Boys | Girls
Where do coaches feel the National League fits into their competitive calendar...
Legends FC (CA-S)
Rick Young U-15 Girls
"This is what we play for. We have National (State) Cup, we have Far West Regional League, we have different things going on, but National League is the single most important thing that we prepare for the entire year.
CUP Crew Jrs. (OH-S)
Terry Nicholl U-15 Boys
"These players out here are all very, very serious soccer players. We’re sure to see unbelievable opponents who are going to be quick, fast, can play and are tough. So we absolutely love this league. National League is the number one focus for our teams now."
Chicago Magic (IL)
Jorge Valle U-15 Boys
"The idea is to come here for the National League and try to go through the first round and go all the way to Nationals, but it’s always tough. You’re facing the top teams from other states and regions and there are no weak teams, there’s just strong teams, so every game is like a finals game. If you lose a few points here or there you start to get in a bad shape, so it’s always good to try to earn as many points as possible, but with this level of competition it’s not easy."
"This is the perfect competition for (the players). Every game is tough, you face strong teams that are organized and have good coaches, so I think this is the best competition that our players can be in."
Scottsdale Blackhawks (AZ)
Adam Burke U-16 Boys
"These are some of the best teams in the country, that’s why we come here. We come all the way from Arizona to Birmingham, Ala., and we wouldn’t make the trip if the competition wasn’t going to be the top level. That’s what we look for and that’s what we’re getting in the National League. Everyone has to qualify, whether it’s through your Regional League, the National Championship Series or last year’s National League. It’s a proving ground for us to showcase ourselves and you know you belong here and so do the other teams."
"It’s the competition. It’s the level of players that are here and we get pushed every day, and you get things here you can’t get other places."
GSA Phoenix (GA)
Nuno Piteira U-15 Boys
"We’ve had a chance to be in the National League in the past and it’s really second to none. What I love about National League is that you have to earn your way to get here, it’s not something that’s given, so I think this is the league you look forward to being in because now you know you’re going to be playing the top teams throughout the country, and there’s nothing an elite athlete looks for more than that. That’s the real thing about this."
CUP Crew Jrs. (OH-S)
Terry Nicholl U-15 Boys
"I love this league. We’re sure to see unbelievable opponents who are going to be quick, fast, can play and are tough. So we absolutely love this league."
"There’s no luck involved in being here, it’s real devotion to the game. I treat my lads like young professionals and that’s the way they play. The only way to get in here is when you’ve earned it, it’s really top notch (competition). We know the (U.S. Soccer Development) Academy has some strong teams, but if your team isn’t in the Academy, you need to be here playing in this league."
Dallas Texans (N-TX)
Clint Craft U-18 Boys
"We’re excited to be back, it’s a good league. All of the teams that are here are quality teams. Playing against the best kids in the country is going to make you better and the (U.S. Soccer) Development Academy is the top of the top, but this is the same level as the Academy, it’s just some teams aren’t part of Academy clubs."
Bethesda SC (MD)
Brett Colton U-17 Boys
"We have a few kids who have been involved in professional youth clubs overseas, one of which with Brondby FC in Denmark, and we also have another who’s trained with Bordeaux (France), Freiberg (Germany) and a couple other guys in France as well. So for them, this is a real fertile ground for developing attributes so that they can go play professionally, and all of these guys would like to go play in college as well, so the competition and playing against different styles of play from around the country is another very important aspect of this."
Eastside FC (WA)
Daniel Strom U-17 Boys
"The National League is a great opportunity for top level teams to play against phenomenal opponents. The teams we’ve played in the National League have all given us a challenge and been a great opportunity to develop as a team and as individual players, and also to show for college coaches. So we are really fortunate and lucky to be a part of this."
"I think the National League is about learning how to play in this league a little bit. I think if you come in one year it’s tough to win it because you don’t understand that every game requires you to play your best and be effective. This year we’re a much better defending group, a much more balanced team and we’ve learned how to win the close games."
