FRISCO, Texas — The US Youth Soccer New England EDP Conference, which will serve top-level teams from all the New England State Associations, will launch starting with the 2020-21 soccer year.
The New England EDP Conference will provide opportunities for teams to compete in a league format with the added possibility of earning their way into the US Youth Soccer Eastern Regional Championships and the US Youth Soccer National League.
The US Youth Soccer New England EDP Conference is one of 13 Conferences under the US Youth Soccer Leagues Program in the Multi-State Tier. The New England EDP Conference will consist of teams primarily from Massachusetts, Connecticut, Vermont, New Hampshire, Maine and Rhode Island.
“As US Youth Soccer continues to evolve its network of Conferences as part of the US Youth Soccer Leagues Program, it is essential that opportunities be provided to teams in the New England State Associations,” said Skip Gilbert, US Youth Soccer CEO. “The New England EDP Conference will be inclusive. It will allow top level teams from all the New England State Associations, big and small, to participate in a multi-state Conference that provides pathways to additional competition at both the regional and national levels.”
Plans for the New England EDP Conference include offering two levels of top quality league competition — a Premier I Division and a Premier II Division — for boys’ and girls’ teams in the 13U through 19U age groups. Play for the younger age levels (13U and 14U) will initially be from September into November, while all age groups (13U to 19U) will play from March into June. It is anticipated that the Conference schedules will include seven to eight games each season.
Participating in the New England EDP Conference potentially provides additional competitive opportunities. A one-game playoff for each gender age group featuring the winners of the Premier I Division of the New England EDP Conference and the Premier I Division of the North Atlantic EDP Conference will decide the teams that qualify for the Eastern Regional Championships and the US Youth Soccer National League. The winners of the Premier II Division of the Conference will be promoted to the Premier I Division for the next soccer year.
“US Youth Soccer and EDP Soccer always put the best interests of youth players first in providing developmental and competitive opportunities. US Youth Soccer has the most comprehensive pathway for youth teams that want to test themselves against opponents from other areas, including on regional and even national levels,” said Alan Shilling, President of EDP Soccer. “So, it was important that we work with the State Associations to bring the US Youth Soccer Leagues Program to New England, which is what the New England EDP Conference accomplishes.”
Teams may apply to participate in the 2020-21 New England EDP Conference during an application period that runs from April 10 through July 1, 2020 for the 13U and 14U age groups. The 13U and 14U teams accepted into the New England EDP Conference for play in the Fall 2020 and Spring 2021 seasons will be notified by July 24, 2020.
Teams may apply to participate in the 2020-21 New England Conference during an application period than runs from April 10 through October 1, 2020, for the 15U through 19U age groups. The 15U through 19U teams accepted into the New England EDP Conference for play in the Spring 2021 season will be notified by October 24