FEVER UNITED 01G GUERRA
More than 200 college coaches lined the sidelines on Thursday and many more are expected to attend this National League weekend to scout some of the top teams and players in the country. The competitive level of each game adds to player evaluation, as every team has to earn their place in the league, regardless of location or club affiliation.
“It’s great to start off the National League with a win,” 16U FC United coach Craig Snower said after his team’s 1-0 victory. “It’s always competitive. The moniker, ‘earn your place,’ is always well deserved and that’s what makes the league great. Any team in the country can get in here as long as they get the wins and earn their place in.
“It’s something we focus on with our top teams — National League is the place you want to play. That’s the goal every year, to qualify for National League. You want to get those quality games for your team but also for the players to get in front of the college coaches who are here each year.”
The strength of the competition was on display on Thursday, as multiple defending National Champions dropped points. The four returning National title winners combined for two wins, a draw and a loss on the season’s opening day.
The National League is an extension of the highly successful US Youth Soccer Regional Leagues (US Youth Soccer Eastern Regional League, Midwest Regional League, Southern Regional Premier League and Far West Regional League). The National League provides an avenue for teams to play in meaningful matches against top competition from across the country for continued development and opportunities for exposure at the national team, collegiate and professional levels.
National League action will continue Friday, Dec. 1, as the girls teams play their second game of the season.*