In an effort to help its clubs Compete, Develop and Succeed, the Northeast Soccer League (NSL) is joining US Club Soccer beginning with the Fall 2017 season.
Formerly known as MAPLE, the league features programming for 9-U through 18-U/19-U boys and girls in three divisions. The NSL is comprised of nearly 100 clubs and approximately 700 teams.
“We feel strongly that our partnership with US Club Soccer continues to demonstrate to our current and future clubs that the NSL wants to offer the best possible soccer experience to our players, families, coaches, fans and clubs,” said NSL Executive Director John Barata. “We feel the overall flexibility, administrative support, encouraged collaboration with other leagues, and extensive value-added benefits for our members made the decision to join US Club Soccer very attractive. We are excited.”
US Club Soccer’s mission is to foster the growth and development of soccer clubs throughout the United States to create the best possible development environment for players of all ages in every club.
US Club Soccer fulfills its mission largely through Players First, a branded, holistic club soccer experience for parents and players which emphasizes the development of each individual to his or her full potential, and helps parents make better choices about where their children should play. Players First is anchored by five pillars:
- Club Development
- Coaching Development
- Player Development
- Parent Engagement & Education
- Player Health & Safety
In order to help members adopt the Players First philosophy, US Club Soccer provides a suite of best-in-class resources and content that includes a technical partnership with LaLiga, Beast Mode Soccer/Players First Video Training Series, FIFA 11+ injury prevention program, Fit for 90 player monitoring tool, Player’s Health, Positive Coaching Alliance, Sideline Sports Doc, SoccerPrep, SportSessionPlanner, TopYa!, and World Football Academy, among others.
“We are very excited to welcome NSL to the US Club Soccer family,” said US Club Soccer CEO/Executive Director Kevin Payne. “We very much enjoyed our conversations with the NSL leadership, and it’s clear that the direction they want to follow on behalf of their players and parents fits perfectly with the US Club Soccer philosophy.”
“I am impressed with US Club Soccer,” said NSL Commissioner Steve Robinson. “The professionalism and courtesy shown by Kevin Payne, John Borozzi and Mike Gould was appreciated by all NSL members. But most important to me as an administrator are the various Players First resources related to Player Health and Safety that are available to our members. It’s the most effective program that I have seen in youth sports.”
More specifically, in July 2016, US Club Soccer took its biggest steps ever to help ensure the best and safest environment for players.
First was the launch of the Sideline Sports Doc-US Club Soccer online course, designed to improve on-field triage of key injury situations. The course also incorporates U.S. Soccer’s “Concussions in Soccer” video, among other Recognize to Recover content.
In addition, US Club Soccer substantially increased its background screening standard and determination process to include, among other facets, a direct county/state of residence criminal record search for all counties in which an individual has lived in the past seven years, regardless of whether any “hits” appear on the national database searches.
Completion of these two initiatives is required for all US Club Soccer registered staff members.
Additionally, US Club Soccer recently partnered with Player’s Health, a HIPAA-compliant platform that connects parents, coaches and healthcare professionals by mobilizing youth athlete health records, and allows efficient documentation of injuries and return-to-play tracking.
“US Club Soccer’s Players First philosophy is a natural fit with our vision for the continued development of the NSL,” said NSL Technical Director Nick Dunbar. “Among other value-added benefits, the opportunity to provide increased player development pathways, competitive regional league play, and work with some of the most respected soccer partners in the world such as LaLiga cannot be underestimated. We are excited for the path ahead.”
The cornerstone of US Club Soccer’s partnership with the best professional league in the world are the LaLiga Formation Methodology courses, which outline the philosophy and methods used across LaLiga to train, develop and form some of the world’s top players. Six courses have been held to date, with more planned for 2017.
Northeast Soccer League members also plan to take advantage of US Club Soccer’s no-cost player identification platforms – the id² Program and Player Development Programs – and participation in the National Cup, US Club Soccer’s cup-based national championship competition.