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Youth Girls Aug 09, 2023

Development Player League (DPL) 2022-23 Season in Review

Published in Partnership with the DPL
By Sean Maslin

The youth soccer landscape continues to grow in the United States and one of the rising organizations cutting through the ranks is the Development Player League (DPL). Just finishing their 2022-2023 season, the DPL has become one of the most prominent girls soccer leagues in a short period of time.

“The DPL cemented its place in the Girls Club vs Club Landscape this season and we moved the league forward together, implementing a program for individual players and coaches to perform and grow,” said DPL President Barry Ritson.

Part of that growth were the addition of programs for both players and coaches aimed at helping all parties develop within the game. For players, the league alongside their partners at PUMA launched the DPL Perform Program , created for the top players in the league to continue their training and development at a higher level. The group of players, ages 13-17, will be traveling in teams over to the United Kingdom in November 2023.

Coaching development was also at the top of the DPL’s goals and initiatives at the start of  the season. Through their Coach Mentorship Program with MiMentor, eight coaches earned their first DPL Mentor Diploma. The league also offers free educational resources and courses to all of their coaches through the DPL Portal.

“The quality of players, teams, clubs and coaches continues to rise and the standards of the league are comparable to any other league in the country,” said Ritson. “We saw a dramatic increase in college attendance at events which gives our players an opportunity to be seen. The 2022/23 season was highly memorable as the league was purposeful in our growth. Looking into the future, it’s as bright as ever with the DPL.”

Included in that bright future is a strategic alliance with the Girls Academy. While the two entities will remain separate in terms of branding, financial, memberships, and event invitation they are building a working relationship to explore future opportunities. The DPL is also working with the Nebraska League Alliance to offer local, regional, and national opportunities for teams starting in August.

Below are some of the top results from the DPL during the 2022-2023 season.

U13 (2010)

In a tight defensive battle, New England Surf State Navy narrowly downed Sunrise Soccer Club Sting 1-0 to become champions. New England conceded just two goals over the course of six matches during the playoffs, including three shutouts in the Group Stage. In the semifinals, they came across a difficult Rhode Island Surf Elite team, but held their own earning the 4-2 win and a spot in the Super Group Finals. New England’s dominant playoff run ended a tremendous 2022-2023 campaign which saw them finish the Northeast Conference with a 16-2-1 record on 49 points.

Although they came up just short in the finals, Sunrise had a strong 2022-2023 season which saw them finish first in the Florida Conference (13-0-0, 39 points). Their stout defensive unit did not allow a single goal in conference play all season and during the playoffs they continued to be a thorn in attacker’s sides. In Group C, they outscored their opponents 17-3 while winning all three of their matches. While they did concede four against Triangle United in the semifinals, their attack picked up the slack netting seven against the reigning Southeast Division Conference champions to book their spot in the finals.

In the third place match, Triangle’s attack was still on point earning the 2-1 win over Rhode Island. Triangle’s 77 goals were the most among all U13 sides during league play this season. In the Group Stage of this year’s playoffs though they had to rely a bit more on their defense. They opened up play with two wins (2-1 over ASPSC Pinecrest Premier and 3-2 over SUMMIT Champion Liverpool IA SoCal while dropping the third match to NEFC .

As for Rhode Island, their Group Stage play was a little less bumpy, winning all three games by a combined score of 14-6. The New England-based team had a solid season in the Northeast Conference, finishing with a 14-4-1 record on 43 points.

U14 (2009)

In a see-saw battle in the U14 Super Group Division, Sunrise Soccer Club Sting held on 3-2 over Rhode Island Surf to earn first place honors. It wasn’t easy for Sunrise, who had to constantly battle throughout the playoffs to even make it to the Finals. In the Group Stage, they finished in first with a 3-0-0 record on a Goal Differential of +8. In the semifinals, they edged Florida Hawks Futbol Club 3-2 to make it into the final match. Their championship run capped a 2022-2023 season which saw them go undefeated in Florida Conference play (13-0-0, 39 points).

Rhode Island Surf finished in second, after having finished Northeast Conference play with a 12-3-2 record on 38 points. During the regular season, Rhode Island scored 50 goals, which was the most in the Northeast Conference. They continued their prolific scoring in the playoffs, outscoring their Group A opponents 11-3. In the semifinals, they  dispatched Arizona Soccer Club Gwinnett 4-0.

In the third place game, Arizona came back after a tough result to defeat  Florida Hawks 3-2. The Mountain West Conference Champions (14-0-0, 42 points) had a tough Group Stage but did enough to book their spot in the knockout stage (7-1 win over NEFC, 1-1 against Ginga FC, and 1-1 against Santa Barbara Soccer Club Central Coast Academy).

