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    The Open Cup and the Northern Illinois Soccer League will begin a strategic partnership beginning with the 2018 Open Cup (April 7-8 / April 13-15).  

    The Under 14 NISL Champions (BOYS: Eclipse 2004 Black:  GIRLS: Roadrunners 2004) will both receive guaranteed complimentary entry into the top divisions of the Open Cup Under 14 Divisions.  Not only will this bring the best teams from the Chicago area in these divisions but more teams from other divisions will also be recruited and offered opportunities to complete within the Open Cup! 

    The Open Cup regularly attracts some of the top teams from Region 3 and the South as well as international competition.   Every year, teams from 12+ States participate in the Open Cup in both Gold and Silver Divisions.  

    In the Under 14 Division: Past Champions have been:

    Boys Girls 
     Vestavia Steamers (AL) MS Flood (MS)
    CF Monterrey Rayados (Mexico) 4xchampions Vestavia Attack Black (AL)
    Guarani Futebol Clube (Brazil)  MS Rush (MS)
      Gulf Coast Texans (FL)
      Chicago Fire Jrs of MS (MS) 2xchampions 

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    We are excited to announce that the NISL’s registration platform, “Bonzi”, has now rebranded under the name “US Soccer Connect” as part of their direct partnership with US Soccer. All of the functionality and previous log-in information for your “Bonzi” Administrator and Member accounts will remain the same, but you will no longer see the Bonzi name or logo as it has all been replaced with the new “US Soccer” branding.

    Going forward any references to NISL registration will be through the new “US Soccer Connect” name. We have already started updating our website with the new information. If you need to log into your registration accounts, please refer to the new “US Soccer Connect” log-in pages.

    Any “US Soccer Connect” technical questions can be directed to the NISL office, or the “US Soccer Connect” support staff at

    If you have any questions, please contact

    Thank you.  

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    CHICAGO (Dec. 20, 2017) – U.S. Soccer has announced eight (8) new grassroots level coaching courses to be introduced in early 2018. These courses will be focused on empowering coaches through experiential learning and a player-centered approach. The course options will relate directly to small-sided games and the respective age-groups outlined in the Player Development Initiatives.

    The new Grassroots Licensing Courses will consist of four (4) in-person experiences and four (4) online experiences. Prospective coaches will have the option to engage in any of these new courses – in any sequence – after completing a free introductory module provided by U.S. Soccer.

    “This new, a-la-carte approach is meant to empower grassroots coaches to access education – relevant to their needs and specific coaching environment – immediately through these new low barrier opportunities,” said Frank Tschan, Director of Coaching Administration.

    In addition to the eight (8) new opportunities, the D course has also been updated in accordance with the revamped approach at the grassroots level. “Over the last 12-months, U.S. Soccer has worked with its members to organize, study and pilot these new opportunities. This has been an immense project initiated by the Federation and its importance cannot be understated. The game is founded at the grassroots level; these courses will help ensure fun, enjoyable and developmentally appropriate environments.”

    Concurrently with the roll out of the new courses, the current F and E courses will transition out of the U.S. Soccer Coaching Pathway. These licenses will still be recognized by U.S. Soccer and both certifications remain relevant as a means to advance within the pathway. As demonstrated in the past, member organizations will be empowered to organize and host the in-person grassroots courses and the updated D course on behalf of U.S. Soccer. More specific information on the newly formatted grassroots courses, including format and scheduling, will be released in early 2018.

    2018 U.S. Soccer Coaching Education Grassroots License Pathway

    “To continue to improve the state of soccer in the United States, we must continue to improve the players in our country. This begins with our coaches and there is not a larger or more impactful group than our coaches at the grassroots level,” said Director of Coaching Education, Nico Romeijn. “These new introductory courses will provide a supportive approach to teaching and coaching players at 4v4, 7v7, 9v9 and 11v11. Whether you are the unfamiliar parent volunteer, the transitioning player or a veteran coach, you should be able to walk away from these courses with more knowledge and a better understanding of how to effectively develop your players.”


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    Dates, locations of National Cup XVII Regionals announced
    South Central Regional added to lineup

    CHARLESTON, S.C. (Dec. 20, 2017) – The 17th edition of the National Cup, US Club Soccer's cup-based national championship series, features six Regionals throughout June and early July 2018.

