The NPL Showcase is back.
One of US Club Soccer’s premier events returns to Florida this year, as the organization is putting together a girls showcase in South Florida for the second consecutive year. After last year’s event, this year is headed back to Palm Coast, Florida for a labor-intensive meeting between some of the top girls youth players in the country. During last year’s showcase, 110 scouts and coaches attended.
This year’s event takes place from Dec. 31-Jan. 2, and it’s geared for players from the U15 to U17 age ranges.
“After the success of the inaugural girls showcase, bringing this event back to Florida was an easy decision,” NPL General Manager Leo Garcia said in a release. “The 2015-16 NPL Showcase (Girls) will be even better, as our focus continues to be on rewarding our top teams with opportunities for player development, quality competition and next-level exposure.”
The event purposely pits players from different regions against one another to encourage and spur new competition.
USC launches in Texas
It’s no secret a number of different national organizations have long tried to extract more out of Texas. It’s an enormous state, which brings along the attendant difficulties of scouting all of its corners. US Club Soccer is diving in in earnest later this year with the launch of the United Soccer Clubs format.
A collection of 15 clubs in the Houston, Austin and San Antonio areas are coming together to form a league bearing some resemblance to the Development Academy. It’ll play all year, and the elite format, titled the USC Champions League, offers a pathway to US Club Soccer national championship events to the winners.
Especially since Kevin Payne took over direction of the organization late last year, US Club Soccer has doubled down on its initiatives to place a modicum of organizational power in the hands of its club coaches and individual administrators. USC is no different. With many of these clubs already participating in US Club Soccer in some way, this league is an attempt to further open up the fields of competition to more players and put some of the control with the clubs themselves.
Further, the idea is that this initiative can help identification as well. Leaders from each of the 15 clubs will help shape direction of both the PDP and id2 programs going forward. With so many untapped resources in Texas, part of the idea is to push as many quality players into the limelight as possible by giving them another avenue for quality soccer competition. This bourgeoning USC program aims to do just that, in spades.
“When leaders from multiple clubs work together to change and improve the environment in which they compete, great things happen for the game,” US Club Soccer Executive Vice President Christian Lavers said. “The vision and leadership shown by the Directors of Coaching in southern Texas in creating this new platform will have a hugely positive impact on their players, teams and clubs.”