Q: What is the Elite Clubs National League? 

A: The Elite Clubs National League, Inc. is a 501(c)(3) non-profit member-based organization founded in 2009 to enhance the developmental experience of male and female youth soccer players in the United States. The goal of the ECNL is to change the landscape for elite male and female soccer players in the United States through innovative, player-centered programming and to enhance the overall experience by creating a better, more enjoyable, and more successful player, coach, and club development model. 

2017 sees the ECNL mirror their successful model with the ECNL Boys Program.


Q: Why ECNL?

A: Elite Clubs National League (ECNL) will provides the best male and female youth league in the world. The ECNL provides the structure, competition and showcase events that allow our players to develop into collegiate level athletes. Our current structure plus the ECNL enables us to continue to develop elite level players in the clearest and most efficient way. The ECNL will continue to help us graduate players who will go on to play at some of the best colleges in the country. 


Q: How does ECNL compare to Developmental Academy (DA)?

A: There are many different ways the ECNL differs to DA, but the main factors we consider are;

1)ECNL offers 6 age groups from U14 to U18, plus a PRE-ECNL U13 & Composite U19 age groups whereas the DA offers U12, U15, U17 and U19.

Condensing ALL of the ECNL age groups into 3 plus 1 developmental age group would negatively impact many players and hurt our club. This would also reduce development opportunities for coaches.

2)The Conference alignment, travel and higher costs within the DA would place enormous stress on our players, parents, staff and resources.

3)DA does not allow Middle or High School participation. While we are in support of this philosophy for elite players, we are unsure if our community and culture is ready to fully embrace it as it would require a cultural shift in our market and an extremely difficult decision for players.

4)The prospect of ECNL for the Boys provides new and expanded opportunities for boys players that have been previously unavailable in Tennessee. We expect the Boys ECNL will significantly change the National landscape for Boys much like the Girls ECNL.

5)The ECNL is the BEST platform available to our players. Period. The ECNL provides the BEST structure, competition and Showcases possible; especially for the players who aspire to play at quality college Programs.

Our end goal is to provide the best training and playing environment for ALL of our players and to make sure we help them get into the best colleges in the country. Our current ECNL/NPL structure is the best platform for us to do this. We will continue to survey options each year (SRPL, MRL etc) and make adjustments to better improve our options for the TSC membership.


Q: What is Tennessee SC’s Vision?

A: Our vision is to provide a program offering the most comprehensive player and team developmental environment in Tennessee that will unite the Greater Nashville community, inspire our players, and achieve excellence. 


Q: What is Tennessee SC’s Mission?

A: To serve the Greater Nashville soccer community by providing the most comprehensive player and team development environment in Greater Nashville by uniting talented players, coaching expertise, club resources and state of the art facilities.


Q: What are Tennessee SC’s Objectives?

A: Tennessee SC has three main goals:

1. To attract the best players from a 75-mile radius of TSC.

2. To graduate 85% of players to Division I, II & III, NAIA & JUCO Collegiate programs

3. To produce nationally respected players, coaches and teams.


Q: How much does it cost to play on a Tennessee SC ECNL team?

A: The ECNL fee structure is currently under review. The goal is to create a structure which incorporates travel, lodging, referee costs & field usage under one fee. All additional costs would be itemized and announced prior to the season commencing.


Q: If you are selected for an ECNL team at tryouts, can you be moved and placed on the Competitive team through the course of the season?

A: Yes, if you are selected on an ECNL team at tryouts and a player is clearly out of her depth, the ECNL Director will have the ability to move any player for the duration of the season. 


Q: Can ECNL teams have guest players?

A: Only players from within TSC can be added to an ECNL roster for a TSC ECNL team. No players can guest play from outside TSC. These players will be added based on their performance, ability and opportunity within the ECNL teams. Once these players are pulled into the ECNL Team for any event or game, they remain on the roster and can play in any future ECNL events and games.  


Q: What about playing time in Conference Play and College Showcases?

A: The ECNL is the highest level of play for youth soccer. Playing time cannot be predetermined or guaranteed for any player.

Player personnel choices and playing time is based on each player’s ability, attitude and game circumstances.

However, ALL players selected for an ECNL team at tryouts have been selected as they have shown they can contribute to the team playing at this level and through the course of the season players will receive ample opportunities to perform and play.


Q: How long are the games? 

A: Game lengths per age group are;

  • U13 and U14 games consist of two 35 minute halves – 70 minute games.
  • U15 and U16 games consist of two 40 minute halves – 80 minute games.
  • U17 and U18 games consist of two 45 minute halves - 90 minute games.


Q: Can my child still play ODP if she makes an ECNL Team? 

A: The ECNL is not imposing restrictions on players to prevent them from participating in any other identification program. Many players that participate in the ECNL may participate in USYS, ODP or other identification programs, and some players that participate in the ECNL will not participate in USYS, ODP or other identification programs. These choices will be made by individual players according to their own interests and desires.  


Q: Why do we have to travel so far?

A: As the competition increases, teams have to travel to play the best competition. TSC selected events based on our location, club soccer season and TN high school seasons. These events rotate each year across the country. 


Q: Why do Tennessee SC Girls ECNL teams play in the Mid-Atlantic Conference (Ohio Valley)?

A: Due to Tennessee Girls High School being in the Fall, the ECNL have worked with us to ensure that the addition of ECNL does not disrupt our current culture and not restrict players from playing in High School if so desired.


Q: Why do Tennessee SC Boys ECNL teams play in the South East Conference?

A: Due to Tennessee Boys High School being in the Spring, the ECNL have worked with us to ensure that the addition of ECNL does not disrupt our current culture and not restrict players from playing in High School if so desired.


