League races tighten up as ECNL Texas Showcase comes to a close
SAN ANTONIO, Texas (March 8, 2011) – With tight races running up and down the Elite Clubs National League (ECNL) standings at all age groups, the fourth ECNL event of the 2010-11 regular season drew to a close Sunday at the ECNL Texas Showcase. A total of 110 teams from 32 clubs participated in the event, which took place March 4-6 at STAR Soccer Complex in San Antonio.
With just one event remaining in the 2010-11 ECNL regular season, teams escalated their fight for places in the Championship Groups at the ECNL National Championship, for an opportunity for promotion into Challenge A for the 2011-12 season, or to avoid relegation.
“The atmosphere in San Antonio was first class and very exciting,” said ECNL President Christian Lavers. “The fields were great, the games were tightly contested and nearly every women’s college program in the country was in attendance. All in all, it was a tremendous opportunity for players that love to play in difficult and very meaningful games and who also desire to continue their careers in college.”
While all teams in the U-15 through U-17 age groups participate in the ECNL National Championships in Aurora, Colo., July 14-16, it is the top eight teams in Challenge A in each of the four age groups that earn a spot in the coveted Championship Groups.
One team looking to earn a place in the U-18 Championship Group is the Ohio Premier Eagles, which posted a record of two wins and one loss on the weekend to leave San Antonio in third place in U-18 Challenge A.
“Last year when we finished eighth or ninth in the league at U-17, we had a couple bad games that put us out of the hunt,” said Ohio Premier Eagles U-18 coach Chris King about earning a spot in the Championship Group. “This year the players have said since day one that that’s where they want to be, we want to be in Aurora, and I think it says a lot about their character.”
The races are equally tight at the top of the Challenge B standings, where top teams in the U-15 through U-17 age groups will advance into the Promotion/Relegation Groups at the National Championships. They will be joined by the bottom teams from Challenge A in each age group to determine placement for the 2011-12 season. ECNL standings at all age groups are available on the ECNL website.
Nearly 200 college coaches from around the nation were on-hand for the Texas Showcase, offering players an unmatched opportunity to compete against the best teams in the country in front of college scouts. “As year two of the ECNL really heats up, it makes you appreciate how exciting the future is as well,” said ECNL Vice President Doug Bracken. “Next year, these ECNL national events will be supplemented by full regional conference schedules for all these teams – providing players the opportunity for these types of meaningful games all year long.”
The ECNL regular season comes to a close May 28-30 at the ECNL PDA College Showcase in Zarephath, N.J.
The ECNL is sanctioned by US Club Soccer and sponsored by Nike.
About the ECNL:
The ECNL is a non-profit national youth soccer league founded in 2009 to provide the best possible developmental environment for American female youth soccer players through the creation of the highest level of national competition and an identification and development program to provide an avenue for players to participate in U.S. Soccer's National Teams. The 2010-11 season is the ECNL’s second season. Each of the 52 member clubs in 2010-11 field a team in the U-15, U-16, U-17 and U-18 age groups, each competing for the ECNL National Championship, the ECNL National Club Championship and promotion and relegation between flights. The ECNL is sanctioned by US Club Soccer. For more information, visit http://www.eliteclubsnationalleague.com.
About US Club Soccer:
US Club Soccer is a non-profit organization whose mission is to develop competitive club soccer in the United States. A member of the United States Soccer Federation since July 2001, US Club Soccer has grown to include member clubs and leagues in all 50 states. In addition to sanctioning and administering tournaments, leagues and other competitions as well as offering a range of programs for its members, US Club Soccer annually conducts the National Cup. US Club Soccer also directs its own player identification and development program – id2.
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