Inaugural ECNL regular-season schedule announced
[Master schedules and flights/opponents]
MILWAUKEE, Wisc. (June 12, 2009) - The regular-season schedule for the inaugural season of the Elite Clubs National League (ECNL) was released today. The ECNL features 40 of the top girls' soccer clubs throughout the country competing in multiple divisions for the ECNL National Championship, the ECNL Club National Championship, and promotion and relegation between the divisions.
The 2009-2010 ECNL season features two divisions of 20 teams each (Challenge A and Challenge B). Each team will play nine regular season games within their division for placement going into the ECNL National Championship in July 2010 in Seattle, Wash. The ECNL regular season will feature a total of 270 games in each division, for a total of 540 games throughout the year-long competition.
"Looking at the list of games that will be played this year is tremendously exciting," said ECNL President Christian Lavers. "Every game will count in determining the league standings, and accordingly every game should be meaningful and significantly more competitive than most of the games played in the past by these players. The number of top players involved in the ECNL will make this one of the most exciting competitions in the United States."
The 2009-2010 ECNL regular-season games are spread out over five events: (1) the Eclipse Invitational in August 2009; (2) the Final Four Showcase in December 2009; (3) the Disney Soccer Showcase presented by Chelsea FC in December 2009; (4) the Las Vegas College Showcase in March 2010; and (5) the PDA College Showcase in May 2010.
The events were selected to provide a league schedule that continued over the course of an entire year, to accommodate high school soccer seasons throughout the country, and to provide each club with flexibility to choose the best schedule for their needs. At the conclusion of the regular season, all ECNL teams will be placed into playoff groups at the ECNL National Championship.
"The ECNL National Championship will be one of the best-ever youth soccer events for females in the United States," said ECNL Vice President Doug Bracken. "Bringing together over 2,000 of the best female soccer players in the United States into one event where so much is up for grabs will create an environment that is second to none."
At the conclusion of the ECNL National Championship, an ECNL national champion will be crowned in each age group, an overall ECNL club champion will be crowned, and three teams from the Challenge B division will gain promotion to the Challenge A division for the 2010-11 season.
The ECNL is sanctioned by US Club Soccer, which will assist in the league's administration and event operations, including marketing and public relations.
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 49 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 and the National Collegiate Showcase. US Club Soccer also directs its own player identification and development program – id2.