ECNL Boys welcomes trio of new clubs: Oklahoma Energy, Chattanooga Red Wolves, NEFC
RICHMOND, VA – The ECNL Boys announced that Oklahoma Energy FC, Chattanooga Red Wolves Academy and NEFC will join the league in the 2020-2021 season as members of the Texas, Southeast, and Northeast Conferences respectively.
“As we continue efforts to elevate the quality of a regionalized competition model across the country, adding these clubs will raise the level of our conferences and league,” said ECNL Boys Commissioner Jason Kutney. “Between on-field successes, player production, and significant investments in the game, Energy, Red Wolves, and NEFC embody the spirit of grassroots American soccer and we are thrilled to welcome them into the league.”
Originally founded as Oklahoma Football Club through a partnership with Edmond SC and North Oklahoma City, the club was renamed Oklahoma Energy FC in 2017 through a relationship with USL Championship side Oklahoma City Energy FC. The club has over 630 boys players and has a history of advancing top talent into the professional ranks, most recently with Daryl Dike (University of Virginia, Orlando City SC) and Garrett McLaughlin (SMU, Houston Dynamo) being drafted #5 and #8, respectively, in the 2020 MLS SuperDraft.
“OEFC is very excited about the opportunity to join the Elite Clubs National League Boys,” said OEFC Director of Coaching, Jimmy Hampton. “The ECNL platform will be very beneficial and aligned with our continued pursuit to provide a full service club for players at all levels in a positive, safe, competitive environment. We look forward to working with the top soccer clubs across the country and the ECNL leadership in sharing of ideas and best practices for our youth in their continued pursuit of excellence on and off the field.”
The Chattanooga Red Wolves USL professional team was founded in 2018, with the Red Wolves Academy forming in April of 2019. The Academy operates two sites, one in Chattanooga and another in Dalton, GA, with over 430 youth players between the two locations. With the Red Wolves Academy, two USL League Two teams, and its first team model in USL League One, the Red Wolves enter the ECNL Boys with a clearly defined player pathway.
“We are excited to join the ECNL Boys, which is widely recognized as the top competitive league in the country,” said Chattanooga Red Wolves Academy President, Chad Mize. “Our participation in the ECNL will support our Academy’s mission to develop our players for both the pathway to pro with our professional team, and as an avenue to collegiate soccer.”
An established player pathway to the New England Revolution Academy, NEFC has proven to be a powerful force in elite youth player development since its founding in 2008. The club has grown to include over 1,500 boys players, primarily operating out of NEFC Park in Mendon, MA. In addition to placing 65 players into the Revolution Academy system over the last 10 years, the club has helped progress impressive numbers of boys into NCAA Men’s College Soccer, with 44 into Division I, 25 into Division II, and 111 into Division III since 2010, alone. The club has won 22 Massachusetts State Cup titles while advancing teams into nine US Club Soccer National Cup, NPL, and ENPL National Championships, winning three titles.
“Participating in the ECNL Boys is an exciting opportunity for our entire club,” commented NEFC Director of Coaching, Christian Battaglia. “We are committed to our mission of developing players in an elite environment. We embrace this opportunity to continue developing our players by exposing them to a fantastic group of ECNL clubs throughout the country. NEFC is looking forward to being a part of the ECNL platform for the 2020-2021 season.”
Additional announcements regarding league membership growth will continue through the coming weeks.