National League teams play a seven game schedule, playing each team in the age group division once. The three teams completed their season Dec. 31-Jan. 2 in Orlando, Fla., but the finals standings to determine the remaining nine teams advancing to the 2011 National Championships will be decided March 18-20 in Las Vegas, when the remaining teams complete their season.
"This is truly an exciting time for the US Youth Soccer National League as we advance the first teams to the 2011 US Youth Soccer National Championships in Phoenix, Ariz. Laying claims to ten national champions within the first three seasons of the National League is a testament to the elite level of competition in each and every match," said Paul Luchowski, US Youth Soccer National League commissioner. "As League play continues through the end of March, nine more teams will earn the right to compete among America's best for the ultimate crown."
In their third season of league play, NSA Premier Fury (IL) were the first team to punch their ticket to the National Championships as they captured the Under-17 Girls Red division title with one game left to play in their season. NSA closed out league play with a 6-0-1 record, and hold the 2010 US Youth Soccer Region II Championship title.
"We are excited and honored to be the first team
to represent the National League in the 2011 US Youth Soccer National Championships. Our team has faced some very good competition in our regional league, but the National League competes at a much higher level. Being a part of this premier league has been very challenging and rewarding, with tough games and great exposure to college coaches," said Rade Martinovic, Under-17 Girls NSA Premier Fury head coach. "All the teams are great and you can't make many mistakes, but our girls worked hard and played well, which any team must do to win the National League. I believe the league brings out the best in our players' abilities. We expect to see some of the National League teams at the Regional Championship and again at Nationals. I am proud of our team and thrilled to represent the top league in the country at the National Championships in July."
Also advancing from the Under-17 Girls, in the Blue division, St. Louis Scott Gallagher (MO). Although NASA 12 Elite II (GA) and Buffalo Soccer Academy Invaders (NY-W) can still catch Scott Gallagher in league points when they wrap up play in Las Vegas in March, Scott Gallagher has the edge in the head-to-head matchup, giving them the title and right to advance to the national championships.
"Our team is thrilled to have clinched a spot in the 2011 US Youth Soccer National Championships. Competing in the US Youth Soccer National League is unique because it is completely based upon competition to earn your spot in the league. Each of the teams have individually reached a high level of success just to get into the league, but at that point, the journey has just begun," said Tony Schmitt, St. Louis Scott Gallagher Premier head coach. "Each game and each moment is so crucial. The National League is great for the development of the players as they are competing against such high level players and teams, learning to play with pressure. They know that each moment can lead to them reaching their dreams, that of playing in the US Youth Soccer National Championships. We are extremely proud of this accomplishment and are excited continue our journey to the National Championships."
From the Under-15 Girls, SAC United Premier (MD) secured a trip to nationals, but the age group champion will not be decided until the final weekend of league play. Other top contenders for the title are AFC 96 Elite (GA)
and Match Fit Chelsea Beat (NJ)
. In the first year of the league's expansion to 16 teams per age group divided into two divisions, the Under-15 Girls age group maintained the original eight team format, thus advancing two teams to the national championships.
The league kicked off the five-weekend schedule in early November 2010, followed by the most recent weekend of play that coincided with Disney's Soccer Showcase. Each weekend of league play is held in conjunction with a major college showcase event providing key recruiting and scouting opportunities for college coaches seeking future impact players.
Two weekends of play remain. Feb. 19-21, four teams from each of the Under-15, 16 and 17 Boys age group divisions play in Weston, Fla., alongside the Weston Cup. The final weekend will host four teams from each of the Under-15, 16 and 17 Boys and Girls division age groups March 18-20 in Las Vegas, played alongside the Player's 2011 Soccer Showcase.
The league is an extension of the highly successful US Youth Soccer Regional Leagues (US Youth Soccer Region I Premier League, Midwest Regional League, Region III 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 and opportunities for exposure at the national team, collegiate and professional levels. In addition to recruiting opportunities, National League teams compete for the league title and two slots per gender age group to the annual US Youth Soccer National Championships.
The US Youth Soccer National Championships cap a yearlong series of competitions, US Youth Soccer National Championship Series, for boys and girls teams in multiple age groups as teams earn their way from the top teams in their state to the regional championship tournaments. US Youth Soccer State Champions and selected wildcard teams are eligible to compete in one of four US Youth Soccer Regional Championships. The champions in the Under-14 through Under-19 age groups from each regional event will converge in the finals with the National League teams. Click here
for the dates and locations of the Regional Championships.
2011 US Youth Soccer National Championships | Phoenix, Ariz.
Complex: Reach 11 Sports Complex
Player Luncheon: July 26
Round Robin: July 27-29
Finals: July 30-31
Age Groups: Under-14 through Under-19 (Boys and Girls)
Number of Teams: 60 (Under-15 through Under-17 feature six teams each, all others feature four teams)
For more information on the US Youth Soccer National Championships, visit http://championships.usyouthsoccer.org
, the online home for the US Youth Soccer National Championship Series, providing the latest in news, information and more. Get all US Youth Soccer National Championship Series updates on Twitter
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 www.USYouthSoccer.org
About US Youth Soccer National League
- Formed in 2007, the US Youth Soccer National League was developed as a path of advancement for the top teams from the US Youth Soccer Regional Leagues. In addition to meaningful matches, development and identification, the league created a direct path to the annual US Youth Soccer National Championships. League play features the Under-15, Under-16 and Under-17 age groups for boys and girls who are seeking to advance their college, professional and U.S. National Team aspirations. Learn more at /National_League/
About the US Youth Soccer National Championship Series
The US Youth Soccer National Championship Series provides more than 10,000 teams from US Youth Soccer's 55 State Associations the opportunity to showcase their abilities against the best in the nation while emphasizing teamwork, discipline and fair play. The yearlong competition begins with over 185,000 players in the US Youth Soccer State Championships. These champions and selected wildcard teams, through US Youth Soccer Regional Leagues, advance to compete in one of four the US Youth Soccer Regional Championships. Champions (U-14 through U-19) from each regional event advance to the National Championships. The Under-15 through 17 Boys and Girls age groups have two teams representative of the US Youth Soccer National League, in which the top two teams in each gender age group earn a direct path to the national championships. Overall the US Youth Soccer National Championship Series provides the nation's top collegiate coaches with the premier stage to identify and scout the most coveted players in the country.