The Northeast Soccer League (NSL) has announced that, beginning with the 2019/20 seasonal year, more than 5,500 players and 350 teams from the 65 clubs that make up the NSL, will register with US Youth Soccer (USYS) through the applicable Member State Associations from New England.
This move has been encouraged by numerous innovative USYS initiatives including the USYS brand relaunch, National League restructure and reorganization, and AIMS by InjureFree program implementation.
The creation of the League Championships (LC) pilot program offers teams and clubs a new pathway to advance to the US Youth Soccer Eastern Regional Championships. The LC pilot program will launch in the fall of 2019 with the NSL becoming an inaugural member alongside the National Capital Soccer League (NCSL) and Club Champions League (CCL) in Maryland and Virginia. The NSL that plays across Massachusetts, New Hampshire, Rhode Island, Vermont and Connecticut will work alongside the Massachusetts Youth Soccer, New Hampshire Youth Soccer and Soccer Rhode Island State Associations to provide this regional and national pathway for players and clubs.
“This is a long awaited and very important development for the Northeast Soccer League and the chance to offer all teams and clubs across the Northeast an added opportunity to play at the highest levels is very exciting. Creating a pathway to the US Youth Soccer Regional Championships through league play makes every match that much more important. We look forward to exposing our players to the highest level of US Youth Soccer play,” said John Barata, NSL Executive Director.
Member leagues participating in the LC pilot program must apply and meet significant minimum standards. Teams and players must be properly registered with USYS through their State Association in order to participate. Participating leagues will have the opportunity for their top finishing teams from their top division to compete against the other participating league’s top finishers to earn a place in the US Youth Soccer Eastern Regional Championships. Participating teams must continue to participate in their State Association’s State Cups. The LC program is managed by a committee consisting of members from the State Associations, League leadership and USYS.
The LC program has been designed with a focus on player and club development with input from club and league leadership. Top clubs will now have the chance to compete in high level, standardized competition with other top clubs that meet the set standards.
“Massachusetts Youth Soccer Association is delighted to continue our long-term relationship with the Northeast Soccer League, NSL. The NSL’s motto of compete, develop, succeed embodies the emphasis Mass Youth Soccer desires in leagues providing our players a higher level of play. With the NSL’s acceptance into US Youth Soccer’s League Championship’s pilot the clubs and players will be a part of a player pathway leading towards regional and national level competition,” commented Mass Youth Soccer Executive Director, Mike Borislow.
“New Hampshire Soccer Association is excited to work alongside the NSL to provide a pathway to the country’s most prestigious regional and national soccer championships. In a landscape that limits all teams/clubs from competing at the highest level, I believe this model under US Youth Soccer, the country’s largest youth soccer organization, is exactly what this region needs to provide our players and coaches the opportunities to develop and succeed,” said Rusty Wightman, New Hampshire Soccer Association.
“Congratulations to Northeast Soccer League & MA Youth Soccer for being recognized by US Youth Soccer as a leader in the development of youth soccer players in the northeast. NSL’s message of “Compete, Develop, Succeed” thoroughly aligns with Soccer Rhode Island’s mission to continually develop the youth players of RI. SRI is proud to partner with the NSL and pleased to provide our youth players with this additional and significant opportunity,” commented Soccer RI President, Steve Votolato.
Additional information on the LC program will become available in the coming weeks.