FRISCO, Texas (June 22, 2021) — US Youth Soccer is excited to announce the formation of the USYS Mid Atlantic Conference Academy Division — the latest Club vs. Club Division within the USYS National League Conferences.
The Mid Atlantic Conference Academy Division will feature competition for boys teams in the 13U, 14U, 15U, 16U, 17U and 19U age groups. The 13U and 14U age groups will begin play in September 2021, while the older age groups will kick off in March 2022. Play dates will enable players to participate in high school soccer and other USYS programs, including USYS ODP and their respective State Cup competitions.
The Academy Division has secured commitments from nine clubs, including: FC Copa Academy (NJ), Lehigh Valley United (PA-E), Lower Merion SC (PA-E), NJ Premier FC (NJ), PA Dominion FC (PA-E), PDA Hibernian (NJ), Philadelphia Ukrainian Nationals (PA-E), PSA Monmouth (NJ) and SJEB FC (NJ).
“We are excited to continue the expansion of club-based competition within the USYS National League with the introduction of the Mid Atlantic Conference Academy Division,” said Jen Marcella, League Manager for the Mid Atlantic Conference. “The Academy Division provides a platform for some of the top boys clubs in the area to challenge themselves on a regular basis and presents a pathway to National League P.R.O. and the USYS Eastern Regional Championships. The upward pathways add an extra competitive element to each game, which elevates the players’ experience and provides an optimal environment for development.”
Each team in the 13U and 14U age groups will play every other opponent once in the fall season and once in the spring season, while teams in the older age groups will play each opponent one time during the spring season.
The first-place team in each age group of the Academy Division will advance to that season’s USYS Eastern Regional Championships. Additionally, the top finisher in the 13U-17U age groups will qualify to compete in the next seasonal year of National League P.R.O. All Academy Division teams will also have access to compete in the National League Showcase Series.
The Mid Atlantic Conference is one of 13 Conferences within the USYS National League and serves teams primarily from Eastern Pennsylvania and New Jersey. Top tier divisions of each conference provide teams with an opportunity to earn their place in National League P.R.O., which 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.
Click here for more information on the USYS National League, including the 13 Conferences, National League P.R.O. and the National League Showcase Series.
What the clubs are saying…
“We are very excited to be back in a Club vs. Club format with the upcoming USYS Mid Atlantic Conference season. Our players will have the opportunity to consistently play in a competitive environment where their development is the primary goal. We believe the club-based structure allows our directors and technical staff to work with all our players on a weekly basis while competing against the top teams and clubs in our region. Not many clubs have the same opportunity, and we are very happy for our players to have this platform to compete in the 2021-2022 year."
Roberto Aguas – FC Copa Academy, Executive Director of Coaching
"We feel that the USYS National League Club vs. Club model can provide our teams with a balanced, high-level platform to compete at and it is set up will allow our staff to optimally support our teams and players. We are excited to be part of it."
Jordi Meijer – NJ Premier FC, Director of Coaching
“PA Dominion is excited and honored to be a member of the Club vs. Club Division for the 2021-2022 season. The value of playing a slate of games as a club against other outstanding regional clubs cannot be overstated. Playing games with all of our boys teams at the same location will be a defining benchmark in the club culture we have developed. All of our coaches can have interaction with all of our teams, and teams can support each other and the club brand. The qualification path to the US Youth Soccer Regional Championships will make the Club vs. Club competition top notch at all times. We look forward to a great Club vs. Club season.”
Mike Koch – PA Dominion FC, Club Administrator
“The Mid Atlantic Conference is excited to have these boys clubs playing in this season’s Club vs. Club Divisions. This group of clubs will produce a competitive environment that will also provide an optimal environment for player development.”
Brian Grazier – PDA Hibernian, Director of Coaching
"Philadelphia Ukrainian Nationals SC is excited at the reintroduction of the Club vs. Club model. The Club vs. Club platform provides that avenue for local clubs to compete and stay connected. We value the relationships we’ve built over decades of local competition. Our club looks forward to continuing these respectful rivalries."
Dan Harmon – Philadelphia Ukrainian Nationals, Director of Development
"We are delighted to be returning to USYS National League Conference Club vs. Club for the 2021-22 season with our PSA Monmouth boys program. Having our boys and girls programs aligned within this structure enables our coaches, players and families to continue to foster family orientated culture, while providing the players the most competitive platform to do so.”
Ollie Hilliker – PSA Monmouth, Executive Director
"Over the years, the USYS National League has established itself as an excellent development model in youth soccer and SJEB FC are honored to compete in the USYS Mid Atlantic Conference Club vs. Club division alongside these established clubs. These games will allow our members to enjoy highly competitive games against other like-minded clubs — enhancing our players' development in a highly competitive platform."
John Thompson – SJEB FC, Technical Director