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USYS Jul 23, 2019

US Youth Soccer League Championship inaugural members announced

Charlottesville, VA (July 23, 2019) – US Youth Soccer has recently announced that the Club Champions League (CCL), Long Island Junior Soccer League (LIJSL), National Capital Soccer League (NCSL), and the Northeast Soccer League (NSL) will be the first four leagues to compete for a direct pathway into the US Youth Soccer Eastern Regional Championships via the newly formed US Youth Soccer League Championship.

US Youth Soccer East Region General Manager, Dr. Greg Smith said, “The League Championship program creates an additional pathway into the Eastern Regional Championships while strengthening relationships with leagues and maintaining the structural integrity of existing programs, competitions and events offered by US Youth Soccer.” Dr. Smith went on to say, “The leagues that have been chosen to participate represent some of the very best, and there is a high level of excitement as the first season of this initiative begins and we look to further grow and improve together moving forward.”

Brian Kuk, CCL Executive Director added, “US Youth Soccer realizes that the youth soccer landscape has changed.  The decision that US Youth Soccer has made recognizes the value of quality league management and competitive regionalized league competition within states that can reward league champions [13-19s, boys and girls] to qualify directly into the Regional Championships.  The amount of time to travel, missing school, and the high cost of attending multiple competitions is done.  This is the future and we are excited to participate.”

The League Championship will commence with a Semifinal and Final playoff held over one weekend in June of each year, and in 2020, the playoff will be held in one of the four geographic regions selected by US Youth Soccer:  Virginia, Maryland, Massachusetts, or New York.  The playoff location will look to be rotated annually.

“Long Island Junior Soccer League applauds US Youth Soccer’s National and Regional management teams for recognizing the critical input of, and the need to support member leagues like LIJSL that have been essential to the foundation of USYS’s programming, platforms and overall pathway.  We are extremely excited to join like-minded partners such as CCL, NCSL and NSL as a founding league of the League Championship program.  The increased opportunities that the League Championship will provide to the top teams of our member clubs is very important to supporting our league’s short- and long-term objectives and goal,” stated LIJSL’s Director of Member Services, Steve Padaetz.

To qualify to advance to the Eastern Regional Championships from the League Championship, teams must participate in league play as well as their state association’s National Championship Series State Cup competition.

Ryan Rich, NCSL Executive Director stated, “NCSL is thrilled to be an inaugural member of the League Championship and partner with three other leagues committed to providing its member clubs with quality competition at a reasonable cost.  We are ready to get started and excited about offering this new pathway to our membership!”

US Youth Soccer’s initiative to launch the League Championship has four key pillars:  like-minded league leadership, competitive excellence, on-going collaboration between US Youth Soccer and the member leagues, and low costs.

“US Youth Soccer is the most storied and prestigious youth soccer organization in the country.  They provide levels of play for all soccer players.  We are excited to be the only league in New England to provide a pathway direct to the Regional Championships through the League Championship program.  We believe this is an incredible opportunity for the clubs in New England to have additional access to compete within the National Championship Series,” commented John Barata, NSL Executive Director.

The League Championship Playoff will be hosted by the Virginia Youth Soccer Association (VYSA), CCL, and NCSL on June 13-14, 2020 at the Publix Virginia Soccer Training Center (PVSTC) in Spotsylvania, Virginia.  Home to six Bermuda grass fields and three synthetic, lighted turf fields, the PVSTC is one of the East Region’s top venues.

“VYSA and the Publix Virginia Soccer Training Center (PVSTC) are proud to be able to host the inaugural League Championship in June of 2020.  PVSTC will provide some of the finest quality pitches on the East Coast for this exciting event,” stated Phil Summers, VYSA Executive Director.

“United States Youth Soccer would like to congratulate the four leagues that were chosen to be part of our pilot League Championship program for the 2019-20 season.   All four leagues have consistently shown a proud history of organization, competitive teams, and providing a vehicle for players to advance to the next level.   Besides the program providing an additional pathway into the NCS East Regional, it creates an opportunity to enhance both the leagues and US Youth programs and participation,” states Brad Roos, Chair of the League Championship Management Group.

The League Championship begins Fall 2019.