Illinois' Eclipse Select SC is latest club to leave Girls Development Academy

A fourth club within the last month has announced its departure from the Girls Development Academy after the U.S. Soccer program's first season of play.

Illinois' Eclipse Select SC will field its top teams in the ECNL for the 2018-19 season. Last month, New Jersey-based Sky Blue-PDA, the Michigan Hawks and the FC Stars of Massachusetts, which like Eclipse Select had all also fielded teams in both the Girls DA and ECNL during the 2017-18 season, announced they were leaving the Girls DA.

A statement from Eclipse Select SC reads: "After evaluating what is best for the players, families, and Eclipse Select holistically, it has been determined that the ECNL is most in-line with the club’s mission, vision, and core values. The club is excited about what the future has in store along this avenue moving forward. Since being a founding member of the ECNL in 2009, the club has been a first-hand witness to the league’s proven pathway for individual growth and player development."

Eclipse Select, the ECNL Overall Club Champion in 2011 and winner of ECNL national titles in 2013 and 2014, has had players selected to the U-15, U-16, U-17 and U-18 girls national teams within the last year.

In March, the Virginia Development Academy announced it would leave the DA and join the ECNL for the 2018-19 season. FC Kansas City, which was affiliated with the now defunct NWSL club of the same name, has become KC Athletics and will be playing in the ECNL next season instead of the DA.

U.S. Soccer has announced the addition of four clubs for the 2018-19 Girls DA season: Oklahoma Energy, Sporting Omaha, Utah Royals (Arizona) and Arlington Soccer Association.

FURTHER READING: Leaving the Development Academy: FC Stars director Jason Dewhurst explains why

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