Field of 160 teams announced for 2014-15 US Youth Soccer National League
FRISCO, Texas (Via US Youth Soccer) — US Youth Soccer has announced the 160 teams that have earned their place in the 2014-15 US Youth Soccer National League season. The league, entering its eighth season, is home to Under-14 through Under-18 Boys and Girls club soccer teams, with each team having an individual proven track record of continued success in US Youth Soccer programs.
Each gender age group fields 16 teams divided into two divisions, and the top two finishers from each division receive an automatic berth to the 2015 US Youth Soccer National Championships, the oldest youth soccer national championship competition, to be held July 20-26, 2015 in Tulsa, Okla. The four National League representatives will join the four Regional Champions for a total of eight qualifiers per age group at the National Championships in the Under-14 through Under-18 divisions.
The 2014-15 National League field includes 66 of the 72 Under-13 through Under-17 teams that qualified for the 2014 National Championships, 16 of the 20 finalists and seven of 10 champions.
As is the case with the US Youth Soccer National Championship Series events and the US Youth Soccer Olympic Development Program, the National League creates another opportunity for the nation’s collegiate, professional and national team staffs to see players in an environment of meaningful play.
Last season, several National League players were invited into youth National Team camps, and the majority of U-17 and U-18 players have committed to play collegiate soccer at some of the top programs in the country.
“The US Youth Soccer National League continues to provide the top competition for boys and girls in the country as each team must prove itself to gain entry into the league,” said Paul Luchowski, National League commissioner. “National League teams have claimed 18 of 26 possible National Championships in the past three years, which speaks to the quality of the teams in the league and the value of the competition. Hundreds of collegiate, professional and national team scouts attend each National League date for just that reason.”
The National League is an extension of the highly successful US Youth Soccer Regional Leagues [Region I (East) Premier League, Region II Midwest Regional League, Region III Southern Premier League and Region IV Far West Regional League] in which the top teams are eligible to continue the path of success into the National League where the ultimate prize is qualifying for the prestigious US Youth Soccer National Championships.
The 2014-15 National League will consist of 31 of the 55 US Youth Soccer State Associations, from Region I (East): Delaware, Eastern New York, Eastern Pennsylvania, Maryland, Massachusetts, New Jersey, New York West, Pennsylvania West and Virginia; from Region II (Midwest): Illinois, Kansas, Michigan, Missouri, Ohio North and Ohio South; from Region III (South): Florida, Georgia, Louisiana, North Carolina, Oklahoma, South Carolina, Tennessee, North Texas and Texas South; from Region IV (West): Arizona, California North, California South, Colorado, Nevada, Utah and Washington.
The seven-game season will begin in Wilson, N.C., alongside the CASL Showcase, with the girls playing Nov. 20-23 and boys playing Dec. 11-14. Under-15 through Under-18 teams will participate in one of two other locations, the first being in Orlando, Fla., alongside the Disney Soccer Showcase, Dec. 27-29 for the boys and Dec. 31-Jan. 2 for the girls. The final play date will be held in Las Vegas, alongside the Player’s College Showcase, March 13-15 for the boys and March 20-22 for the girls. All Under-14 teams will complete their seasons in Las Vegas. In 2013-14, there was much on the line during the final weekends of play, as 16 of 20 division titles and 31 of 40 National Championship berths were decided in Las Vegas. The complete 2014-15 National League schedule will be announced in the fall.
Since its inception, National League teams have captured a combined 31 National Championships. In 2008, seven of the eight championship finals slots in the Under-15 and 16 age groups were won by National League teams, which resulted in the League’s first four national championships. The League notched four more National Championship titles in 2009 including the Under-15 Boys and Girls, as well as Under-16 Boys and Under-17 Girls. At the 2010 National Championships, League participants took home titles in the Under-15 Boys and Under-17 Girls age groups. In 2011, eight National League teams advanced to the National Championship game and claimed three more national titles. In 2012, 16 league teams qualified for the National final, with seven taking home National Championships. In 2013, 14 of 16 finalists were league participants, with six claiming the National title. In 2014, 13 of 20 league teams made the National final and five claimed National Championships. For a list of past National League champions and history, click here.