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Elite Club National League

ECNL Overview

MISSION:  The Elite Clubs National League (ECNL) was founded in 2009 to enhance the developmental experience of female youth soccer players in theUnited States through:

  • Improving the competitive environment through creation of a true national competitive league with multiple flights;
  • Improving the process for identifying elite female soccer players for the U.S. Soccer youth national teams through a systematic scouting and identification program based on national competitions; and
  • Improving the daily training environment at top female youth soccer clubs through developing best practices and training and organizational guidelines for its member clubs. 

GOAL: The goal of the Elite Clubs National League (ECNL) is to change the landscape for elite female soccer players in theUnited States through innovative, player-centered programming and to enhance the overall experience by creating a better, more enjoyable, and more successful player, coach, and club development model.

ACTION PLAN (Summary): To accomplish this goal, the ECNL developed a common organizational structure, composed of individual clubs operating collectively under the direction of a commissioner. Because the ECNL exists to promote the common interest of its member clubs, the ECNL operating model is unified and comprehensive and values accessibility and sustainability. The ECNL utilizes four primary delivery mechanisms, or platforms, for “Changing the Daily Environment."

  1. The Competition Platform;
  2. The Player Identification Platform;
  3. The Club and Coach Development Platform, and
  4. The HER Platform (a female-specific health, wellness, and rejuvenation platform).

Player Identification Platform

The goal of the ECNL is to change the landscape for elite female soccer players in theUnited Statesthrough innovative, player-centered programming and to enhance the overall experience by creating a better, more enjoyable, more accessible, and more successful player, coach, and club development model.

To accomplish this goal, the ECNL utilizes four primary platforms: 1-The Competition Platform; 2-The Player Identification Platform; 3 – The Club and Coach Development Platform, and 4 – The HER Platform (a female-specific health, wellness, and rejuvenation platform).

Player Identification Platform

The ECNL Player Identification Program is intended to provide a better, more efficient, and streamlined process for identifying players with the potential to play with the US Soccer Youth National Teams. The ECNL Player ID Program identifies the top players in the ECNL and then provides opportunities for these players to be seen and trained by U.S. Soccer National Team staff.  The ECNL Player ID Program was created under 4 key principles:

  • Players should be scouted and evaluated in their regular environment.
  • There should be no additional cost to players for scouting and identification.
  • To insure accurate evaluations, multiple people should evaluate players over multiple events.
  • To ensure accurate evaluations, the coaches that train and develop the identified players should be consulted as the best source of information regarding overall ability, mentality, and current form.

By scouting players in their regular team environment, while they are competing against the best players in the country, the ECNL Player ID Program increases opportunities for identified players at no additional cost to the players. The program also does not add congestion to the player calendar by requiring multiple levels of “try-outs” and other competitions to identify players. 

The ECNL Player Identification Platform includes a scouting network of over 150 scouts. These scouts include coaches from member clubs of the ECNL as well as independent coaches, and some of the country’s best youth club coaches, coaches with former experience with US Soccer National Teams, and coaches from top Division I, II, and III colleges. The ECNL scouting staff is one of the largest, most qualified, and most comprehensive scouting networks for female players in the country.

ECNL scouts are assigned to observe and analyze ECNL games at each ECNL National Showcase Event. A standardized evaluation program has been established by the ECNL for these scouts whereby identified players will be evaluated on a variety of technical, tactical, physical, and psychological characteristics based upon their performances. The performance of identified players will be tracked over time through a secure, online database allowing longitudinal tracking of the players.

  • The ECNL / id2 National Camp: Held annually and becoming the most elite girls identification event in the country, approximately 90 of the nation’s top female youth soccer players are invited for one weekend to participate in training and competition before US Soccer National Team staff. The ECNL / id2National Camp is free of charge for the players; the ECNL and Nike Soccer cover all of the costs associated with the camp, including hotel and ground transportation, meals, coaching, facilities, and equipment. The only cost for players is transportation to and from the camp. During the camp, the players have the opportunity to compete in front of top colleges from around the nation, are trained by some of the top youth coaches in the country, and learn from a series of off-field presentations from experts and former national team coaches and players (the 2011 camp included presentations from former U.S. Women’s National Team standouts Mia Hamm and Kristine Lilly).
  • The ECNL / id2 International Tour: In August 2011, 17 of the top players from the ECNL in the 1994 and 1995 birth year will go to London, England for an International Tour consisting of games against English professional clubs. These players were selected based on their performances in the 2010-2011 ECNL regular season and at the ECNL / id2National Camp. There is no cost at all for this trip for participating players.

Director of Coaching, ECNL

Carlos "Cacho" Cordoba - Director of Coaching Girls Division & ECNL Director
720.490.8764
ccordoba@coloradostorm.com