Since its inception, the role of the ECNL within US Soccer has grown substantially. Currently the vast majority of identified USYNT pool participants and team members are based out of ECNL clubs. With over THIRTY alumni having been selected to US Youth National Teams, the path to representing your country is with Challenge ECNL.
ECNL players in USWNT camps in 2012:
U14 Girls National Pool - May 2012 Camp: 30 ECNL players out of 48
U15 Girls National Team - June 2012 Camp: 17 ECNL players out of 24
U17 Girls National Team - June 2012 Camp: 23 ECNL players out of 24
U18 Girls National Team - June 2012 Camp: 19 ECNL players out of 24
US Soccer Technical Director April Heinrichs has recognized the value the ECNL plays in helping US Soccer identify players and improve the game:
“A fun thing about coming back to U.S. Soccer is that there are so many important partners. These partners are critical for our success. We talk about how vital partners are to us. We only have our (national team) players one week out of so many weeks depending on the time of year and the cycle and the specific youth national team. As critical as we think our programming is, we see a huge shot in the arm in their performance when we work with them, but it doesn’t take much to remind ourselves that their daily development is back at home. We’re depending on those coaches for us to have players who can play 90 minutes and who are good soccer players. In that regard, ECNL has been a great partner for us. They are very open to feedback from us and our interaction with scouting players, coaching education initiatives and that kind of thing. They basically took a great model (Development Academy) and mirrored it, without any of the resources that U.S. Soccer puts toward the DA. They’ve mirrored it with some good leaders who believed it was the right thing to do, and in a short time they’ve built it into something very good to compete in."