The US Youth Soccer Region I Eastern Regional League and Elite Tournaments are excited to announce a partnership for 2017 that will provide brand new showcase and group play opportunities. The joint effort will see the top competitive teams from the Mid-Atlantic and New England states battle in league play within the structure of Elite Tournaments’ current event schedule.
The league will follow the model established by the US Youth Soccer National League. Not only will players get the opportunity to play with, and against, the top teams in Region I; but the weekend events will additionally serve as a showcase for teams with players wishing to get recruited at the collegiate level.
“We believe this partnership gives us the ability to utilize a proven model that affords our competitors a great chance to maximize their opportunity to play high caliber opponents in a tournament setting that increases their exposure to college coaches,” ERL Commissioner Tim McCoy said.
The Eastern Regional League provides an opportunity for the most competitive teams in Region I to play each other while also competing for placement in the US Youth Soccer Region I Championships. Teams can also earn qualification to participate in the highly-competitive US Youth Soccer National League.
“The model of playing games within existing events has been successful for the National League and will help bring exposure to the Eastern Regional League to new teams, as well as college coaches,” said Mike Libber, President of Elite Tournaments.
The Eastern Regional League will utilize four of Elite Tournaments’ events this spring to provide these game play opportunities. The first event to take place will be the Premier Cup Boys Weekend powered by Under Armour, which runs March 10-12, followed by the Premier Cup Spring Shootout powered by Under Armour, April 13-15. Both events take place in Northern Virginia. The Eastern Regional League Showcase for the Girls is set for March 31-April 2 with the Boys Showcase slated for April 21-23; both events will be played at the Kirkwood Soccer Complex. Teams will then have the opportunity to compete in scenic upstate New York at the Adidas Empire Cup College Showcase. The Empire Boys weekend will take place May 6-7, while the Empire Girls weekend will follow on May 13-14. These events will provide playing opportunities for all the league age groups — 13U-19U.
“We are excited to partner with Region I and the Eastern Regional League. We think this model will be advantageous to Elite Tournaments, the ERL, and its member teams by providing for higher profile events to better showcase these teams. We are honored that Region I recognized our reputation for hosting first-class events and wanted to integrate the ERL within our existing tournaments,” Libber said.
The scheduled league games will be integrated into the tournament/showcase event schedule. Six of each team’s league games will be scheduled in this new format. With each team attending two three-game group-play events. Teams will play one game per day from Friday through Sunday.
“Our new approach was recommended by our Coaches Advisory Committee with an eye toward controlling long distance travel. In the past, we’ve had teams have to travel long distances and book overnight accommodations for a number of games. This will merge those games, reducing the number of long trips,” McCoy said.
All of the events will also provide substantial insurance coverage to ensure that all teams are given full refunds if there are cancellations due to weather. With additional housing coverage through Halpern Travel, there is very low risk to teams wishing to attend these events, but that may be concerned about potential weather conflicts.
The 2017 Region I Eastern Regional League season will kick off play on February 1, 2017.
For more information regarding the Eastern Regional League, contact Tim McCoy at email@example.com or visit www.usyouthsoccer.org.
Past participants in these events are encouraged to apply and will have guaranteed acceptance. For more information about the Premier Cup Tournament Series powered by Under Armour or the Empire Cup College Showcase Series, please contact Tournament Director Mike Libber at firstname.lastname@example.org or visit www.elitetournaments.com.
For more information regarding vendor or sponsorship opportunities, contact Elle Marks at email@example.com.
Eastern Regional League Qualifications
Teams accepted into the Eastern Regional League must meet the following criteria:
1. Registered with their US Youth Soccer State Association.
2. Be in good standing with their US Youth Soccer State Association.
3. Have a qualifying record based on prior year’s league performance.
Teams selected to participate in the US Youth Soccer Region I Eastern Regional League must show a minimum 9-player continuity from the 2015-2016 season. Due to the transition to the calendar year age groups, the minimum 9-player continuity are players that were on a roster of any team within the applying team’s club.
At least one coach on a team’s Eastern Regional League roster must hold, at the minimum, a US Soccer National “C” Coaching License or equivalent. All other coaches on the sidelines coaching in an ERL game must have at the minimum a US Soccer “E” Coaching License or equivalent earned prior to the 2016-17 season as determined by ERL (i.e. minimum NSCAA National Diploma)
The Eastern Regional League is a high level of play and requires an equal level of commitment. Teams must prioritize the league as its number one priority. Teams must also demonstrate a continued level of respect toward their opponent and officials and exercise good sportsmanship at all times. Teams failing to meet this obligation are subject to penalties as outlined in the league rules.
About Elite Tournaments: Founded in 2000 as a small family business, Elite Tournaments (www.elitetournaments.com) has organized more than 350 youth soccer events for numerous different clubs, colleges and international and professional organizations. The company oversees more than 55 tournaments a year across the United States. Elite Tournaments' staff includes former high school and college coaches, referees and standout players whose own experiences inform the company's professional approach to event management. Elite Tournaments prides itself on organization and communication with tournament stakeholders in order to create successful events and lasting