2016-17 National League: Information | Application
League expands to 32 teams in Under-16 through Under-18 age groups in 2016-17
FRISCO, Texas (June 8, 2016) — Beginning today, the US Youth Soccer National League is accepting team applications for the 2016-17 seasonal year. Applications are due Thursday, July 7, 2016. National League competition will be held for the Under-15 (2002), Under-16 (2001), Under-17 (2000), Under-18 (1999) and Under-19 (1998-plus) Boys and Girls age groups.
An expanded field for the 2016-17 season will see 16 teams earn their place in the National League in the Under-15 and Under-19 age groups, while 32 teams will qualify to compete in the Under-16 through Under-18 age groups. The top finishers in each U-14, U-15, U-16 and U-17 division from the 2015-16 National League season (with the current seasonal year age groups) have earned the opportunity to retain their slots for the 2016-17 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 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 2016-17 can be found here.
Also earning a place in the 2016-17 National League season are the four representatives from each of the upcoming 2016 US Youth Soccer Regional Championships in the U-13 through U-17 gender age groups who advance to the 2016 US Youth Soccer National Championships. Regional Championship finalists in the U-14 through U-16 age groups also earn automatic qualification into the National League. The remaining slots will be filled by teams that have either achieved success in their respective Regional League or were a semifinalist at the 2016 Regional Championships. For those remaining slots, the teams will be selected by the National League Committee.
All teams who would like to participate in the National League must submit an application.
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 ninth season of play in 2015-16, with the US Youth Soccer National Championships still to be played. During the first eight years, National League teams have won 39 of a possible 58 National Championships, including eight of 10 last year.
In the 2016-17 National League season, the Under-15 and Under-19 age groups will be split into two eight-team divisions, while the Under-16 through Under-18 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. All teams will compete in the National League Fall Showcase in Wilson, N.C., with the girls playing Dec. 1-4 and the boys competing Dec. 8-11. Teams will then be assigned to play in one of the two remaining events held in Orlando, Fla., alongside the Disney College Showcase in late December or during March in the Las Vegas, Nev., alongside the Players Showcase.
Teams for the 2016-17 season are expected to be announced around August 2, 2016, following this summer’s US Youth Soccer National Championships.
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, English Premier League, the UEFA Champions League and the FIFA Women’s World Cup. The top pick in the 2016 MLS SuperDraft (Jack Harrison) and the 2016 NWSL Draft (Emily Sonnett) are both former National League players.
For more information on the US Youth Soccer National League, including stories, standings and video, please visit USYouthSoccer.org/National_League/. Please contact the National League Commissioner Paul Luchowski at NationalLeague@usyouthsoccer.org with questions.