ECNL clubs headline National Elite Soccer Showcase early acceptances
After a major winter storm wiped out the first edition of the National Elite Soccer Showcase (NESS) in 2014, the spring kickoff event held on Long Island is back for 2015 with top ECNL clubs such as Connecticut FC, Minnesota Thunder and host Albertson Fury already committed to sending teams. National powerhouse Quickstrike FC has also registered several elite level sides.
The showcase is slated for Feb. 28-March 1 with boys and girls age groups ranging from U-12 to U-18, and will be a small but high level event with teams from ECNL, Pre-ECNL, USSF Development Academy and Pre-Academy, EDP and other elite level leagues around Region I.
NESS, which is hosted by Albertson Academy/Fury, is part of the same tournament series as the well-known National Elite Women’s Soccer Showcase (NEWSS), played annually over Thanksgiving weekend. Under the guidance of Albertson Director of Coaching/Portland Thorns Head Coach Paul Riley, NEWSS has become one of the highest level women’s showcase events in the nation, regularly hosting many of the Tri-State areas’ top teams from US Youth Soccer, US Club Soccer and ECNL. The 2014 event included 31 State Cup champions and four Regional champions out of just 160 total teams.
NESS is seeking to follow in the same direction, but with boys divisions as well. It is both a spring kickoff event and a college showcase attended by a wide collection of college coaches from throughout the region. It is played on turf fields around Long Island. Tournament Director Kevin Koehn said the event is still accepting applications for all ages, with a cap of 32 teams per age group. Applications close on Feb. 15.