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Match Fit Academy FC declines Girls’ DA invite, sticks with ECNL

Match Fit Academy FC has announced its decision to decline an invitation to join the U.S. Soccer Girls’ Development Academy for the inaugural season, opting to keep its top teams in the ECNL for the time being.

Match Fit was originally announced as one of the 28 clubs in the second batch of founding Girls’ DA members back in July, but today released a letter expressing the club’s continued commitment to the ECNL, along with concerns about the Development Academy.

+Read: Girls’ DA adds four clubs, announces Regional Divisions

See below for the full letter, penned by Match Fit ECNL Director Jordan Raper, Girls Director of Coaching & Player Development Dominick Bucci and the rest of the club’s executive leadership.

“After much consideration, Match Fit Academy FC has decided to decline our invitation into the U.S. Girls Development Academy for the 2016/2017 season.

The MFAFC ownership and staff feel that the Elite Clubs National League (ECNL) has provided our players with a league that is the best female youth league in the world. The ECNL has provided the structure, competition and showcase events that allow our players to develop into collegiate level athletes. In addition, our ECNL Conference created the Northeast National Premier League which has been a tremendous platform for our players striving to play in the ECNL. Our current structure enables us to continue to develop elite level players in the clearest and most efficient way. In the last 6 years the ECNL/NE NPL Leagues have helped us graduate over 45 players per year, that have gone on to play at the best colleges in the country.

After discussing our current structure and future plans, at length, we feel that it would be very difficult for our club, or any club for that matter, to have the resources to compete in both leagues at the highest level. In addition there would be a continual internal conflict within the club about where players should be playing. At some point one league would ultimately become secondary within the club and we feel this isn’t fair to either league, our players or our coaching staff.

In making our decision, these are the major factors we considered;

1. Condensing our ECNL teams from 6 to 3 DA teams, and then not having a quality league to provide for the remaining players, would hurt our club.
2. The DA saturated the North East by adding too many clubs. Not only does this hurt our player pool it additionally diluted the standard of the DA.
3. We feel our players should have a choice the choice play high school soccer and other HS sports. The DA would not allow this.
4. The ECNL is the best platform available to our players so we see no reason to change. The ECNL provides the best structure, competition, and showcases possible.
5. Our end goal is to provide the best training and playing environment for ALL of our players and to make sure we help them get into the best colleges in the country. Our current ECNL/NPL structure is the best platform for us to do this.

Thank you for your continued support of MFAFC,
Dominick Bucci – Girls Director of Coaching & Player Development
Jordan Raper – Girls ECNL Director
MFAFC Executive Leadership”