ECNL Conference Review | Southeast Conference

  • March 19, 2015

ECNL_Logo_final_colorRichmond, Va. (March 19, 2015) – The Elite Clubs National League is the top female youth soccer competition and development platform in the country, consisting of seven conferences across the United States and 77 member clubs.  ECNL Conference reviews take a look at each club’s performance from the previous season along with the outlook and players to watch for in the current season.  Over the last few months, the ECNL has released conference reviews, covering the Northeast, Mid-Atlantic, Midwest, Southwest, and Texas Conferences. The sixth conference review examines the Southeast Conference.

“The formation of the ECNL in 2009 began a change in the female youth soccer landscape.” said Andrew Hyslop, ECNL Director for Carolina Elite Soccer Association.  “I have seen the growth of the league impact all areas of the country, improving the quality of both players and coaches.  The focus instilled in ECNL players across the board is at another level, with players training and playing with a purpose all of the time.”

ECNL conference competition is the heart of the ECNL, and the primary method by which teams qualify for the post-season ECNL Play-Offs every year.  Conference games feature some of the most heated rivalries in youth soccer, and winning an ECNL Conference Championship is a matter of huge pride for every player and club.

The Southeast Conference spans five states: Alabama, Florida, Georgia, North Carolina, and South Carolina.  On a weekly basis, the competition offers each player the opportunity to compete in a highly competitive environment, against some of the top players in the region.  The camaraderie between the member clubs within the conference further adds to the atmosphere, and enhances the ECNL experience.

The Southeast Conference saw two Member Clubs ranked in the top 25 for the ECNL Overall Club Standings last season.

  • 11th: Concorde Fire
  • 23rd: Charlotte Soccer Academy

“The impact ECNL has had on the overall development of female youth soccer is immeasurable.” said Dan Dudley, ECNL Director for Charlotte Soccer Academy.  “The competitive landscape is ever changing, pushing member clubs to improve training environments, staffing, and competitiveness at every level.  The member clubs within the Southeast Conference continue to strive for the most comprehensive player development in the region to enhance the overall experience for the ECNL player.”

ECNL SOUTHEAST CONFERENCE AT-A-GLANCE:

Member Clubs (8): Atlanta Fire, Birmingham United, Carolina Elite Soccer Academy, Charlotte Soccer Academy, Concorde Fire, GSA, Orlando City, West Florida Flames

2013-14 Conference Champions

  • U14: Charlotte Soccer Academy
  • U15: Concorde Fire
  • U16: Concorde Fire
  • U17: GSA ECNL
  • U18: Concorde Fire

2013-2014 Champions League Qualifiers

  • U15: Carolina Elite Soccer Academy, Charlotte Soccer Academy, Concorde Fire
  • U16: Atlanta Fire, Birmingham United, Carolina Elite Soccer Academy, Concorde Fire
  • U17: GSA, West Florida Flames

2013-2014 ECNL Finals Qualifiers

  • U14: Charlotte Soccer Academy, Concorde Fire
  • U17: GSA
  • U18: Concorde Fire

Here is a brief look into each Member Club in the ECNL Southeast Conference.

Atlanta Fire

Atlanta Fire United Soccer Association is a youth organization offering all levels to players age four to nineteen.  Every player from the class of 2015 is committed to play in college.

Players to Watch:

  • Hannah Davidson
  • Chloe Kim
  • Brooke Barrett
  • Natalie Zapata
  • Emory Wegener
  • Birdie Lombardo

Birmingham United

Birmingham United is a non-profit full service club servicing players in the central Alabama area.  Through the partnership with Alabama FC the organization services over 3,700 players, making it the largest soccer organization in the state.

Players to Watch:

  • Maggie Clemmons
  • Leigh Haynes
  • Caroline Moffitt
  • Alex Giggie
  • Julia Pack
  • Hannah Moody

Carolina Elite Soccer Academy

Carolina Elite Soccer Academy (CESA) was formed in 2004 as a full service soccer club with over 3,000 members playing at a variety of levels.  CESA is committed to providing each player within the club with a positive soccer experience, and is proud to be one of the original ECNL Member Clubs.

Players to Watch:

  • Caroline Conti (US YNT)
  • Kailey Mattison (US YNT)
  • Alexandra Soree (Belgian YNT)

Charlotte Soccer Academy

Charlotte Soccer Academy is the only full service club in the Charlotte area, providing members with the opportunity to play and develop at all ages.  The club has teams at all levels starting at recreational on through to the elite travel level, both ECNL and US Soccer Development Academy for the girls and boys teams respectively.

Players to Watch:

  • Ashlynn Serepca (US YNT)
  • Courtney Walker
  • Remy Robers
  • Olivia Odell
  • Cyan Mercer
  • Kimber Haley

Concorde Fire

Concorde Fire Soccer Club was formed in June 2003 with the merger of two Atlanta premier leagues, Concorde Soccer Association and The Atlanta Fire.  The club has about 50 teams on both the girls and boys side, serving all age groups at every level, having sent several players to play collegiately.

Players to Watch:

  • Croix Bethune (US YNT)
  • Katherine Asman (US YNT)
  • Nicole Payne (US YNT)
  • Ashley Orkus (US YNT)
  • Mikayla Krzeczowski (US YNT)

GSA

Gol Soccer Academy was formed in the spring of 2013 in a joint venture between Gwinnett Soccer Association and Tucker Youth Soccer Association.  GSA has approximately 800 players, boys and girls, servicing the northeast suburbs of Atlanta.

Players to Watch:

  • Jennifer Westendorf (US YNT)
  • Dani Marcano
  • Danielle Moore

Orlando City

Orlando City SC was formed in 2010.  In November of 2013 Orlando City was awarded the 21st MLS franchise, increasing player draw for youth teams in the central Florida area.

Players to Watch:

  • Brooke Bolliner (US YNT)
  • Jacqueline Schaefer (US YNT)
  • Amanda McGlynn (US YNT)

West Florida Flames

In 2012 Brandon Flames and West Florida Premier merged to become the West Florida Flames and join the league.  The club serves the players of all ages and skill level, having sent several to play in college.

Players to Watch:

  • Katherine Hershfelt
  • Brie Sikes
  • Laurel Ivory (US YNT)
  • Katie Ralys
  • Victoria Canatta
  • Karli Gutsch (US YNT)

To learn more about ECNL Conferences, visit www.eliteclubsnationlleague.com.

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About Amazing Young WomenTM:  The Amazing Young Women campaign is a dynamic platform of online and local market activations that showcase and celebrate female role models offering an aspirational focus for all female athletes and teens as they prepare to be our next generation of leaders.  Throughout the 2014-2015 season, the ECNL will showcase what it means to have #BeautifulAmbition as exemplified by former and current ECNL players, and will call on all of the nation’s women to join the movement to celebrate the endless potential of today’s girls.

About Elite Clubs National League:  The Elite Clubs National League (ECNL) was founded in 2009 to enhance the developmental experience of female youth soccer players in the United States through: (i) Improving the competitive environment through creation of a true national competitive league; (ii) Improving the process for identifying elite female soccer players for the U.S. Soccer youth national teams through a systematic scouting and identification program based on national competitions; and (iii) improving the daily training environment at top female youth soccer clubs through developing best practices and training and organizational guidelines for its member clubs.  The ECNL is sanctioned by US Club Soccer and is sponsored by Nike Soccer.

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Jen Woodie
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