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ECNL vs NPL

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ECNL vs NPL Empty ECNL vs NPL

Post by punchface 25/02/14, 11:47 am

I understand some clubs are looking at NPL as an alternative to ECNL. I know non ECNL clubs and coaches will say anything depending on the situation. Should we try to go ECNL as soon as possible or NPL offer the same opportunities? Any help for an 01 parent would be greatly appreciated.

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ECNL vs NPL Empty Re: ECNL vs NPL

Post by DDdad 25/02/14, 12:26 pm

ECNL is a club based organization with a full season along with Showcases. Figure 20 League games and 3-4 Showcase events of 3 games each plus an outside tournament or two. NPL is a Team based showcase season that has to be earned and is not consistent from year to year. You can make it one year and not the next. 2 Showcases with a total of 8 games. An NPL team will play a USYSA schedule and play NPL as extra games.

I don't know of any ECNL club that has turned down an invitation to play NPL. That said, the majority of the NPL teams are either teams that are non-ECNL but with a couple very good teams (Liverpool Pulp as an example) or clubs that have not for whatever reason been invited to play in ECNL yet but are powerhouses in their regions (TopHat, Legends).

College coaches will show up to any event that showcases multiple quality teams and both NPL and ECNL qualify. Soccer will be great at either event. Perhaps the best forward I've seen in person in the '00 age group is not in ECNL but plays in NPL. The number of games is less but the quality is not.

IMO, the two major differences are the number of games/ opportunities and the fact that ECNL is consistent. The NPL teams this year may not earn invites for next year.

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Post by Gunner9 25/02/14, 01:48 pm

Wow, a fair, balanced and accurate assessment. What are you doing on here?  scratch 

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Post by Ntxrocks 25/02/14, 06:08 pm

I would disagree with the fact that NPL is a team-based program. Many of the 01 teams that are selected for NPL are not based on results from competition outside of their state or region. Particularly at the lower ages. The ECNL program is dictated upon club success which leads to more recruits and better talent. The ECNL clubs already draw the heavy hitters so the remaining players head to NPL clubs. This implies a step below ECNL.

Also the ECNL program requires coaches to be more qualified therefore drawing in better players and better talent. With 73 teams represented throughout the country for ECNL there are plenty of opportunities for players to draw into one of their states or markets easily into one of these programs. This means the top players go to the top teams. This is very inviting to a college coach who understands the competition will be top-notch. The NPL programs tend to have teams that are lower rank.

Once the pre-ECNL teams are gone, it is easier for teams to win. Then they get to go to NPL.

College coaches still recruit NPL showcases, just like competitive showcases. I believe the D1 coaches will hit ECNL over NPL, D2 coaches hit NPL over competitive, and D3 or NAIA coaches hit competitive showcases.

There is another post with ECNL player recruiting that I suggest you read. ECNL players dominate D1 scholarships so to say they are similar would be misleading.
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ECNL vs NPL Empty Re: ECNL vs NPL

Post by Guest 25/02/14, 07:29 pm

DDdad is probably talking about National League which is indeed a team /merit based league and very high quality. Entry is earned and not based on club affiliation. I would expect national league teams to be very competitive with ECNL teams nationally.

NPL is another us club league ran by the same folk that run ECNL...doesn't appear to be very competitive on girls side in our region, nor is it merit based entry.

If you're not going ECNL, I don't see why you'd want to play an ECNL b league when USYS regional premiere leagues are far more competitive and give you a shot to earn your way to national league. Tophat, OFC, Legends and most the other highly competitive clubs that have legit arguments for ECNL inclusion will be found in USYS regional premiere leagues & national league, not NPL....at least that's the current landscape.

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Post by DDdad 25/02/14, 07:49 pm

What he said...
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Post by Ntxrocks 25/02/14, 08:02 pm

Agree if that is the case. Punch said they were looking at it as an alternative to ECNL which is only on the girls side. NPL boys program is very good.
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Post by Flatback4 26/02/14, 08:27 am

With 73 teams represented throughout the country for ECNL there are plenty of opportunities for players to draw into one of their states or markets easily into one of these programs.

