The ECNL was founded in 2009 as a challenge to the status quo of youth soccer, with a vision to be better. In its first years, the league supported only girls programming, but that was to change.
As a result of grassroots collaboration and innovation driven by youth soccer leaders all around the country, the ECNL quickly rose to national prominence – and ultimately to be the top level of competition and player development in the country. Each step was fueled by a shared commitment to elevating the youth soccer experience.
From inception, the ECNL consistently developed in alignment with the needs of its member clubs, always seeking opportunities to lead and provide more, no matter the challenge or adversity. The four letters “ECNL” have become the embodiment of collaborative innovation, opportunity, respect, development, and excellence in youth soccer, as the once-radical idea of clubs having a voice to determine their future proved to produce results never before seen in youth soccer. Unrivaled numbers of female players, of constantly improving quality, began moving on to the collegiate, professional, and national team levels as the ECNL impact changed youth soccer.
In 2017, the landscape again demanded more and the ECNL Boys was founded, setting the stage for an amazing period of rapid growth, increasing quality and further change in youth soccer. Starting with 57 of the top boys clubs in the country, the creation of the Boys ECNL once again demonstrated how a total commitment to improving the experience of players, coaches, clubs, and the environment in which they develop, can change everything.
Today, the ECNL represents the epitome of excellence in youth soccer, for boys and girls, as the league and its clubs, players, coaches, and everyone involved seeks to constantly “Raise the Game” for the future.