RICHMOND, VA (Via ECNL) – Maryland SoccerPlex in Germantown, MD will be the site of the 2016 U15-U17 ECNL National Final Four July 8-9, 2016. This is the first ECNL National Event in the Maryland area, and the first time a Final Four post-season structure has been used by the ECNL.
“We are excited to hold the 2016 ECNL Final Four at the Maryland SoccerPlex.” said Jen Woodie, Acting Commissioner of ECNL. “ECNL teams battle every game of the regular season to qualify for the ECNL Champions League, and changing the final stage of the post-season to a Final Four structure for U15-U17 this year should add even more excitement.”
ECNL teams qualifying for the Final Four will receive complimentary hotel rooms and a travel subsidy from the ECNL to attend the event as the league continues its efforts to reduce costs of elite competition. Teams will qualify for the Final Four by winning their play-off group and a quarter-final matchup at the U15-U17 ECNL Champions League Play-Offs in Oceanside, CA June 24-28. The ECNL North American Cup will also be contested in Oceanside in June.
While the U15-U17 ECNL National Champions will be crowned in Maryland, the U14 and U18 ECNL National Champions will be crowned June 23-28 in Oceanside, CA at the ECNL Play-Offs. The difference in competition format is to provide U18s with a longer break prior to entering college soccer, and to provide U14s with a longer off-season prior to entering the senior age groups of ECNL competition.
The road to the ECNL post-season is the most challenging competition for elite female players in the world, with the best teams in American soccer competing in the top youth female league in the world for the ECNL National Championship.