"The National League provides the opportunity for the players to be seen by college coaches. We’ve had a lot of response, a lot of players receiving contacts and being recruited. We’ve had some players commit and it’s a great opportunity and we’re lucky to be a part of it. It’s an important part of what we do as a team."
United FA (GA)
Iggy Moleka U-18 Girls
"Because each team has to qualify to be in the National League is what makes it what it is. You have to deserve to be here. It’s not just that you have a big club or you have big numbers, it’s the idea of how has your team been competing, and this is a good way to reward them for their hard work."
St. Louis Scott Gallagher (MO)
Tony Grasso U-16 Girls
"Thank you to the entire team that puts on the National League, it was truly an awesome experience. Coming from one of the larger clubs in the country, I can tell you first hand that the exposure that our players received while playing in the National League was unmatched anywhere that we have seen yet. During our seven league games we were viewed by over 150 different college programs. Several games had over 60 coaches lined around our field observing our game, it was very impressive."
"On top of the exposure, the level of competition was outstanding. We were very pleased to be in a competitive match every time we hit the field. And for our team to get the experience of competing against the top players across all four regions will be valuable for years to come. We very much look forward to the opportunity to compete in the National League again next year."
Grand Rapids Crew Jrs. (MI)
Remco Bergsma U-16 Girls
"These are not teams just playing to play nice soccer, the teams that are here know how to play and get results. I don’t think it’s known enough yet, how competitive National League really is. We play in the (US Youth Soccer) Midwest Regional League (MRL) and a lot of people in Region II think MRL Premier is great but we’re trying to tell people National League is the best players from the MRL and all of the regions, and it’s just a whole different ballgame. There are other competitions out there and the National League has as good of competition as any, and you know every team is going to be the very best. There are no weak teams here."
"Look at all the college coaches! I’ve seen it with the boys but this goes beyond anything, I’ve never seen so many college coaches. I have a dad that gives out the profile books and he made 150 copies. After two games we are almost out, so more than 50 coaches a game. That’s a benefit for these girls"
Legends FC (CA-S)
John King U-16 Girls
"All seven games could have gone either way, every game was a battle. In Atlanta, we came back from being down 2-0 to win in extra time 3-2, we won yesterday in the 80th minute, so there was never a game thinking we were going to win. We were in a battle all seven games. Being able to put together seven games during the whole league is amazing. This team is a bunch of warriors and I think it’s special because it’s not easy to put together seven games in this league. So, for them to do this, and to finish on top, is amazing.
"I don’t think (the players) get it yet. They’re going to walk away and they’ll start thinking about it and it’s going to hit them because we didn’t come in thinking we were going to win it. We came in to compete and do our best. To walk away today going to the National Championships is amazing. It’s very exciting because they definitely deserve it."
FC Pennsylvania Strikers (E-PA)
David Shaw U-18 Girls
"Fantastic. National League is a collection of the best teams in the country. If you look at the teams that are playing in the National League this year and look at the ones that were playing in the National and Regional Championships last year, they’re pretty much all the same teams. Its great competition up and down the line, great coaching, you can’t beat it."
"In order to develop as a player and as a team you have to measure yourself by playing against the best competition out there. Playing in the National League gives you that opportunity to go out and play against the best, and if you’re on top of your game you’ll have success and if you’re not you won’t, and that’s what it should be all about. It teaches you that success comes from hard work and that’s the way life is too."
Michigan FC (MI)
Kevin Garner U-17 Girls
"Playing in the National League has been great. Everything is very professionally run and the facilities and the set up are excellent. Very competitive games, and on any given day anybody can beat anybody. Every game is different and like I said, it’s a challenge. Every team plays with a different system and a different style of play, and you have to adjust to it and figure it out. So, it’s a great challenge and the players have enjoyed it, I’ve enjoyed it, and everybody that’s part of the club has really enjoyed the experience."
"To me, National League is second to none and it’s a great environment to expose your players to, especially if they’re looking to play at the next level. Not only can playing in National League help players get to the next level with all these college coaches out here scouting, but I think playing in the National League can prepare them better for the next level than any of the other competitions out there."