player ID Program identifies the top players in the ECNL and then provides opportunities for these players to be seen and trained by U.S. Soccer National Team staff.  The ECNL Player ID Program was created under 4 key principles:

  • Players should be scouted and evaluated in their regular environment.
  • There should be no additional cost to players for scouting and identification.
  • To insure accurate evaluations, multiple people should evaluate players over multiple events.
  • To insure accurate evaluations, the coaches that train and develop the identified players should be consulted as the best source of information regarding overall ability, mentality, and current form.

By scouting players in their regular team environment, while they are competing against the best players in the country, the ECNL Player ID Program increases opportunities for identified players at no additional cost to the players. The program also does not add congestion to the player calendar by requiring multiple levels of “try-outs” and other competitions to identify players.

ECNL scouts are assigned to observe and analyze ECNL games at each ECNL National Showcase Event. A standardized evaluation program has been established by the ECNL for these scouts whereby identified players will be evaluated on a variety of technical, tactical, physical, and psychological characteristics based upon their performances.  ECNL scouts include coaches from member clubs of the ECNL, independent coaches, coaches with experience with US Soccer Youth National Teams, and coaches from top Division I, II, and III colleges.

Player Development Program (PDP) 
The ECNL Player Development Program is in conjunction with US Club Soccer’s  id2 Player Development Program (‘ECNL PDP’).  The ECNL PDP events provide an opportunity for the top players within every ECNL conference to play with and against the best players within their region at multiple age groups, and to attend presentations from leading coaches or experts in elite athlete development. The ECNL PDPs are created with three primary goals:

(i) Identify the top players within each ECNL conference at multiple age groups;
(ii) Provide a developmental experience; and
(iii) Recognize and reward individual performance and achievement.

In 2016-2017, there will be eleven such programs taking place across the country, with every ECNL Club assigned to one either based upon their conference or their geographic location. The ECNL PDPs will bring together the top 60 players within the conference or geographic region for a weekend of training, competition, and education. Each ECNL PDP will include approximately 60 players: 30 from the 1998/1999 age groups, and 30 from the 2000/2001 age groups.

Players are selected for the ECNL PDPs based on their performance in ECNL competitions and recommendations from coaches. Each ECNL PDP will occur over two days and will include three training sessions/matches and a presentation for the players. All players will receive Nike training gear.  The ECNL will be covering the costs of participation in the ECNL PDP, excluding travel costs for participating players.

Based upon their performance in ECNL competitions and in the ECNL PDPs over the course of the year, players may be invited to participate in the 2017 ECNL National Training Camp.

The ECNL / id2 National Training Camp
Held annually and becoming the most elite girls identification event in the country, approximately 90 of the nation’s top female youth soccer players are invited for one weekend to participate in training and competition.

The ECNL/ id2 National Camp is free of charge for the players; the ECNL and Nike Soccer cover all of the costs associated with the camp, including hotel and ground transportation, meals, coaching, facilities, and equipment. The only cost for players is transportation to and from the camp. During the camp, the players have the opportunity to compete in front of top colleges from around the nation, are trained by some of the top youth coaches in the country, and learn from a series of off-field presentations from experts.

FC Pride ECNL Teams for 2020/2021

ECNL Teams
FC Pride U13 ECNL (2008)
FC Pride U14 ECNL (2007)
FC Pride U15 ECNL (2006)
FC Pride U16 ECNL (2005)
FC Pride U17 ECNL (2004)
FC Pride U18/U19 ECNL (2002/2003)

ECNL Regional League Teams
FC Pride U13 ECNL Regional League (2008)
FC Pride U14 ECNL Regional League (2007)
FC Pride U15 ECNL Regional League (2006)
FC Pride U16 ECNL Regional League (2005)
FC Pride U17 ECNL Regional League (2004)
FC Pride U18/U19 ECNL Composite (2002/2003)