RICHMOND, VA (March 23, 2020) – The Elite Clubs National League Girls is excited to announce that the North Carolina Courage and United Futbol Academy (UFA) will be joining the ECNL in 2020-2021. Both clubs will make the league the top of their competitive pyramid.
The North Carolina Courage is the youth development program of the reigning two-time NWSL champion Carolina Courage, and have been one of the top youth clubs in the country in development of youth national team talent over the past several years. UFA is one of the largest youth programs in the Southeast, with over 8,000 players at multiple locations in Georgia, and a history of state, regional and national success.
“We are tremendously excited to welcome the North Carolina Courage and UFA as new member clubs to the league,” said ECNL President Christian Lavers. “Both clubs have tremendous history and leadership, will continue to raise the standard of play and competition in the ECNL, and they will finalize a fantastic conference structure in the Southeast and Mid-Atlantic for the 2020-2021 season.”
“Since our inception, our NC Courage Academy has worked to establish a high level of training and standards for our female players and their development both on and off the field,” said North Carolina Courage Academy Director Sean Nahas. “As a program we look forward and are happy to continue that journey in the ECNL and the platform they provide for the female player across the country.”
“United Futbol Academy is extremely excited to be making our initial foray into the ECNL,” said UFA Director of Soccer Iggy Moleka. “We feel that the ECNL's high level of competition, showcases and recruiting opportunities, and travel schedule offers our membership the most comprehensive opportunity to maximize their development and dreams. UFA has been consistently working toward competing at the highest levels against the best talent and we are honored to be selected for this league and are looking forward to an exciting season.”
The Girls ECNL is the nation’s top development and competition platform for female soccer players, with conference competition in six age groups (U13, U14, U15, U16, U17, and U18/19), unmatched collegiate exposure through the largest collegiate showcases in the country, and unique player identification and development opportunities. The league and its clubs will continue to help develop the next generation of collegiate stars and national team players, and support the success of US Soccer’s national teams at all ages.
About Elite Clubs National League Girls: The Elite Clubs National League Girls (ECNL Girls) was founded in 2009 to enhance the developmental experience of female youth soccer players in the United States through: (i) improving the competitive environment through creation of a true national competitive league; (ii) improving the process for identifying elite female soccer players through a systematic scouting and identification program based on national competitions; and (iii) improving the daily training environment at top female youth soccer clubs through developing best practices and training and organizational guidelines for its member clubs. The ECNL Girls is sanctioned by US Club Soccer and is sponsored by Nike Soccer.