The NPL was created to elevate and change the competitive youth soccer landscape by extending developmental principles espoused by U.S. Soccer into more age groups and clubs, by linking competition with player development and identification platforms, and by providing meaningful weekly competition culminating in the NPL Finals.
NPLs are independent leagues, unified under one national competition platform, and based on a common technical framework designed to improve long-term player development. The NPL provides a platform:
focused on long-term player development;
for the country’s top soccer clubs, allowing consistent, meaningful high-level games appropriately scheduled with higher training-to-game ratios;
that allows players to be scouted and evaluated by U.S. Soccer National Staff and Technical Advisors;
that is designed and structured by the clubs, based on the needs of the clubs; and
that provides an avenue for qualification for the NPL Finals.
EXECUTING US CLUB SOCCER’S 10-YEAR VISION:
The NPL is an important component of US Club Soccer's 10-year vision to refine the landscape for competitive youth soccer. This vision recognizes that:
Properly-structured youth soccer clubs are the vehicle through which player development occurs in the United States.
Clubs should play in leagues that provide meaningful games, allow establishment of the proper training-to-game ratio, and eliminate calendar congestion.
NPLs, as well as the best clubs, should be integrated in US Club Soccer's id2 National Identification and Development Program, include Player Development Programs (PDPs) in select local markets, and work closely with U.S. Soccer staff regarding player identification, and player and coach development.
The NPL held its inaugural NPL Showcase in March 2014, which brought teams from NPLs across the country to one site for intra-league competition and player showcasing. It featured U-16, U-17 and U-18 boys teams at Heritage Park in suburban Las Vegas, Nev. Click here for a recap.
Following on the heels of that event, an NPL Showcase for U-15 through U-17 elite girls teams will be held Dec. 31, 2014 - Jan. 2, 2015 in Palm Coast, Fla. Click here for the list of accepted teams.
The targeted destination for all NPL teams, and the culminating event each season, is the NPL Finals (formerly known as the NPL Champions Cup), where NPL national champions are determined. The NPL Finals feature qualifiers in U-13 through U-18 boys and girls age groups from every NPL across the country in a true "champions league" competition.
US Club Soccer established the National Premier Leagues (NPL) in 2011 as a platform to provide the highest level of competition in given geographical areas. Nine leagues kicked off play in September 2011 as part of the NPL's inaugural season. The season came to a close in July at the 2012 NPL Champions Cup, held in Waukegan, Ill., featuring league champions from across the country. Five teams from three leagues were crowned NPL national champions.
Now, the NPL has grown to include college showcase opportunities with its annual NPL Showcase (Girls) in Florida over the New Year's holiday and through partnerships with the Surf Cup and Jefferson Cup.
The NPL Finals, formerly known as the NPL Champions Cup, continues to be a coveted, league-based national championship competition featuring 13-U through 18/19-U boys and girls teams from around the country.
Leo Garcia became the league's general manager in July 2014.
The Elite National Premier League, featuring 16 qualifying NPLs and Boys ECNL Conferences, officially begins with the 2017-18 season. The ENPL will provide local and national regular-season competition, national showcase events and postseason playoff competition for top teams across the country.