The ECNL held its first girls national showcase since the COVID-19 pandemic shut down sports in the spring.
A three-day event was held last weekend at the Reach 11 Sports Complex in Phoenix, Arizona. It drew 170 teams from 14 states in four age groups.
They included teams from 17 clubs in California, where health authorities have banned competitive youth sports all fall. Their only ECNL matches by California teams have been games played at conference rivals based in Arizona.
A second ECNL girls event is scheduled for Dec. 4-6 with 151 teams signed up to play at the Mesa Soccer Complex in Greer, South Carolina, and five more events are planned in the first half of 2021. The first ECNL boys event will be Dec. 11-13 in Greer.
National youth showcases are organized to attract college coaches, but the NCAA has extended the recruiting dead period through the end of the year. To accommodate family members and college scouts unable to attend, matches will be made available for live-streaming at no cost to viewers.
US Youth Soccer has similar events planned as part of its reformatted National League event in Phoenix (boys and girls), Greensboro, North Carolina (girls) and Lakewood Ranch, Florida (boys) in December and January.