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:
The goal of the Elite Clubs National League (ECNL) is to change the landscape for elite 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.
To accomplish this goal, the ECNL developed a common organizational structure, composed of individual clubs operating collectively under the direction of a commissioner. Because the ECNL exists to promote the common interest of its member clubs, the ECNL operating model is unified and comprehensive and values accessibility and sustainability. The ECNL utilizes four primary delivery mechanisms, or platforms, for Changing the Daily Environment:
ECNL Conference & Cross-Conference Games: Every ECNL Member Club has been placed into one of eight regional conferences for regular season play. All five ECNL age groups will play every team in their conference both home and away, and then will also play 2-4 cross-conference games against other regional opponents. In total, each team in the ECNL is scheduled to play 15-18 conference or cross-conference games per year.
ECNL National Showcase Event Games: In addition to the conference and cross-conference games, there are five ECNL National Showcase Events throughout the year where participating teams play 3 games at each event. Each team at the U15 and U18 age groups participate in two of these events, while each team at the U16 and U17 age groups participate in three of these events. These games are key to determining the ECNL National Champions at each age group. ECNL National Showcase Events are the largest collegiate recruiting events in the country (drawing more than 200 different colleges to each event), and are scouted by US Soccer National Staff.