ECNL Girls Regional League – Heartland finalizes club membership
RICHMOND, VA – Four new clubs have joined the ECNL Girls Regional League – Heartland for the upcoming 2020-2021 season: FC Wichita, Sporting Blue Valley, Sporting Omaha FC and St. Louis Scott Gallagher – Illinois.
These clubs finalize the ECNL Girls Regional League – Heartland membership, and represent the extraordinary growth in talent that has emerged in the region. All of these teams now have the opportunity to continue their journey and to work for the potential to compete for a place in the ECNL.
“The expansion of the ECNL Regional League – Heartland Conference is a positive step for player development – adding great games for all teams in the conference without increasing the travel burden,” said ECNL Girls Commissioner Jen Winnagle. “The ECNL Regional Leagues provide a true pathway to the ECNL Girls postseason, and we are excited to add these clubs and players, including a new market in Wichita, into the ECNL pyramid.”
FC Wichita was founded in 2013 with the goal of providing professional and academy level soccer to the greater Wichita area. In 2015, FC Wichita launched an NPSL men’s team and the following year made good on a promise to join the WPSL, furthering opportunity for female athletes. After the 2017 season the club’s home complex, Stryker Soccer Complex, was greatly enhanced through investment by the City of Wichita. Today the complex boasts 11 turfed and lighted fields, including a 6,000 seat stadium and full size indoor field. “It’s exciting to have Wichita represented as a member of the ECNL Regional League,” said ECNL Regional League Director, Blake Shumaker. “The league has a proven path for players to compete at the highest levels while being exposed to many recruiting opportunities. We feel the ECNL is the best platform in the country for great competition.”
Sporting Blue Valley (SBV) was founded in 1977, and currently trains out of the Scheel’s Overland Park Soccer Complex. The mission of SBV is to introduce the game of soccer to youth of all ages and skill levels with the purpose of providing the opportunity for each player to develop to their full potential. SBV strives to maintain an environment that embodies the core values of integrity, leadership, perseverance, respect and teamwork while enhancing self-esteem, promoting self-confidence and cultivating a lifelong passion for the game. “Sporting Blue Valley is excited to add the ECNL Regional League to the elite level programming for the 2020-21 season,” said Director Colin Bulwich. “Our priority is to provide our players with the best environments to develop each individual for top collegiate programs and youth national teams while helping guide our players to become confident, powerful young women.”
Sporting Omaha FC is a non-profit full service youth soccer club that offers all levels of play from 4 to 19 years of age. Sporting Omaha FC develops complete soccer players with key core values to provide players with the best opportunity to succeed at their next level whether that is high school, college, professional soccer or life outside competitive sports. “We are excited to announce that our girls program has been accepted into the Elite Clubs National League – Regional League,” said Director of Coaching, Alex Mason. “This platform will allow us to continue the development of our players and club.”
In 2008, St.Louis Scott Gallagher (SLSG) was formed out of the merger of three leading youth soccer clubs in the St. Louis Area. From that time, the club began working to fulfill its mission: to build the best club in the country, a club that positively impacts the development of the players on and off the field, and a club that positively impacts the community. In 2012, SLSG Illinois joined the ECNL Girls and now in 2020 are adding depth to their programming by joining the ECNL Regional League. “We are thrilled to offer the ECNL Girls Regional League opportunity for our membership,” said Program Director, Shawn Hewitt. “As a current member of the ECNL Girls, this program addition ultimately helps us serve a larger player pool while supporting our mission statement. We look forward to collaborating with other like minded clubs across the regional platform to further elevate the holistic development of our female student athletes.”
Each year, top performing teams in ECNL Girls Regional Leagues earn the opportunity to compete in the Open Cup Division of the ECNL Playoffs at the U15, U16 and U17 ages, where they will match up against other Regional League winners, as well as teams from member clubs of the ECNL.
The following clubs will be participating in the ECNL Regional League – Heartland in the 2020-21 season:
|Elite Girls Academy||Sporting Blue Valley|
|FC Wichita||Sporting Iowa|
|Kansas City Athletics||Sporting Omaha FC|
|Kansas City Scott Gallagher (KCSG)||St. Louis Scott Gallagher – Illinois (SLSG-IL)|
|Missouri Rush Soccer Club||St. Louis Scott Gallagher – Missouri (SLSG-MO)|
Additional information on qualification and participating conferences for the 2020-21 Season will be released in the coming months.