Youth Soccer News: ECNL National Even Series Kicks off with Three-Day Phoenix Showcase
The first showcase event of the 2012-2013 Elite Clubs National League (ECNL) season will kick off from September 29 through October 1 in Phoenix, Ariz. Approximately 140 teams from around the country are expected to take part in the event at Reach 11 Sports Complex and the Scottsdale Sports Complex. As many as 200 college coaches are expected to be on hand to scout the talent as top U14 through U18 girls take the pitch.
“The Phoenix region played host to a fantastic National Event a year ago. We can’t wait to kick off another great weekend of quality soccer,” said ECNL Commissioner Sarah Kate Noftsinger.
“We are constantly evolving,” Noftsinger said of the organization. “I’d say we are relentless in trying to improve. It is up to us to provide the best environment we can for our players, coaches and families. We are kicking off our National Event Series at two of the top facilities in the country, Reach 11 and Scottsdale Soccer Complex.”
The three-year old ECNL is recognized as having some of the top girls’ soccer clubs in the country. The organization provides club-centered competition for top girls’ teams from U14 through U18. Five ECNL Showcase events over the season provide elite competition for teams and lead to the ECNL Finals in the summer.
“Our National Event Series is a competitors dream,” said Noftsinger. “Each of these teams has been training hard and now has the opportunity to meet at two of the top facilities in the country to see how they stack up against teams from different regions.”
While the Showcase is primarily for U15 through U18 teams, a small number of U14 teams are expected to be on hand, including Phoenix-based Sereno SC and Las Vegas-based Heat FC. Other teams expected are D’Feeters Soccer Club, Solar Chelsea SC and Dallas Texans. San Diego Surf’s U14 team, featuring 12-year old Brazilian phenom Catarina Macário, will look to continue the club’s record of 14 wins in 15 matches to start the season.
The largest contingent will be from the U18 age bracket, with teams coming from all corners of the United States. Among those vying for a strong season start will be Arsenal FC, Real So Cal, San Diego Surf and Slammers SC from California, Texas Rush, Dallas Texans and Dallas Sting from Texas and top-ranked (TopDrawerSoccer.com) CASL Chelsea Ladies from North Carolina.
The ECNL has added seven new clubs for the 2012-2013 season, and several will be on hand for the first Showcase. The organization has also fine-tuned the competition platform in order to better provide the best developmental environment for elite female players. All this has only added to the excitement surrounding the Phoenix Showcase.
“You can feel the excitement in the air,” said Noftsinger. “Everywhere I turn, there is a buzz – Twitter, Facebook, 4square. Players are chattering about how excited they are to get out and compete. It will be fun to see who steps up and who stands out as they've earned the opportunity to be here in the great city of Phoenix.”
The Phoenix Showcase is the first of five National Event Series competitions during the ECNL season. The series moves on to Sanford, Fla., in December, followed by stops in Frisco, Texas, in February and San Diego, Calif., in April. The series concludes in May with the Players Development Academy showcase tournament in Zarephath, N.J. The ECNL postseason begins with the National Playoffs in Aurora, Colo., in June.
A very high standard of play is the norm at ECNL National. ECNL typically welcomes upwards of 300 college recruiters at each event, and scouts from U.S. Soccer are also in attendance, to identify and evaluate players for possible inclusion in United States youth national teams.
Learn more at the official website of the ECNL National Event: Phoenix.
About the ECNL: The Elite Clubs National League (ECNL) is a registered 501(c)3 tax-exempt, non-profit organization. The ECNL was founded in 2009 to enhance the developmental experience of female youth soccer players in the United States. ECNL seeks to improve the competitive environment through the creation of a true national competitive league with multiple flights, augmented by a systematic scouting and identification program and an improved daily training environment at top female youth soccer clubs. The goal of the ECNL is to change the landscape for elite female soccer players in the United States through innovative, player-centered programming and to enhance the overall experience by creating a better, more enjoyable, and more successful player, coach, and club development model. Follow ECNL on Twitter @theECNL and Facebook: Elite Clubs National League. Visit the official ECNL website for more information: http://www.eliteclubsnationalleague.com.The ECNL is sanctioned by US Club Soccer and sponsored by Nike.
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