US Club Soccer and the Elite Clubs National League are collaborating to create a new national competition and development platform for 14-U through 18/19-U boys beginning in August 2017. The Elite National Premier League (ENPL) will provide local and national regular-season competition, national showcase events and postseason playoff competition for top teams across the country.
The ENPL will include both member Elite Clubs National League conferences (ECNL conferences) and member National Premier Leagues (NPLs), providing multiple entry paths into the competition. ENPL competition will include 14-U, 15-U, 16-U, 17-U and 19-U boys age groups, and will include participating teams from two independent qualification paths: (i) qualifying teams from designated National Premier Leagues across the country; and (ii) qualifying teams from ECNL club-based conferences across the country. These teams will come together to compete for the ENPL National Championship in a two-stage postseason event in 2018.
By providing qualification paths for both team-based and club-based competitions, the ENPL will feature the best boys players in US Club Soccer. The regular season competition within each NPL and Boys ECNL Conference are unique and independently structured; however, consistent technical and competitive standards will apply, and all teams will be focusing on the same postseason destination: the ENPL Playoffs.
The inaugural ENPL Playoffs will be held in June 2018 in two locations – East and West – where teams will be seeded based on their regular season performance. Playoff winners will advance to the ENPL National Championships in early July 2018.
No teams are guaranteed entry into the ENPL Playoffs. Whether qualifying through an NPL or an ECNL conference, all teams will earn their place into the ENPL Playoffs through a full season of regular league play.
More news about the initial footprint of NPLs and ECNL conferences will be released soon.