Pre-Elite Clubs National League (ECNL) is a youth soccer league for U-11 and U-12 boys and girls in the United States. This age group is considered a stepping stone to the Elite Clubs National League (ECNL).
It is a great pathway to get prepared for the ECNL which is a highly competitive league for youth soccer players aged 13 to 19.
Here’s a good look at how competitive a game might be…
Why wouldn’t they just expand ECNL to two younger age groups? The ECNL can be heavy on travel and training sessions which isn’t suited for the younger players.
Players who are eleven and younger are still developing their skills and growing into their bodies. For this reason, the Pre-ECNL is a great option.
If you’re wondering if Pre-ECNL is worth it for your child, read on. We’ll detail all you need to know!
What is the History of Pre-ECNL?
The Pre-ECNL was founded in 2009 to create a pathway to the traditional ECNL. The ECNL is one of the highest levels in the youth soccer pyramid.
The youth program creates a bridge between recreational and competitive soccer. It provides our youngster an opportunity to play more competitive soccer in their region.
Every year more teams and clubs continue to join.
What is the Structure of the League?
If you and your child are interested in joining the soccer program, it is important to understand the league’s structure.
The season typically runs from late-August to early-June.
During this time, teams will play a variety of games against other Pre-ECNL teams in their region.
In addition to league games, many clubs offer their teams to enter tournaments and friendlies. This provides the player with a vast array of experience against other kids their age.
The competition format varies depending on the region.
Most leagues follow a similar format that includes regular season games, playoffs, and a championship game.
Or, they will end their season with a regional tournament against teams in various leagues.
Are There Pre-ECNL Tryouts?
If there’s interest in joining a Pre-ECNL team, your child will probably need to go through tryouts or ID sessions.
These tryouts are typically held in the spring and late fall (for the spring season), and they are the primary way that coaches select players for their teams.
Here’s what you need to know about Pre-ECNL tryouts.
To be eligible for Pre-ECNL tryouts, you must meet certain requirements. These requirements can vary depending on the state or region you’re in, but here are some general guidelines:
- A player must be in the U-11 or U-12 age group.
- A player must play for a participating Pre-ECNL club. The club will go through a qualifying process.
Should your child play on a team that competes in the Pre-ECNL? It depends.
I think you should consider it if your child…
- Has a pure passion for soccer
- Has a desire to get better
- Is truly bored of town rec or travel
- Has the schedule to play all year
- Is coachable and has the potential to become a better soccer player
When you know, you know.
Placing a player in a competitive soccer league at an early age is a great way to prepare them for the future.