The US Youth Soccer National League competition is for the nation's top teams in the 14U, 15U, 16U, 17U and 18U boys and girls age groups. The 14U and 15U divisions consist of a total of 16 teams per gender age group, while the 16U through 18U gender age groups feature 32 teams each. The National League offers additional exposure to collegiate, professional and U.S. National Team coaches and offers the highest level of competition in the country as each team must earn their place in the league. National League teams continue play in their respective US Youth Soccer Regional Leagues and State Championships to complete their competitive calendar.
Teams play a seven-game schedule over two weekends, facing each team within its age group division one time. The League consists of three weekends of play per gender, with each team playing two of the three weekends.
The top teams from each division advance to the US Youth Soccer National Championships, the oldest and most prestigious youth soccer national championship in the country. The four National League representatives will join the four Regional Champions in the 14U through 18U age groups to play for the National Championship. The top teams in each 14U through 17U division also secure a spot to return to National League play the following season.
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 and the FIFA Women’s World Cup.
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).
For the 2017-18 season, the National League will feature the following age groups:
- 14U (16 teams per gender)
- 15U (16 teams per gender)
- 16U (32 teams per gender)
- 17U (32 teams per gender)
- 18U (32 teams per gender)
There are three means to earning automatic qualification into the National League:
- 48 Regional Championship winners/representatives
- 64 returning National League division champions and runners-up
- 124 Regional League qualifiers