The NPL provides a unified, league-based national developmental platform with the highest level of competition in its geographic areas.
Created to elevate and change the competitive youth soccer landscape based upon US Club Soccer’s fundamental principles, the NPL extends developmental principals espoused by the U.S. Soccer Development Academy into younger age groups and additional clubs, providing a platform for long-term player development.
More specifically, 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 Champions Cup.
IMPORTANT COMPONENT OF 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 does and must occur 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 culminating event each year is the NPL Champions Cup, where national championships are awarded. The NPL Champions Cup features qualifiers from every NPL across the country in a true “champions league” competition.
The NPL Competition Committee, which includes one representative from every NPL, makes recommendations regarding the NPL Champions Cup qualification process for each NPL based on each league’s relative size and strength. These recommendations include: 1.) direct berths in the NPL Champions Cup; 2.) play-in berths in the NPL Champions Cup, and 3.) placement of NPL finalists in US Club Soccer’s National Cup.
This annual evaluation process will allow continued growth of NPLs across the country while maintaining competitive balance within every league and in the NPL Champions Cup.