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About ECNL

The Elite Clubs National League was founded to improve the daily environment for boys youth soccer players through a collaborative club-based development program featuring competition, player identification, and coaching and club development platforms.

The ECNL will include both regular-season conference games and cross-conference events, and qualifying teams from the ECNL will advance to the post-season Elite National Premier League (ENPL) Playoffs.

The ECNL is based on the values of grass-roots collaboration and innovation and supports the independence and freedom of coaches and clubs to fully manage the development path for their players, including the system and style of play, the competitive calendar, and all aspects of the development path. The ECNL will raise standards in training, competition, club organization, and coaching in a holistic development program.



The ECNL platform affords top-level, skilled, dedicated Arizona players an opportunity to compete with the best of the best Southwest players traveling in a National arena.

Our staff works from our professional development curriculum.  Each year we cover 22 principals, 9 attacking, 9 defending, and 4 transitions. Each player is trained by a coach who is suited to his age group with knowledge of the ECNL principles and platform. RSL AZ views the coaches as educators who help guide the players along their development path.  We do extensive coach education throughout the year to ensure the players are always getting the elite instruction they need to reach the next level of competitive soccer.  Please note, while each ECNL player pays for top-level training, playtime is earned, not guaranteed.

ECNL: Training three (3-4) times per week and (1-2) speed & conditioning sessions a week. Goalkeeper Training (1-2) sessions per week. The ECNL program utilizes the best fields possible to help provide high-quality training. Field usage will vary based on availability. 


SPRING (post tryouts)
Practices could last until the end of May and into June, depending on each team's schedule and if an age group makes the ECNL playoffs or is committed to another summer tournament. Teams not committed to a post-season tournament will not need to officially report back to practice until July 15th.

Optional Summer Skills Program in June, U13-U19 (See website for registration.)
Optional team/individual training sessions at our Cascaritas program in July (indoor/outdoor).  Teams may also do additional training on a team-by-team basis, mostly voluntary. Check with your coach. 

High School age teams are off in the Winter except as noted by specific programs. (Determined by Coach/Club). Additional training may be available for non-high school players.


Competitive tournaments will be determined after team selection and will be presented at a team meeting during early to mid-summer. These events may be team or family travel tournaments depending on the coach.

ECNL players will play between 2-5 estimated out of town college showcase or tournaments per year which will be determined by the Coach and the Club. From time to time, at the Coach and Club’s discretion, affiliated discovery players from outside the team may be invited to play in the ECNL platform with teams, and possibly in place of, an ECNL player. Additionally, ECNL players may be asked to play with other ECNL older teams or same age group APL teams to support the Club as a whole.  

College Brochures
College recruitment is taken seriously in the RSL AZ ECNL.  The older age groups provide professional-looking brochures to college coaches attending tournaments and National ECNL events. ECNL players submit their profile information for the team brochure.  


Once you have been contacted by the team coach and given a formal offer, you’ll have 24-48 hours to accept a spot on an ECNL team.  Upon acceptance, your coach or manager will provide additional information to guide you through the registration process.  There will be a mandatory meeting the week after tryouts.

Players are evaluated based on their technical, tactical, physical, and psychological abilities.  

  • How is their decision-making, their execution, and how is their teamwork?
  • How do they play under pressure?
  • Do players have the right attitude?
  • Are they willing to make a full commitment to competitive travel soccer?

Occasionally, players may be selected to the ECNL roster on a trial basis to gauge mutual commitment and team fit.  We want to ensure a win-win for both player and team.

The ECNL League season is almost a year-long and we are looking for players that love this game and are committed and dedicated to their team for the duration!  There are several high-end tournaments RSL AZ has typically attended that require added commitment from ECNL players both from a scheduling standpoint and financially.  

Players will occasionally miss school and need to be prepared to bring school work with them and makeup missed assignments.  It is paramount that when accepting positions on an ECNL team you consider the commitment level, time off school, and financial resources available.

We work diligently to create an educational and competitive environment that fosters individual and team development, all while focusing on “team play”. We will provide the opportunity for players to achieve personal and team success.

RSL AZ believes that well-bonded teams make for strong competitors.  Team camaraderie is essential for all teams and can be difficult to foster when bringing top-level players from various regions together.  RSL AZ believes team atmosphere is critical to the success of our ECNL program thus, a bigger emphasis is placed on traveling with teams.

We have found that players that spend more time with their teammates, on and off the field, tend to watch out for each other more on the field. Ultimately, this familiarity with each other allows players to be more comfortable on the field and individual creativity and growth are the results. We also find that when a team is comfortable with each other it is easier to bring in one or two discovery players and acquaint them with the team’s style of play.