CHARLESTON, S.C. (Via US Club Soccer) – With the previous announcement of the ENPL qualifying leagues in the Southeast and the Northeast, the ENPL has now announced the qualifying National Premier Leagues and the qualifying Boys ECNL Midwest Conference for the 2017-18 season in the Midwest.
Qualifying 14-U to 19-U boys teams from the Midwest Developmental League, the Northern Illinois Soccer League (NISL) and the Boys ECNL Midwest Conference will advance to the ENPL Playoffs in June 2018. These teams will earn qualification to the ENPL Playoffs based on their performances throughout the regular season in their respective competitions.
By providing qualification paths for both team-based and club-based competitions, the ENPL will feature the best boys players in US Club Soccer. The regular season competition within each NPL and Boys ECNL Conference are unique and independently structured; however, all teams will be focusing on the same postseason destination: the ENPL Playoffs.
The Midwest Developmental League includes clubs from Kentucky, Illinois, Indiana, Michigan, Minnesota, Ohio, Pennsylvania and Wisconsin, including one that claimed a 2016 NPL Finals championship. The club-based league has been in existence since 2012, providing regional competition for top clubs throughout the Midwest. Member clubs for 2017-18 will include: Beadling SC (PA), Campton United (IL), Cincinnati United (OH), Columbus Crew (OH), Derby City Rovers (KY), Indy Premier (IN), Internationals (OH), Madison 56ers (WI), Minnesota Thunder (MN), Minnesota Twinstars (MN), Nationals (MI) and Sockers FC (IL).
“As one of the founding member leagues of the NPL, clubs in the Midwest Developmental League bring experience and a championship pedigree to the ENPL,” said Leo Garcia, NPL General Manager. “Midwest Developmental League clubs are perennial national title contenders in the NPL, and now the ENPL offers an additional challenge.”
The NISL was founded in 1975 and has become one of the largest and most competitive youth soccer leagues in the United States with over 17,000 players on more than 1,300 teams throughout Chicago-land. The top division of the NISL is the Chicago NPL, of which top-performing teams will qualify for the ENPL Playoffs. A full list of NISL member clubs can be found here.
“The NISL is excited for the new ENPL playoff platform,” said Brendan Eitz, NISL Technical Director. “With Chicago-land being one of the major competitive market places in the country, the NISL looks forward to additional opportunities that the ENPL will provide for our clubs and organizations.”
The Boys ECNL Midwest Conference will include clubs from across the region who have distinguished themselves in a variety of different competitions in US Club Soccer and elsewhere over the past years, including: Vardar SC (MI), St. Louis Scott Gallagher – MO, St. Louis Scott Gallagher – IL, Pittsburgh Riverhounds (PA), Ohio Premier, Ohio Elite SA, Michigan Wolves, FC Wisconsin and FC Pride (IN).
Additional clubs are expected to be announced to these qualifying competitions in the coming weeks. Additional Boys ECNL Conferences and NPLs that will qualify into the ENPL will be announced in the coming weeks. The ENPL is a collaboration between US Club Soccer and the ECNL to raise standards in youth boys soccer across the country.