Mid-Atlantic Premier League forms, will become newest NPL member league in 2024-25 season

CHARLESTON, S.C. (March 18, 2024) – US Club Soccer is proud to announce the formation of the Mid-Atlantic Premier League in collaboration with nine member clubs from New Jersey, New York and Pennsylvania. The league will be the newest addition to the National Premier Leagues (NPL) platform, beginning with the 2024-25 season.

Here are the member clubs, which in addition to currently playing in ECNL Regional League, now have an additional level of play within the NPL for their U-13 through U-19 teams:

  • FC Copa Academy (NJ)
  • Lehigh Valley United – Rush (PA)
  • LI Slammers (NY)
  • Manhattan SC (NY)
  • New Jersey Crush (NJ)
  • Next Level SA (NJ)
  • NY Surf (NY)
  • Quickstrike FC (NY)
  • Sporting Club Premier – PDA (NJ)

The Mid-Atlantic Premier League’s inaugural season, the 2024-25 campaign, will feature girls teams from these clubs. Expansion to also include boys competition is expected in the future.

“We’re excited to welcome the Mid-Atlantic Premier League and these founding clubs to the NPL,” said Leo Garcia, NPL General Manager and US Club Soccer VP of General Managers. “NPL member leagues agree to uphold certain standards related to technical, structural, administrative and marketing, and we’re confident the Mid-Atlantic Premier League will provide a successful platform for players to thrive.”

The Mid-Atlantic Premier League represents a successful collaboration of two long-time youth soccer platforms – the ECNL, which was founded in 2009, and the NPL, which launched in 2011. ECNL Regional Leagues and NPL member leagues have formed complementary levels of competition in several regions.

“The establishment of the Mid-Atlantic Premier League serves as a noteworthy example of a newly formed ECNL Regional League with shared interests, combining their efforts to streamline their player pathway through US Club Soccer via the NPL,” said Chris Leahey, Associate Commissioner of the ECNL. “This endeavor is a testament to the collaborative efforts of the Northeast ECNL regional girls directors, who have demonstrated their support for our comprehensive club and player development pathway model.”

“I am proud to be on the forefront of helping clubs from our Northeast ECNL RL division find a home for all our second-tier teams for the 2024-25 season in a club vs. club format,” added Brian Thomsen, Mid-Atlantic Premier League director. “We all came together with aligned beliefs to put our clubs and players first, and we’re excited to be offering the Mid-Atlantic Premier League to the nine founding clubs within US Club Soccer’s NPL. The postseason pathway, development, and identification opportunities are all things we look forward to providing our players with next year and moving forward. With the growth of ECNL over the past couple of years within our region, this new NPL league was something we all felt was needed to continue progressing together.”

Participating teams will compete for qualification to the 2025 NPL Finals, which will be held in July in Denver, Colorado, where qualifiers compete against other regional NPL member leagues throughout the country for championships. The NPL’s vision is to serve youth soccer by forming and collaborating with leagues, adopting the Players First philosophy and supporting US Club Soccer’s mission to foster the development of clubs.

Questions and league membership interest can be emailed to mid-atlanticpl@usclubsoccer.org.

Quotes from Mid-Atlantic Premier League member clubs:

Quickstrike FC – “Quickstrike FC is proud to be one of the founding members of the NPL’s Mid-Atlantic Premier League alongside other prestigious clubs within the Northeast ECNL RL. Coming together to provide our players with the best opportunities to compete at the highest levels in a top club platform further develops our full club model and provides a great opportunity throughout the Hudson Valley. We are especially honored to share this experience with other high-quality clubs and look forward to the journey ahead.” – Brittany Kolmel, Director of Coaching

NJ Crush “We are excited to be part of the Mid-Atlantic Premier League and the opportunities ahead. The NPL brand will help provide growth within our community and create a pathway to a national platform with college exposure.” – Lee Glover, Executive Director

FC Copa Academy – “We are thrilled to join the NPL’s Mid-Atlantic Premier League as founding members alongside the esteemed clubs of the Northeast ECNL RL. This partnership promises consistent high-quality competition and enhanced collegiate exposure for our players and families. We are eager to provide an exceptional platform to a wider range of our Copa family members.” – Roberto Aguas, Director of Coaching

LI Slammers “Long Island Slammers is extremely excited to be part of the NPL’s Mid-Atlantic Premier League. We are equally excited about joining this league with our member clubs from the Northeast ECNL RL.  The NPL league will help our players reach their goals developmentally and give them a pathway to be seen by college coaches.” – Mark Dawson, Girls Academy Director

NY Surf “NY Surf is thrilled to be part of the NPL’s Mid-Atlantic Premier League. By joining like-minded clubs, it will help us continue to compete in top club platforms that play at the highest levels and offer college recruiting opportunities to our players.” – Jonathan Feinstein, Technical Director

LVU Rush “LVU Rush is extremely excited to be part of the NPL’s Mid-Atlantic Premier League. We are joining with like-minded clubs with our Northeast ECNL RL members to give even more players an opportunity to compete in a great platform that has college recruiting opportunities.” – Kristian Bates, Technical Director

Next Level SA “Next Level SA is incredibly excited to be one of the founding members of the NPL’s Mid-Atlantic Premier League. This league fits our club identity with creating a perfect pathway for our players by providing high-level soccer with like-minded clubs and college recruiting opportunities for our players looking to take the next step in their next soccer career.” – Connor Marino, Director of Coaching

Manhattan SC “Manhattan SC is thrilled to join the Mid-Atlantic Premier League and provide additional players with a pathway to maximizing their potential. We are especially honored to share this experience with other high-quality Northeast ECNL RL clubs. We want to compete for a national championship and amplify college recruiting opportunities for our players along the way.” – Shari Eckstrom, Director of Coaching

PDA-SCP “Sporting Club Premier is very excited to join the NPL’s Mid-Atlantic Premier League with our club members from the Northeast ECNL RL. The Mid-Atlantic Premier League is providing a great opportunity for our players to compete at a high level and provide college exposure for our HS players.” – Jeff Eisele, Director of Coaching


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