CHARLESTON, S.C. (Nov. 8, 2012) – US Club Soccer has announced that the 2013 NPL Champions Cup, the national championship event for the National Premier Leagues (NPL) season, will take place July 18-22 at Aurora Soccer Complex in suburban Denver.
At the event, champions from NPLs throughout the country will compete against one another to be crowned NPL national champions in the U-13, U-14, U-15, U-16 and U-17/18 boys and girls age groups. The NPL Champions Cup is the culminating event of year-long, league-based competition and one of the most prestigious championships in the country.
“Teams compete in their respective NPL all year to have the opportunity to qualify for the NPL Champions Cup,” said NPL General Manager Chris Baer. “League-based competition is the best and most accurate way to determine the best teams in the country and when they all come together at the NPL Champions Cup, it is a special event.”
The Aurora Sports Complex is no stranger to national championship events, having hosted the Elite Clubs National League (ECNL) National Championships in 2011.
"We are excited to be in Colorado next summer to build off the success of the inaugural NPL Champions Cup,” said Baer. “We’ve added new NPLs in several key markets for the 2012-13 season, including the Mountain Developmental League (Ariz., Colo., N.M.), Pacific Developmental League (Calif.), South Atlantic Premier League and Washington State Premier League, and we are looking forward to crowning the first girls NPL national titlists at the 2013 NPL Champions Cup."
The inaugural NPL Champions Cup was held July 27-31, 2012, at Waukegan Sports Park in Waukegan, Ill., where five boys teams were crowned NPL national champions. Both the Texas Pre-Academy League and the Midwest Developmental League boasted a pair of championship-winning teams at the event, which featured league champions from across the nation in the U-13 through U-17/18 boys age groups.
For the second straight year, the NPL Champions Cup will be held alongside the National Cup Finals.
Providing a unified, league-based national development platform, the NPL now includes 17 leagues, nearly doubling the number of leagues in competition since September 2011. In addition to the regular-season league schedule, NPL members have the opportunity to take part in scouting showcases and Player Development Programs (PDPs), which are platforms for additional player identification and development.
ABOUT THE NATIONAL PREMIER LEAGUES (NPL):
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;
- that provides an avenue for qualification for the NPL Champions Cup.
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.
- National Premier Leagues, 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 will be awarded. The NPL Champions Cup will feature qualifiers from every NPL across the country in a true “champions league” competition.
US Club Soccer is a non-profit organization committed to the development and support of soccer clubs and players in the United States. A National Association member of the U.S. Soccer Federation, US Club Soccer maximizes flexibility and offers youth and adult player and staff registration, integrated competition platforms at the recreational and competitive levels, as well as a variety of other programming, including the Olympic Development Program-sanctioned id2 Program and Player Development Programs.
Unique to US Club Soccer is the ability of member clubs to unite youth and adult programs within one organization, creating a “members for life” culture within each club.