Q: My child wants to play college in TN. Why do I need to travel so far to play?

A: College coaches from across the country attend each ECNL event. College coaches from TN will travel across the country to watch the players compete. The college coaches want to be able to evaluate player’s competition against the best competition.


Q: Why does TSC have the ECNL players travel as teams for events and games?

A: The purpose is to provide the players a college-like environment and experience which will benefit them when they move on to the college level and additionally will limit the costs incurred by each ECNL team member and family. Our intention is to introduce the players to all aspects of college play at the elite youth soccer level. 


Q: Is there any fundraising by TSC for the ECNL Program?

A: TSC will be holding a fundraiser for the ECNL Program throughout the year and the money raised will be applied to the ECNL costs for the 2017-18 season.


Q: Which age groups compete for Tennessee SC ECNL?

A: Tennessee SC will field teams identified as U13 Pre-ECNL, U14 JR ECNL, U15 ECNL, U16 ECNL, U17 ECNL, U18 ECNL, that compete in the Elite Clubs National League. 


Q: How many players will be selected for a Tennessee SC ECNL Team?

A: 16-22 full time players will be selected for each team. Discovery Players will also be selected on an ongoing basis.


Q: What is an ECNL Discovery Player?

A: “Discovery Player” is a player that is not a member of the ECNL Club, and is not otherwise currently registered to another US Club Soccer team. Discovery Players are allowed to participate in ECNL Competition in order to provide opportunity for additional players to participate in ECNL programming. In order to be considered a Discovery Player, a player must be explicitly designated as such on the ECNL Roster before such player participates in any ECNL Competition. Discovery Players are eligible to participate in the ECNL National Championship. At the Under-14, Under-15, Under-16, and Under-17 age groups, each ECNL Team may have two (2) Discovery Players on their ECNL Roster at each age group. At the Under-18 age group, each ECNL Team may have four (4) Discovery Players on their ECNL Roster. The cost to play for an ECNL Discovery Player will be set prior to the season commencing and be itemized with uniform package fee.   


Q: Where will Tennessee SC ECNL teams train and play home games?

A: The Tennessee SC ECNL teams will train three to four times per week at our home site Trinity Park with additional practices & games at Down’s West.


Q: How often do Tennessee SC ECNL teams travel?

A: Playing on a Tennessee SC ECNL team requires significant commitment. Teams travel approximately 10-12 times per year with mostly regional travel and some national travel. 


Q: Can I play for a Tennessee SC ECNL team AND my high school soccer team?

A: Yes, Tennessee SC ECNL players can play on their high school teams. ECNL games and showcase events will take precedence over other activities when there is a scheduling conflict. 


Q: Can I play for a Tennessee SC ECNL team AND a middle school team?

A: Tennessee SC ECNL players may participate on a middle school team however, due to the significant commitment to training, games, and showcase events, understand Tennessee SC is priority. This ECNL rule is subject for approval by the ECNL Director. 


Q: Can I play for Tennessee SC ECNL team and participate in other sports? 

A: U14 through U18 Tennessee SC ECNL player may participate in other sports however, understand due to the required commitment to training, games, and ECNL showcases, Tennessee SC is priority. This ECNL rule is subject for approval by the ECNL Director. 


Q: How will players be selected and when are tryouts?

A: ECNL ID Clinic will be April 9, 2017. Tryouts will be June 5th-17th, 2017. Specific age groups and times will be set ASAP.


Q: Are players required to live in the Greater Nashville area to play for Tennessee SC ECNL?

A: No, players are not required to live in the Greater Nashville Area. In fact, Tennessee SC ECNL are looking to attract the best players from a 75-mile radius of the Greater Nashville Area. However, all players must realize the significant commitment required to play for a Tennessee SC ECNL Team with three to four training sessions per week in addition to games and travel.


Q: What experience does TSC have with the ECNL?

A: Since we accepted our position in the ECNL, we have had the chance to take our current 1999 (U18G Showcase) team to an event in Phoenix, AZ. This trip provided us with the opportunity to test all logistics including travel to and from, travel while AT the event, team meetings, player recovery and preparation for each game, lodgings and meals as well as test our competitiveness in that environment.

The 1999G Showcase team WON all three games. 3-0 vs Albion Hurricanes (TX), 3-0 vs Slammers FC (CA) & 1-0 vs Elite Academy (NE)

Here are a few parent comments we received post-event;

“Love, love, love the girls being together for all meals and opportunities to do things together during their off time.
Love the van action too, as it promotes player responsibility and gives the parents that attend freedom, as well.
And, seeing how it all went down, I'd be very comfortable letting Liz travel without a parent. “

“I feel all the particulars of the trip to Phoenix were very well planned out and the girls were super well cared for!  Considering my own child's situation being relatively new to the group of mostly high school seniors, specifically having the drives in the van helped her to integrate in with her teammates and allowed for great bonding!”

“Overall I thought the weekend went well.  The vans helped to keep the girls together, on time, and afforded an opportunity for team bonding as well.  Bringing in food was a positive as well since finding a place to seat 19 players, coaches, and parents would have been impossible.  Playing the later games now, the girls are often not mentally prepared and can be distracted.  Having morning warm ups and midday sessions keeps them focused. The venue was great and the hotel worked out as well letting the girls shower prior to traveling home.  This should be part of the negotiations with the hotel for future events. Overall this was one of the best tournament weekends from a parent perspective.  Not having to worry about when, where, and how was awesome.”

Please contact Dean Blain, Tennessee SC ECNL Director with questions; or 478-442-0275

Affiliation Logos


Sponsor Logos