FRISCO, Texas (April 5, 2021) — The list of automatic qualifying slots for the inaugural season of US Youth Soccer National League P.R.O. is now available, and several teams have already earned their place in the competition thanks to their on-field performance during the current seasonal year.
View: List of National League P.R.O. Automatic qualifying slots
National League P.R.O. is a league competition for 14U-19U Boys and Girls teams that is national in scope and features 48 teams per age group. Within each age group, teams are placed into six groups of eight, with each side competing in seven games over the course of the season.
All automatic qualifying slots for National League P.R.O. come from the top-tier divisions of the 13 National League Conferences. The slots are evenly distributed across the country to allow for 12 Conference teams from each region of the country to generate the 48 teams in each gender age group.
For any open spots that are not automatically filled, an application process will be available for interested teams. Team selections for open slots will be made with the goal of maintaining a geographic balance that will allow for the local matches to take place within each National League P.R.O. bracket.
For any Conference that is unable to hold competition during the 2020-21 season due to COVID-19 restrictions, the Conference’s automatic qualifying slots are marked as open — to be filled by teams from within that Conference through the application process rather than Conference standings.
The application period for the 2021-22 season of National League P.R.O. will open around mid-April and close around mid-June. The National League management group will accept automatic Conference qualifiers and evaluate applicants for open slots. Teams that fill open slots will be accepted and announced around mid-July.
Through their performance in their respective National League Conferences, 80 teams have already earned their place for the 2021-22 season of National League P.R.O. as automatic qualifiers.
National League P.R.O. will comprise the national tier of the National League, along with the National League Showcase Series. National League P.R.O. provides teams in the 14U-19U Boys and Girls age groups with the chance to play some of the top competition in the country while competing for berths to the USYS National Championships. For each gender, 12 teams per age group will advance to the National Championships from National League P.R.O.
The National League Conferences continue to offer the primary league competition for the majority of teams, while having increased connectivity to National League P.R.O. through the qualification pathways and local games.
Click here for more information on the National League, including the 13 Conferences, National League P.R.O., the National League Showcase Series and the National League Playoffs.
WHAT SOME OF THE CLUBS ARE SAYING…
“We are extremely excited to qualify for National League P.R.O. It is our goal every year to qualify for this competition. We have qualified for the National Championships for two years in a row and look forward to the challenge of trying to qualify again during these ladies' senior year. We love the opportunity to play in games that really mean something. These are not showcase style games and the intensity cannot be matched anywhere else. Every moment matters and we look at this event as the high point of our season.”
- Eric Steinhauser, Academy Director, CFC Red Star (GA)
“Knowing that we secured spots for three teams for the 2021-22 season of National League P.R.O. gives us something to look forward to in the new year. It is also a great reward for our athletes, who had so many obstacles to face in 2020. In the end, hard work pays off! Three things that excite us the most about being able to participate in National League P.R.O.: The possible berth to the National Championships, getting a chance to compete against some of the best teams in the country, and the exposure to college coaches for the athletes.”
- Sena Halilovic, Club Director, Chicago Inter SC (IL)
"Doral SC is very excited to have qualified for National League P.R.O. with both our 2007 and 2008 Elite teams. We are honored to represent Doral, Fla., and compete against the best of the best. We have history in developing our youth both on and off the pitch, and now we have the opportunity to showcase Doral SC at the national level."
- Beymar Piraquive, Director of Coaching, Doral SC (FL)
"We are thrilled that US Youth Soccer has listened to its membership and created National League P.R.O. in its traditional structure. The National League competition has always been a platform that our Elite teams have strived to attain, and the opportunity to once again play against the best USYS teams from across the country is very exciting. We are very proud of our FC 1974 players and coaches for persevering and succeeding through a pandemic, where we had to travel out of state to play every game. Our teams showed great character in dealing with all that was thrown at them, still winning their respective divisions and qualifying for National League P.R.O."
- Michael Zovistoski, Executive Director, GLSA/FC 1974 (IL)
“Securing a place in National League P.R.O. means that despite all the challenges, we must be doing something right. You don't get here by luck alone. It motivates us to keep working hard and make changes in areas where we do need improvement. We’re excited for the opportunity to play in a higher competition where our team can be challenged and pushed to work harder. We are hungry for this type of competition in order to keep developing our players. It also means a lot to represent our La Roca club and our state in such a great league.”
- Jose Milla, Head Coach, La Roca FC 2007 Boys (UT)
“It feels awesome to have secured our spot in National League P.R.O. Our girls have worked so hard the last couple of seasons for these opportunities and really enjoy the chance to play against other top teams from around the country. I think it comes down to the experience of competing on a national stage every time you play a league game. Seeing so many fantastic players from other regions and everyone working toward a National Championship creates some incredible matchups.”
- Jacob Zammit, Director of Coaching, Legends FC (MI)
“It is exciting to know that the hard work is paying off and that we will be competing in National League P.R.O. next year as one of the top teams in the country in our age group. Is exciting to know that we will be competing against some of the top teams in the country and have the opportunity to play for the National Championship. We are also looking forward to the added exposure and high-level competition that National League P.R.O. will provide for our players who want to play in college or at the professional level.”
- Carl Schmitt, Technical Director, Memphis FC (TN)
“Every student athlete on this National League P.R.O.-qualifying team has demonstrated incredible commitment to become the best they can be for each other, for Nona Soccer Academy and for our community. I have no doubt they will continue to earn winning results as they climb within USYS and the National League. I look forward to witnessing their continued success as they compete against top competition in National League P.R.O.”
- Fabio Silva, CEO, Nona Soccer Academy (FL)
“The North Shore United 05 Girls Blue are thrilled to be a part of National League P.R.O. It will offer our team and our players the ability to compete against the top teams in the country, with the opportunity to win a place in the USYS National Championships. Every game will be a great challenge, as we are competing against the top teams in the country, and we know every game is going to be a battle. It also will give our players unprecedented exposure to college coaches, as it is many of our players’ goals to play college soccer.”
- Joe Hammes, Director of Coaching, North Shore United (WI)
“We are honored to be included in National League P.R.O. and excited for the success and development it will lead to for our players getting to play against some of the best teams from all over the country. The most exciting aspect about competing in National League P.R.O. is a shot at the National Championship, which would be a dream come true for our club.”
- Caleb Norkus, Head Coach, 07 Wake FC Blue Girls (NC)
National League P.R.O. Resources: FAQ Sheet | Information Guide