2018-19 National League: Information | Application
League will feature teams in the 14U through 19U age groups in 2018-19
FRISCO, Texas (May 16, 2018) — Beginning today, the US Youth Soccer National League is accepting team applications for its National Tier of play to compete during the 2018-19 seasonal year. Applications are due Friday, July 6, 2018. National League competition will be held for the 14U (2005), 15U (2004), 16U (2003), 17U (2002), 18U (2001) and 19U (2000) Boys and Girls age groups.
For each gender, the National League will see 32 teams earn their place in the 14U through 18U age groups, while 16 teams will qualify to compete in the 19U age group. The top finishers in each 14U, 15U, 16U, 17U and 18U division from the 2017-18 National League season have earned the opportunity to retain their slots for the 2018-19 season, provided teams meet all eligibility requirements. Teams in the four 2017-18 US Youth Soccer Regional Leagues, dependent on each league’s format, receive an automatic slot into the National League.
In the 2018-19 National League season, the 14U-18U age groups will be split into four eight-team divisions, while the 19U age groups will feature two eight-team divisions. Teams from each of US Youth Soccer's four regions will compete in round robin play within each division.
Teams either automatically qualify for National League spots, or are selected by the National League 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 2018-19 can be found here.
Also earning a place in the 2018-19 National League season will be the four representatives from each of the upcoming 2018 US Youth Soccer Regional Championships who advance to the 2018 US Youth Soccer National Championships in the 13U through 18U 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 2018 Regional Championships. For those remaining slots, the teams will be selected by the National League 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 2018-19 season are expected to be announced around August 1, 2018, following this summer’s US Youth Soccer National Championships.
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’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 2015-2017 NWSL Drafts have each been former National League players.
The National League completed its 11th season of play in 2017-18, with the US Youth Soccer National Championships still to be played. During the first 10 years, National League teams have won 54 of a possible 78 National Championships, including seven of 10 last year.
Announced last month, the 2018-19 US Youth Soccer National Leagues Program includes the National League as the National Tier and will also feature a network of Conferences (formerly known as Regional Leagues) that are geographically focused, under one leadership and management structure. The current system of US Youth Soccer Regional Leagues (Eastern Regional League, Midwest Regional League, Southern Regional Premier League and the Far West Regional League) will cease to exist at the conclusion of the 2017-18 soccer season.
For more information on the US Youth Soccer National League, please visit here. Please contact the National League Commissioner Paul Luchowski at NationalLeague@usyouthsoccer.org with questions.