Not that it is a big difference, but there are 76 clubs as members of the ECNL and each club has one team in each age group.

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Post by go99 26/02/14, 09:37 am

No the girls side needs something like the Academy league run by the US federation with a direct connection to the national team
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ECNL vs NPL Empty Re: ECNL vs NPL

Post by tschlurker 13/03/14, 09:31 pm

NPL is not a comparable alternative to ECNL, and is populated by B/C teams in areas where there are ECNL clubs. It is something non-ECNL clubs try to sell, and I think US Club Soccer tries to help out non-ECNL clubs by creating NPL leagues.  There are a slew of them.  The most recent NPL creation (which may be what is being sold to you) is the South Central Premier League, consisting of Blitz United SC (Okla.), Dynamos SC (Tx), Eclipse SC (Tx),Houston Express SC (Tx), Liverpool FC America (Tx)and Space City FC (Tx).  These groups seem far below the level of NTex ECNL competition.  SCPL is at least a step below PLW which is at least a step below ECNL.  
The actual "National League" is selective and does indeed have top national teams, but NPL (for girls) is a different less competitive animal.

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ECNL vs NPL Empty Re: ECNL vs NPL

Post by Guest 17/03/14, 10:39 am

I agree with most of this, except I don't think US Club is trying to "help out" the non-ECNL clubs with this league.

I think US Club is trying to CRUSH USYS in the elite players space...as in remove them from the picture completely when it comes to having any dealings with top players anywhere in the country.

What I don't understand is why the non-ECNL clubs would go for NPL in lieu of playing USYS premier leagues...or better yet banding together to help USYS form some well publicized national alternative to ECNL. Are they thinking US Club may grant them ECNL entry if they give them NPL money? Seems unlikely.

Is NPL getting more looks from college coaches than USYS premier leagues? Don't know...but doubtful either get much attention at the regional level (at least in our region). If NPL really IS offering more exposure, I suppose it makes sense.

I noticed some of the top non-ECNL clubs are giving NPL a shot, WHILE still doing USYS premier leagues. Also saw NPL is failing out west. So many of the top non-ECNL clubs in socal said "No thanks, not coming back", they recently had to cancel the socal version of NPL completely. Socal non-ECNLs clubs figuring it out?

Any parents who've been around longer than I, please shed light on the history behind the turf battle between USYS and US Club. From what I can tell, a major reason US Club is kicking USYS butt is marketing.

Many predicted ECNL would eventually crumble due to costs, as have other national league attempts. But ECNL scored a huge marketing coup getting ECNL finals joined with the NCAA finals that one year...and a few of those ECNL games were on ESPN. I watched a few of those games, and to be honest the quality of ECNL soccer was disappointing back then. But I'm guessing that publicity racheted up interest around the country, and ECNL then went to a regional format, thus removing the costs issue, and solidifying their future.

ECNL hasn't been back on ESPN since (that I'm aware of), but ECNL is so far out ahead of USYS in marketing, it's incredible USYS isn't responding.

ECNL uses TopDrawer to full effect creating buzz and publicity around their events. USYS boys national league finals were this past weekend, and the only pub is a blurb on the USYS website, and an email blast (if you happened to be subscribed to USYS mailing list).

OTOH US Club uses TopDrawer to feed the beast regularly. If a top ECNL player so much as farts in the wind, topdrawer will have someone write up a news release, maybe even put up a cool video. They're making the whole thing FEEL more substantial.

Don't buy topdrawer is the mouthpiece of ECNL? Do a search for USYS on topdrawer. There are 26 articles. Nearly all of them are from 2010 or earlier. A few of those 26 are negative hits on USYS (i.e. topdrawer saying the round robin format sucks for USYS national championship).

Contrast that with the over 270 topdrawer articles on ECNL, most of which were written in the last 2 years, none negative (that I've seen).

It's clear sometime after 2010/2011, topdrawer became markedly pro-ecnl, and began to exclude/ignore USYS. Maybe USYS has given up and will cede the market for top players to US Club? For the sake of everyone's pocketbooks...I hope not.

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