Florida earned their spot in the knockout stage by winning Group C (2-1-0, 6 points), including a 4-1 victory over So Cal Elite FC in their finale. A strong attacking side, Florida scored 96 goals during the regular season to help them to an 11-2-0 record on 33 points.

U15 (2008)

It has been said that defense wins championships and if New England Surf’s performance in the DPL Super Group Division is any indication, it appears to be true. The champions of the Northeast Conference earned their fourth clean sheet in the finals, defeating Charlotte Soccer Academy 1-0.  In the regular season, the New England allowed just three goals all season to go alongside their undefeated record (7-0-0, 21 points). In the semifinals, they downed Monterey Surf 6-0.

CSA also had a strong run to the finals, going undefeated in Group A (2-0-1, 7 points) and then defeating City SC San Diego 4-2 in the semifinals. In Southeast Conference play, CSA made an Invincible-esque run through opponents going 16-0-0 while holding a Goal Differential of +70.

Monterey exacted a bit of revenge on City SC in the Third Place game, earning the 1-0 result. They won all three of their matches in Group B play (3-0-0, 9 points), allowing just two goals. Strong defensive work was their calling card all season, conceding just two goals in the NorCal Conference the lowest among all teams.

City SC were also one of the stronger defensive units in the U-15 age division. In Southwest Conference play, the California-based team allowed just nine goals all season, second lowest in the Conference. They followed that up with a tight defensive performance in the playoffs, earning three clean sheets in Group D action.

U16 (2007)

Sunrise SC Sting earned top honors in the U16 age division, defeating New England Surf 1-0 in the finals. The Florida Conference Champions (16-0-0, 48 points) went undefeated in league play during the regular season with a balance of dominant attacking play (67 goals scored) and stingy defensive work (4 goals allowed). They featured a little bit of both in the Super Group Playoffs, winning all three of their Group B matches by a combined score 13-5. In the semifinals, they knocked off La Roca Academy FC 4-1.

Although they were held at bay by Sunrise, New England’s attack was on point all season helping the team reach the final match. In Northeast Conference play, Surf outscored their opponents 35-0 to earn a perfect record (7-0-0, 21 points). They continued their flawless run into the playoffs where they won all three of their Group A matches, scoring thirteen goals while conceding just once. In the semifinals, they defeated Lou Fusz Athletic Blue Star Premier  5-1 to make it to the finals.

In the third place match, La Roca left little doubt as to who would come out on top, defeating Lou Fusz 5-0. The win capped off an exceptional season for the California-based team, who finished first in the Mountain West Conference (9-2-2, 29 points). Lou Fusz meanwhile can hang their hats on having won the Frontier Conference (10-1-1, 31 points) while having allowed just five goals in league play.

U17 (2006)

NEFC finished atop the U17 Age Division with a solid 1-0 win over CT Rush Select . The team earned three clean sheets during the playoffs (1-0 over Liverpool FC IA in the Group Stage and 1-0 over San Diego Force Ocampo in the Semifinals) continuing their impressive defensive work that has become a calling card of the team. In Northeast Conference play this season, NEFC allowed just seven goals to help them to a 6-1-1 record on 19 points.

The CT Rush attack was on point all season and propelled the side to a second place showing in the Super Group playoffs. In Northeast Conference play, they scored 29 goals which was the most among all teams and helped them earn a 7-1-0 record on 21 points. In the playoffs, their high scoring attacked scored 15 goals in Group D and put four past a strong West Coast FC in the semifinals.

West Coast found their scoring stroke in the Third Place game, defeating SD Force 3-0 to end their season on a high note against one of their top rivals. Both sides finished near the top of the Southwest Conference standings (11-2-2, 35 points for SD and 10-3-2, 32 points for West Coast), with Force just coming out ahead. However, West Coast held the advantage in the head-to-head winning both matches in the DPL regular and post season.

U19 (2005/2004)

Charlotte Development Academy’s 05/04s ended their youth club soccer careers on a high note, defeating City SC 4-3 in the finals to become Champions. The Southeast Conference Champions ended the season with a perfect record having gone through league play without having dropped a single point in league play (16-0-0, 48 points) and during their run through the playoffs (3-0-0 in the Group Stage and 3-1 win over Boulder County United in the Semifinals).

City SC gave it their all against a tough Charlotte team and ended the season as one of the top teams in the age group. In the U19 Southwest Conference they scored 100 goals en route to an undefeated (13-0-2, 41 points) in league play. In the playoffs, they marched through Group A with three wins and 15 goals scored and then defeated Timbers-Thorns North FC 2-1 to make it to the finals.

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