17 Mar 2016-17 NPL update: Northeast (EDP, NEP, NYCSL, NE Girls NPL, NEPAL)
Six months ago, US Club Soccer previewed all NPLs across the country. The Northeast preview garnered significant attention, as one of the hotbeds of NPL talent that includes numerous NPL Finals defending champions.
Now, just four months until the 2017 NPL Finals, all five regional NPL leagues are intent on securing more hardware this summer. Consistent tournament success doesn’t just happen, though.
It’s a reflection of a larger body of work, which includes: ENPL status, Players First commitment, Player Development Program events and id² participation. The Northeast also hosted a LaLiga Formation Methodology Level 3 course this past December, which featured Real Madrid legend Raúl González Blanco. Plans are in progress to bring a Level 2 course to the region later this year.
Here’s a compilation of the latest news from these five NPLs:
Elite Development Program – NPL Division
While the EDP was responsible for three national champions and two national runners-up at the 2016 NPL Finals, the league has added new boys clubs for the 2017-18 season that figure to contend in the future: Cedar Stars Academy, PDA Hibernia and Ukrainian Nationals.
For the task at hand – the 2016-17 season, EDP began its spring schedule in February. That included hosting a PDP on Feb. 17 to contribute to the ongoing id² age group cycle of 2004 boys and 2003 girls.
The New England Premier League captured three 2016 NPL Finals titles and two runner-up finishes. A challenging spring schedule will prepare member clubs for more success at the 2017 NPL Finals.
Among the NEP’s strongest features are its state cups, which sent 39 state champions to the National Cup XV Finals in Colorado last year. The 2017 NEP State Cups again feature five states: Connecticut, Maine, Massachusetts, New Hampshire and Rhode Island.
Additionally, three PDPs are scheduled for the spring, which feature 2003-04 boys and 2002-03 girls. NEP and the New York Club Soccer League are taking PDPs to the next level with matches against their respective PDP teams.
New York Club Soccer League
The New York Club Soccer League (NYCSL) is welcoming expansion for the 2017-18 season with the additions of Atletico FC, Quickstrike FC and White Plains on the boys side.
Currently, the league continues to invest in its strong state cup, the New York Cup. Recent inclement weather has pushed the schedules back, but the games figure to resume in the coming weeks.
Its next PDP is slated for March 26 with 2001-06 boys and girls.
Northeast Girls NPL
Member clubs in the Northeast Girls NPL enjoys a competitive calendar that aligns with the Elite Clubs National League (ECNL), as it acts as a proving ground for the next level.
The older age groups – 15-U and older – are in full swing now. The Northeast Girls NPL is one of the leagues with defined postseason play as a qualification to the NPL Finals. That will occur June 17-18 in Willingboro, N.J.
The top four teams from 13-U through 17-U age groups will compete for league championships and NPL Finals berths. The 13-U Pre-ECNL Division will also hold a four-team playoff but has no advancement opportunity to Indiana. In the 18-U bracket, the top two teams will face off for a one-game final.
Northeast Pre-Academy League
The Northeast Pre-Academy League, comprised of most of the U.S. Soccer Development Academy in the Northeast region, will run a 16-U division (2002s) beginning in the 2017-18 season.
The league, which was formed in 2009, has served in many age groups over the years as a way to help the Development Academy clubs assist with player development and provide teams with top-level, competitive matches in a season that closely follows the Development Academy schedule. Additionally, the league’s rules and policies mirror that of the D.A.
“We are pleased that we will be able to offer the Northeast Pre-Academy League to this very important age group, as it will serve to support D.A. clubs by providing high-level playing opportunities for some of the D.A. club’s younger players in the 16/17-U age group,” said league director Lonny Unger.
The 16-U division in 2017-18 will consist of the following clubs: Baltimore Armour, Beachside SC, Bethesda SC, BW Gottschee, Everton FC Westchester, Met Oval, New York Cosmos, Oakwood Soccer Club, PA Classics, PDA, Richmond United, Seacoast United and Virginia Development Academy.
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