2012-2013 US Youth Soccer National League set to open season in North Carolina
The schedule has been announced for the opening weekend of the 2012-2013 US Youth Soccer National League season when the boys gather Nov. 15-18 at Wilson Gillette Soccer Complex, Barton College and Fike High School in Wilson, N.C. National League Girls will kick off two weeks later, Nov. 29-Dec. 2. Games will be played in conjunction with the CASL Showcase, creating another significant opportunity for the nation’s collegiate, professional and national team coaches to see National League players in an environment of meaningful play.
The National League features the top 128 teams in the Under-15 through Under-18 Boys and Girls age groups. With 16 teams divided into two divisions per age group, each team has had to earn their place in the league through their success in US Youth Soccer Regional Leagues and National Championship Series play. Teams automatically qualify for the National League by finishing in the top two of their division the previous year, winning their respective Regional League or by winning their respective Regional Championship.
Beginning this season, the National League was awarded an additional two entries per age group to the US Youth Soccer National Championships, sending the top two finishers in each division of the Under-15, Under-16, Under-17 and Under-18 Boys and Girls to compete for the National title. The four National League representatives will join the four Regional Champions at the National Championships at Overland Park Soccer Complex in Overland Park, Kan., July 23-28.
In the month of October, eight National League players were called into U.S. National Team camps as teams prepare to start the 6th season of National League play. The teams competing in the league in 2012-2013 include:
- 3 National Champions
- 4 National Championship Finalists
- 5 National League Champions
- 11 Regional Champions
- 14 Regional Semifinalists
- 4 National Champions
- 3 National Championship Finalists
- 5 National League Champions
- 9 Regional Champions
- 18 Regional Semifinalists
“With each team earning their way into the league, the US Youth Soccer National League provides the most competitive environment possible with quality play and meaningful games,” said Paul Luchowski, National League commissioner. “In 2011-2012, every division of the league had to wait to be decided until the final weekend of play, proving the importance and meaning of each game. We also had 25 National League teams qualify for the US Youth Soccer National Championships and seven of eight titles were won by National League teams. This season, we have 31 teams competing in the league that qualified for last summer’s National Championships and we feel like 2012-2013 will be one of the most competitive seasons to date.”
The National League is an extension of the US Youth Soccer Regional Leagues (US Youth Soccer Region I Premier League, Midwest Regional League, Region III Premier League and Far West Regional League). The National League provides an avenue for teams to play in matches against top competition from across the country for continued development and opportunities for exposure at the national team, collegiate and professional levels.
Since its inception, National League teams have captured a combined 20 of 30 possible national championships. For a list of past National League champions and history, click here.
After the Boys and Girls opening weekends in North Carolina, the National League will continue the season in December alongside the Disney Soccer Showcase in Orlando, Fla., with the Boys playing Dec. 27-30 and the Girls Dec. 31-Jan 2.