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Field of teams announced for 2018-19 US Youth Soccer National League season
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48 teams to earn direct path to 2019 US Youth Soccer National Championships 39 of 55 US Youth Soccer State Associations represented
FRISCO, Texas (Aug. 3, 2018) — US Youth Soccer is proud to announce the teams that have earned their place for the 2018-19 season of the expanded US Youth Soccer National League, the national tier of play for its Leagues Program. The National League, entering its 12th season, is home to the nation’s top 14U through 19U 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, the UEFA Champions League, the Olympics and the FIFA Women’s World Cup.
Some National League alumni who have appeared for the U.S. Men’s National Team include Jordan Morris and Walker Zimmerman, while Morgan Brian, Rose Lavelle, Samantha Mewis and Emily Sonnett have appeared for the U.S. Women’s National Team.
2018-19 US Youth Soccer National League teams [Link]
National League competition will be held for the 14U (2005), 15U (2004), 16U (2003), 17U (2002), 18U (2001) and 19U (2000) Boys and Girls age groups. The 2018-19 season features up to 32 teams per gender in the 14U through 18U age groups and up to 16 teams per gender in the 19U age group.
The winner of each of the four divisions in the 14U through 18U age groups, as well as the top two finishers in each of the two divisions in the 19U age group, will earn an automatic berth to the 2019 US Youth Soccer National Championships, the oldest and most prestigious youth soccer national championship competition — to be held July 23-28, 2019 in Overland Park, Kan. 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 14U through 19U divisions.
The 2018-19 National League field features 70 of the 13U through 18U teams that qualified for the 2018 National Championships, including 20 of the 24 finalists and 10 of 12 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 earned invites to youth National Team camps, and many of the 17U and 18U players committed to play collegiate soccer at programs all across the country.
“The US Youth Soccer National League is excited to provide the top competition in the country for each of these teams, who have each proved themselves to gain entry into the league,” National League commissioner Paul Luchowski said. “National League teams have claimed 39 of 50 possible National Championships in the past five 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 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 reimagined National Leagues Program also includes a new multi-state tier with a network of 13 high-level competitive conferences throughout the country. In 2018-19, the conferences will provide opportunities for qualification into the 2019 US Youth Soccer Regional Championships, as well as the 2019-20 National League.
The 2018-19 National League will consist of teams from 39 of the 55 US Youth Soccer State Associations. State with participating teams include: Alabama, Arizona, California North, California South, Colorado, Eastern New York, Eastern Pennsylvania, Florida, Georgia, Idaho, Illinois, Indiana, Kansas, Kentucky, Louisiana, Maryland, Michigan, Minnesota, Missouri, Nebraska, Nevada, New Jersey, New Mexico, New York West, North Carolina, North Texas, Ohio North, Ohio South, Oklahoma, Oregon, Pennsylvania West, South Carolina, South Texas, Tennessee, Utah, Virginia, Washington, West Virginia and Wisconsin.
Cal South and Michigan each have 26 teams in the league, while New Jersey has 21. Eleven other State Associations have at least 10 teams competing in the National League in the upcoming season.
The seven-game season will begin with the National League Fall Showcase, as all 348 teams compete in North Carolina. The 16U through 19U girls will kick off their season Nov. 29-Dec. 2 in Wilson/Rocky Mount, N.C., and the 16U through 19U boys will begin play Dec. 6-9 in Greensboro, N.C. All 14U and 15U boys and girls teams will play their opening games Dec. 6-9 in Wilson/Rocky Mount, N.C.
The boys teams will participate in one of two other events, the first being in Orlando, Fla., alongside the Disney Soccer Showcase, Dec. 28, 29 and 31. The rest of the boys teams, including all 14U sides, will compete in Las Vegas, alongside the Players College Showcase, March 8-10.
The girls teams will also participate in one of two events following the National League Fall Showcase. Teams will either compete Jan. 19-21 at the National League Winter Showcase in Lakewood Ranch, Fla., or in Las Vegas, alongside the Player’s College Showcase, March 15-17. All 14U sides will compete in Las Vegas. The complete 2018-19 National League schedule will be announced in the fall.
Since its inception, National League teams have captured a combined 65 of 88 possible National Championships. In 2008, seven of the eight championship finals slots in the 15U and 16U 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 Frisco, Texas, National League teams won nine of 10 possible National Championships.
About US Youth Soccer National League – The US Youth Soccer National Leagues Program is for the nation’s top teams in the 13U through 19U boys and girls age groups, offering additional exposure to collegiate, professional and U.S. National Team coaches. The program includes the national tier called the National League, which will hold its 12th year of competition in the 2018-19 season. The reimagined National Leagues Program also includes a new multi-state tier with a network of 13 high-level competitive conferences throughout the country. The conferences provide opportunities for qualification into the US Youth Soccer Regional Championships, as well as the following season’s National League.
About the United States Youth Soccer Association (US Youth Soccer) – US Youth Soccer – “The Game for ALL Kids!®” is the largest youth sports organization in the country and largest member of the United States Soccer Federation, the governing body of soccer in the United States. US Youth Soccer registers more than 3 million players annually, ages 5 to 19, and over 900,000 administrators, coaches and volunteers in 55 member State Associations. US Youth Soccer programs provide a fun, safe and healthy environment for players at every level of the game. For more information, visit http://www.USYouthSoccer.org.
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