US Youth Soccer National League Accepting Applications for 2017-18 Season
Beginning today, the US Youth Soccer National League is accepting team applications for the 2017-18 seasonal year. Applications are due Thursday, July 6, 2017. National League competition will be held for the 14U (2004), 15U (2003), 16U (2002), 17U (2001) and 18U (2000) Boys and Girls age groups.
For each gender, the National League will see 16 teams earn their place in the 14U and 15U age groups, while 32 teams will qualify to compete in the 16U through 18U age groups. The top finishers in each 15U, 16U and 17U division from the 2016-17 National League season have earned the opportunity to retain their slots for the 2017-18 season, provided teams meet all eligibility requirements. Teams in the four US Youth Soccer Regional Leagues, dependent on each league’s format, receive an automatic slot into the National League.
Teams either automatically qualify for National League spots, or are selected by the National League Committee for remaining open slots. Qualification and selection of spots may vary based on a specific gender age group. Specific information on each gender age group, as well as a list of automatic qualifying teams for 2017-18 can be found here.
Also earning a place in the 2017-18 National League season will be the four representatives from each of the upcoming 2017 US Youth Soccer Regional Championships who advance to the 2017 US Youth Soccer National Championships in the 13U through 17U gender age groups. The remaining slots will be filled by teams that have either achieved success in their respective Regional League or were a semifinalist at the 2017 Regional Championships. For those remaining slots, the teams will be selected by the National League Committee based on a team’s Regional League, Regional Championship and State Cup performance, when applicable.
All teams who would like to participate in the National League must submit an application.
Teams for the 2017-18 season are expected to be announced around August 2, 2017, following this summer’s US Youth Soccer National Championships.
The National League is an extension of the highly successful US Youth Soccer Regional Leagues (Eastern Regional League, Midwest Regional League, Southern Regional Premier League and Far West Regional League). 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 oldest and most prestigious youth soccer national championships.
Teams that earn their place in the National League have a proven track record of success in US Youth Soccer regional and national competitions, and are among the nation's best. Hundreds of college scouts attend each National League weekend, creating another significant opportunity for the nation’s collegiate and National Team coaches to see National League players in an environment of meaningful play, citing the competitive level of each game as every team has to earn their place in the competition, regardless of club affiliation or location.
The National League completed its 10th season of play in 2016-17, with the US Youth Soccer National Championships still to be played. During the first nine years, National League teams have won 47 of a possible 68 National Championships, including eight of 10 last year.
In the 2017-18 National League season, the 14U and 15U age groups will be split into two eight-team divisions, while the 16U through 18U age groups will feature four eight-team divisions. Teams from each of US Youth Soccer's four regions will compete in round robin play within each division.
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. The top pick in the 2016 MLS SuperDraft and the last three NWSL Drafts (2015-17) have each been former National League players.
For more information on the US Youth Soccer National League, please visit USYouthSoccer.org/programs/NationalLeague/. Please contact the National League Commissioner Paul Luchowski at NationalLeague@usyouthsoccer.org with questions.