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ECNL National Finals Headed to Richmond, VA

RICHMOND, VA (December 17, 2012): The Elite Clubs National League (ECNL) is excited to announce that the 2013 ECNL National Finals will be held in Richmond, VA from July 10-15, 2013. The event will be co-hosted by the Richmond Strikers, Henrico County, and the Richmond Metropolitan Convention & Visitors Bureau.

The majority of the matches for the ECNL Finals will take place at the Strikers’ West Creek facility, with one nationally televised match to be played at Striker Park in Henrico County.

“We are tremendously excited that our existing relationship with the Richmond Strikers has led to working cooperatively to host the ECNL in 2013,” said RMCVB Director of Sports Development Corey Peterson, “The continual impact in the community of showcasing our destination to elite athletes at a national championship-caliber level is immeasurable.”

The ECNL Finals are expected to bring more than 4,000 visitors to Richmond, including coaches and scouts from nearly every college in the country, as well as a national television presence. The ECNL Finals, the culminating and most prestigious event of the ECNL season, will showcase the highest level of girls youth soccer in the United States, with teams earning qualification from performances over the entire ECNL season. The event will also provide a significant economic boost to the host region.

“Richmond is a fantastic place to hold the ECNL’s championship event and to host the best female youth soccer players in the nation,” said ECNL Executive Director Jay Howell, “The Richmond Strikers have a national reputation for hosting great soccer events, and Henrico County and the City of Richmond will be wonderful partners.”

The 2012-13 season marks the first time the ECNL will hold a two-stage post-season event. The first stage of the post-season, the ECNL National Playoff event, will take place June 21-23, 2013 in Aurora, Colorado, and will determine the qualifiers for the ECNL Finals.

“Holding a multiple stage play-off event allows more teams to enter the postseason with a chance to compete for a national title,” said Sarah Kate Noftsinger, ECNL Commissioner. “The 64 teams that advance to the ECNL Finals in Richmond will be the best of the best.”

U14 ECNL Finals:

The top two U-14 teams from each conference automatically qualify for the ECNL Finals in Richmond. These sixteen teams will be placed into a single-elimination bracket with consolation games. Each team will play four games at the ECNL National Finals to determine the National Champion.

U15-U17 ECNL Finals:

In the U-15 through U-17 age groups, the top eight teams from the “Champions League” division and the top teams from the “North American League” division in each age group will advance from the ECNL Playoff Event in Aurora to the ECNL Finals in Richmond. In each division, the teams will be seeded into two groups of four based on points-per-game of all games, including the ECNL Playoff games. Teams will play four games over five days to crown a Champions League National Champion and a North American League Champion.

U18 ECNL Finals:

The U-18 age group will have sixteen teams qualify for the ECNL National Finals. However, the U-18 ECNL National Champion will be crowned during the ECNL Play-Offs in Aurora, Colo.

Stay tuned to the ECNL Official Website www.eliteclubsnationalleague.com for all of the latest Play-offs and Finals information.

About the ECNL: The Elite Clubs National League (ECNL) is a registered 501(c)3 tax-exempt, non-profit organization. The 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. The Army National Guard is the Official Military Branch of the ECNL.