Heavily-expanded ECNL Boys set to feature 10 conferences nationwide
A total of 129 clubs across the country have secured membership in the heavily-expanded ECNL Boys for the 2020-2021 season. As the league grows by over 40 percent, it has also added a pair of conferences in two different U.S. soccer hotbeds, Northern California and Florida.
Following the closure of the U.S. Soccer Development Academy, the ECNL Boys has undergone a period of significant growth. As of May 26, the league has grown by at least 39 clubs since embarking on the 2019-2020 season with 90 total member clubs.
The 2019-2020 ECNL Boys membership is spread across 8 conferences, for what has become an abbreviated third year for the league due to the COVID-19 pandemic. However, the fourth season in the league’s history will be a major step forward following its largest single expansion since its launch in 2017.
During the ECNL Boys’ inaugural 2017-2018 campaign, a total of 57 clubs took part in the opening season. League membership climbed to 71 in the second season, before another jump to 90 member clubs ahead of Fall 2019.
[SoccerWire Q&A: ECNL prez Christian Lavers on a seismic week in youth soccer]
As the league moves toward its fourth year of competition in Fall 2020, it has undergone record growth not only in sheer number of new members, but also with an unprecedented leap in quality, taking on many former U.S. Soccer DA clubs.
Over 30 former U.S. Soccer DA clubs will be entering their top boys’ teams into the ECNL this season, and at least 16 more will supplement their MLS youth academy membership by also entering teams in the ECNL. Those numbers could continue to grow if the ECNL Boys adds more member clubs throughout the summer.
See below for a full breakdown of the current 129 ECNL Boys member clubs that will be competing across the 10 conferences this season:
ECNL Return to Play Recommendations have been unveiled.
The ECNL Boys Regional League – Carolinas is launching this fall.
SoccerWire is launching a Development Academy Club Realignment Tracker.
Three Northern California clubs will join ECNL Boys.
Drew Watson, MD, MS, has been named Chief Medical Advisor to the ECNL.
Three more clubs have joined the ECNL Boys for the 2020-2021 season.
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