GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. (June 15, 2021) — Following their outstanding performances in the Spring 2021 season of the US Youth Soccer Great Lakes Conference, 28 boys teams have secured automatic qualification for the upcoming season of National League P.R.O.
Total Futbol Academy (OH-S) saw multiple teams clinch automatic qualifying slots for the inaugural season of National League P.R.O., including the 18U Boys, who finished as runners-up in the Premier I Division to clinch their spot.
“The merit-based qualification really stresses the importance of conference play,” said Erik Schoening, Executive Director of Coaching at TFA. “The importance of Great Lakes Conference games has been a great motivator to our players across all age groups. National League P.R.O. gives our players a platform to compete at the highest level, and we are really excited to return to the National League platform.”
The top two finishers in the Club vs. Club Division and the Premier I Divisions from the 15U-18U Boys age groups — along with the top four finishers in the 13U and 14U Boys Premier I Divisions — of the Spring 2021 season of the Great Lakes Conference are rewarded with automatic qualifying slots for the 2021-22 National League P.R.O. season.
Cincinnati United saw two Boys teams clinch automatic qualification for National League P.R.O. courtesy of their performances in the 17U and 18U Boys Club vs. Club Divisions. Scott Rodgers, Executive Director of Cincinnati United, thinks the added reward of National League P.R.O. qualification can only benefit all teams involved in the conferences.
“The opportunity to qualify for National League P.R.O. each year will make every match more meaningful,” Rodgers said. “The Great Lakes Conference is already very competitive, and this opportunity just adds more excitement to the conference. We are very excited for our players who have earned a place in National League P.R.O.”
National League P.R.O., which kicks off in Fall 2021, will be composed of 48 teams in each gender age group from across the country, with 12 teams coming from each region. 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. From there, 12 teams per age group advance to the USYS National Championships.
This structure provides a unique opportunity for teams and clubs to play a variety of opponents from across the country, something that Wayne Jentas, founder of Pennine SC, is looking forward to experiencing with his teams.
“We’re excited to experience competition from all corners of the country, along with the new challenges, different tactics, and climates it brings,” Jentas said. “Earning the right to play in a top-level competition such as National League P.R.O. is a reward for the hard work and consistency of the players.”
Click here to view the announcement of automatic qualifying slots and see all the teams that have already clinched their spot in the 2021-22 season of National League P.R.O. These teams will be joined by others based upon their conference finishes as the spring season continues.
To follow the Great Lakes Conference results and standings, click here.
Click here for more information on the Great Lakes Conference. For more information on all 13 of the National League Conferences, the National League Showcase Series, and National League P.R.O., click here.