Richmond, Va.(March 30, 2015) - The Elite Clubs National League (“ECNL”) was founded in 2009 with a very basic mission – to improve the training and competition environment for elite youth female soccer players in the United States. This mission is frequently shortened to 3 words – RAISE THE GAME. These words encompass a platform that seeks to improve coach, player, and club development through competition, education, development, and more.
Prior to the formation of the league, top youth female soccer players in the United States played too many overall games and not enough meaningful and highly competitive games. In this reality, training frequency and quality suffered, and individual player development was not consistently maximized. The ECNL mission was to change this reality – by creating a platform where top players could consistently train with and compete against each other.
The 2011-2012 season was the first “full” season that ECNL teams and players competed solely in the ECNL all year. Since that season, through consistent and meaningful high-level competition and other associated demands, there has been steady improvement in style of play, coaching, and player performance. These improvements have come through positive change in the daily environment at ECNL clubs throughout the country.
To understand the impact of the ECNL within the clubs, we spoke to the Directors of Coaching at four top ECNL clubs. Below is insight on how the ECNL has impacted their club and players in the past few years, and their expectations for the future:
- Doug Landefeld - Director of Coaching, Michigan Hawks
- Colin Chesters - Director of Coaching, San Diego Surf
- Lorne Donaldson - Executive Director of Coaching, Real Colorado
- Mike O’Neill - Girls Director of Coaching, Players Development Academy