ECNL 2012-13 season gets underway over Labor Day weekend
By Jimmy LaRoue
The Elite Clubs National League’s 2012-2013 season begins for five Southeast Conference teams over the Labor Day weekend, with most of the other teams beginning play the following weekend.
Orlando City and VSI West Florida Flames, two of the seven new clubs to be added to the ECNL earlier this year, will play three matches on three straight days beginning Saturday, while Birmingham United, Concorde Fire and Gwinnett Soccer Association will play twice each.
Orlando City’s U-14s tuned up last week by playing in the Disney Preseason Tournament, reaching the final, while the U-16s won the tournament.
“This was a great opportunity for our girls to prepare for future ECNL events,” coach Hue Menzies told the club’s website. “Our girls have a solid base to grow from and will continue to improve throughout the season in order to showcase our young talent.”
With a few new teams in the mix, conference structures have changed.
In the Southeast Conference, new teams Orlando City and VSI West FL Flames (Brandon) have entered the mix, while Virginia Rush has left and will play in the Mid-Atlantic Conference this season.
In the Mid-Atlantic Conference, along with Rush as newcomers, it will still be a 10-team group, but the teams have changed. The other newcomers to the conference are Internationals, a new ECNL club this season, and Carmel United, which played in the Midwest Conference last season. The three Pennsylvania clubs, FC DELCO, FC Bucks and Penn Fusion SA, will play in the Northeast Conference.
The Northeast Conference includes the three Pennsylvania teams, but will otherwise be unchanged from a year ago.
In the Midwest Conference, it drops from 10 to nine clubs, with Blue Valley Soccer Club merging with KCFC. The lineup of teams there otherwise remains the same.
The Texas Conference adds two clubs to its strong staple, with Albion Hurricanes and Texas Rush joining the mix.
Santa Rosa United and Mountain View Los Altos have been added to the ECNL and will play in the Northwest Conference.
The Mountain West Conference and the Southern Cal Conference are the only ones that remains unchanged from a year ago.
To refresh your memories on what happened last season, here’s just a sampling of our ECNL coverage, this from the 2012 National Finals in Waukegan, Illinois. Be sure to bookmark soccerwire.com for ECNL coverage all season long.
Complete schedule for this weekend:
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