Field of 160 teams announced for 2015-16 US Youth Soccer National League
See the list of 160 teams
40 teams to earn direct path to 2016 US Youth Soccer National Championships
31 of 55 US Youth Soccer State Associations represented
FRISCO, Texas (Via US Youth Soccer) — US Youth Soccer has announced the 160 teams that have earned their place in the 2015-16 US Youth Soccer National League season. The league, entering its ninth season, is home to some of the nation’s top Under-14 through Under-18 Boys and Girls soccer teams, with each team having an individual proven track record of continued success in US Youth Soccer programs.
The National League’s alumni have gone on to prove themselves at the collegiate and professional levels, with former players competing in NCAA Division I, II and III, Major League Soccer, National Women’s Soccer League, English Premier League, the UEFA Champions League and the FIFA Women’s World Cup.
Each National League gender age group fields 16 teams divided into two divisions, and the top two finishers from each division receive an automatic berth to the 2016 US Youth Soccer National Championships, the oldest and most prestigious youth soccer national championship competition — to be held July 25-31, 2016 in Frisco, Texas. 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 2015-16 National League field includes 58 of the 72 Under-13 through Under-17 teams that qualified for the 2015 National Championships, 16 of the 20 finalists and eight 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 significant 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 many of the 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 26 of 36 possible National Championships in the past four 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 US Youth Soccer Regional Leagues (Region I Champions League, Midwest Regional League, Southern Regional Premier League and Far West Regional League). The National League provides an avenue for teams to play in meaningful matches against top competition from across the country for continued development. In addition to recruiting opportunities, National League teams compete for the National League title and one of four slots from each gender age group to the annual US Youth Soccer National Championships.
The 2015-16 National League will consist of 31 of the 55 US Youth Soccer State Associations, from Region I (East): Eastern New York, Eastern Pennsylvania, Maryland, Massachusetts, New Jersey, New York West, Pennsylvania West and Virginia; from Region II (Midwest): Illinois, Indiana, Kansas, Kentucky, Michigan, Minnesota, Missouri, Ohio North, Ohio South and Wisconsin; from Region III (South): Florida, Georgia, Louisiana, North Carolina, Oklahoma, South Carolina, Tennessee, North Texas and Texas South; from Region IV (West): Arizona, California South, Utah and Washington.
The seven-game season will begin with the inaugural National League Fall Showcase in Wilson, N.C., with the girls playing Dec. 3-6 and the boys playing Dec. 10-13. Under-15 through Under-18 teams will participate in one of two other events, the first being in Orlando, Fla., alongside the Disney Soccer Showcase, Dec. 27-29 for the boys andDec. 31–Jan. 2 for the girls. The final play date will be held in Las Vegas, alongside the Player’s College Showcase,March 11-13 for the boys and March 18-20 for the girls. All Under-14 teams will complete their seasons in Las Vegas. In 2014-15, there was much on the line during the final weekends of play, as 18 of 20 division titles and 31 of 40 National Championship berths were decided in Las Vegas. The complete 2015-16 National League schedule will be announced in the fall.
Since its inception, National League teams have captured a combined 39 of 58 possible 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. Since that inaugural year for the league, National League teams have continued to excel each year at the National Championships. Most recently in Tulsa, National League teams took 31 of 40 possible semifinalist spots, represented 16 of 20 finalists and won eight of 10 possible National Championships.
For a list of past National League champions and history, click here.