Elite Development Program (EDP) is a youth soccer organization that provides opportunities for young soccer players to participate in competitive soccer leagues, tournaments, and events.
Founded in 1999, EDP operates youth leagues for boys and girls U11-U19. It also encompasses a Futures program (U8 to U10), a futsal program, a men’s league (U20/23), and a women’s league.
Key Takeaways From This Article:
- EDP in soccer stands for Elite Development Program.
- The Elite Development Program is ideal for players who want to play soccer against very good competition but not the best.
- The EDP hosts tournaments and showcases throughout the season.
In this article, we’ll break down everything you need to know about EDP soccer so you can decide if it’s right for you.
What Does EDP Stand For?
As mentioned before, EDP stands for Elite Development Program.
For U13-U19 soccer players, the EDP league consists of teams mostly from New Jersey, Pennsylvania, Delaware, Maryland, and bordering states.
Leagues are divided into various regions including New England, North Atlantic, Mid Atlantic, and South Atlantic.
More than 3,500 teams participate in EDP’s leagues and more than 170,000 players compete in EDP tournaments annually.
EDP Affiliation with US Youth Soccer
Starting in the 2018/2019 season, EDP entered into a multi-year agreement with US Youth Soccer (USYS) to manage four US Youth Soccer Conferences in the east region.
As an affiliate of US Youth Soccer, EDP operates within the organization’s framework and guidelines. This means that EDP Soccer teams and players are eligible to participate in US Youth Soccer programs and events, such as state and regional championships and national competitions
EDP Soccer’s affiliation with US Youth Soccer and membership with US Club Soccer demonstrates the organization’s commitment to providing young soccer players with a variety of opportunities to develop their skills and compete at the highest levels.
What is EDP Known For?
EDP is known for its various offerings for players on the eastern side of the U.S. to play at a competitive level without extreme travel schedules.
Depending on the skill level and the goals of the player, there are multiple paths within EDP that soccer players can take. This provides a fluid pathway dependent on the player.
In addition, EDP soccer offers various programs to help coaches develop their skills and knowledge. These programs include coaching education and development initiatives that are designed to enhance the abilities of coaches at all levels.
The organization also offers college recruiting services to help players who aspire to play soccer at the college level.
Over the years, EDP Soccer has played a significant role in the development of many young soccer players, who have gone on to play at the collegiate and professional levels.
EDP League Levels
The levels of competition offered by EDP Soccer include:
- EDP Futures: This level is for U8-U10 players and is designed to provide a foundation for young boys and girls to develop their skills and learn the basics of the game.
- EDP Premier Conferences: This level is for U11-U19 players and is the highest level of competition offered by EDP Soccer. It is designed for elite players who are looking to compete at the highest levels of youth soccer.
EDP Premier can be further broken down into the following pathways. Promotion and regulation within these buckets do occur which gives it more balance from year-to-year.
- Premier I & II (U11-U12): MOST COMPETITIVE
- Premier III & IV (U11-U19): MORE COMPETITIVE
- Championship (U11-U19): COMPETITIVE
By the way, I love the concept of a promotion and regulation system for all of our youth leagues. Will we ever get there? Probably not but it does hold clubs and teams accountable. It also welcomes new teams that earn their spot.
I don’t think it could ever happen at the highest levels because of the money and established relationships involved.
EDP Soccer Tournaments
EDP is known for its highly organized and competitive tournaments. These tournaments provide youth soccer players with opportunities to compete against some of the best teams in the region.
One of the more popular tournaments offered by EDP is the EDP Cup Spring. This event brings together top teams from across the Eastern United States to compete in a highly competitive environment. This event for U9-U14 players typically takes place on Memorial Day weekend and is open to any teams to apply.
The EDP Cup Spring Classic Showcase is also a college showcase event. This provides high school players with an opportunity to showcase their talent in front of various college coaches around the country.
Another popular EDP Soccer tournament is the EDP Fall Kickoff. This event takes place at the beginning of the fall season and provides teams with an opportunity to prepare for the upcoming season by competing against top-level competition.
You can browse the various EDP tournaments here.
I’ve seen it first-hand. EDP Soccer tournaments are well-organized and professionally run, and they attract quality teams and players.
Personal Thoughts on EDP
The Elite Development Program is a great option for those players who reside in New Jersey, Pennsylvania, Delaware, Maryland, and bordering states.
Players who are looking to develop their game at an early age and want to take a pathway to play high school and possibly college soccer may want to consider playing in the EDP.
There are many pathways a player can take in youth soccer and EDP is one of them. Teams such as NJ Rush SC, Lower Marion SC, Beachside SC, Princeton SC, and Penn Fusion SA are involved in EDP. You will want to check with your local soccer club to see which league they are participating in.
It is important for players and parents to have good self-awareness and choose a club/league that best suits their talent level!
Frequently Asked Questions
EDP stands for Elite Development Program which was founded in 1999.
According to the most recent rules, EDP players can only play on one team.
The ECNL is considered by many to be a higher level league than the EDP. ECNL has great regional and national programs whereas EDP is more concentrated in smaller pockets on the east side of the U.S.