    The National Cup includes various state cups, which begin in the spring, before progressing to the National Cup XVII Regionals – held in six locations throughout the country. Ultimately, qualifying teams then compete for national titles at the National Cup XVII Finals, to be held July 20-24 at Aurora Sports Park in Aurora, Colo.

    National Cup XVII Regionals will be open to 12-U through 18/19-U boys and girls age groups (2006s through 1999/2000s) in the Mid-Atlantic and West Regionals, while the other Regionals – Midwest, Northwest, South Central and Southeast – will feature 13-U through 18/19-U divisions (2005s through 1999/2000s).

    Winning 13-U through 18/19-U boys and girls teams from Regionals and qualifying state cups advance to the National Cup XVII Finals.

    Applications will be available in the coming weeks. The National Cup XVII will continue to have Super Group (most competitive) and Premier Group brackets.

    Participating teams should be well-versed in official National Cup XVII rules. New in 2018 are:

    • A Code of Conduct (to be released soon) for coaches, staff, players and parents
    • Head injuries: passcards will be pulled for players being treated for suspected, serious head injuries. Prior to returning to play, written clearance must be obtained by a doctor/certified athletic trainer.
    • Substitutions: this is no longer unlimited for 13-U through 18/19-U age groups. Seven substitutions are allowed per half, and once a player is subbed out in any given half, he/she may not return to play.
    • Rosters: the 18-player game day roster will be strictly enforced.

    National Cup XVII Regionals - 2018:

    South Central Regional

    June 15-18 | Tulsa, Okla.: Mohawk Sports Complex

    Web page

    West Regional

    June 16-19 | Davis, Calif.: Davis Legacy Soccer Complex

    Web page

    Midwest Regional

    June 22-25 | Chicago, Ill.: Waukegan Sports Park / Libertyville Township Soccer Complex

    Web page

    Southeast Regional

    June 23-26 | Winston-Salem, N.C.: BB&T Sports Park

    Web page

    Northwest Regional

    June 29 - July 2 | Boise, Idaho: Simplot Sports Complex

    Web page

    Mid-Atlantic Regional

    June 30 - July 3 | Somerset, N.J.: PDA Soccer Complex / Morningside Farm

    Web page 

     National Cup XVII Finals - 2018:


    July 20-24 | Aurora, Colo.: Aurora Sports Park

    Web page

    South Central Regional

    This is the first time US Club Soccer will host a South Central Regional – spurred by recent, large membership growth in Texas, Oklahoma, Louisiana and Arkansas. Mohawk Sports Complex boasts 17 fields, including 10 with lights.

    "We are so thrilled to welcome US Club Soccer's National Cup XVII South Central Regional to Mohawk Sports Complex in Tulsa next summer,” said Vince Trinidad, Executive Director of Tulsa Sports Commission. "Hosting this event provides us with a great opportunity to showcase Tulsa as a preferred destination for youth sports, and our staff and volunteers are committed to working diligently to ensure US Club Soccer's athletes, coaches and fans have the best sports experience here in Tulsa."

    West Regional

    Many hosting venues in 2018 have a long National Cup history, and Davis Legacy Soccer Complex is no exception. Next summer marks the sixth consecutive year hosting the West Regional. This past year was the first time the West Regional was held on one weekend instead of being held on separate, consecutive weekends for boys and girls team. But, the recent expansion of Davis Legacy Soccer Complex allowed the Regional to be held on the same weekend – and that trend continues in 2018.

    Midwest Regional

    The Midwest Regional is the longest running host of a Regional, as Libertyville Township Soccer Complex and Waukegan Sports Park enter their seventh consecutive year. Last year’s National Cup XVI Midwest Regional included about 250 teams.

    Southeast Regional

    The BB&T Sports Park hosted the Southeast Regional in June 2017, and before that, the complex – now consisting of 13 full-size fields and a stadium field – hosted a Regional from 2008-10.

    Northwest Regional

    The Northwest Regional moves to a new location in 2018. The Simplot Sports Complex in Boise, Idaho consists of 161 acres, including 20 grass soccer fields.

    Mid-Atlantic Regional

    The Mid-Atlantic Regional in Somerset, N.J. concludes the Regional slate. PDA Soccer Complex and Morningside Farm enter their fifth consecutive year hosting the event.

    National Cup XVII Finals

    This is the first time the National Cup Finals will be a five-day event, as it has previously been a four-day event. The added day is a result of growth and the need for an appropriate game-to-rest ratio. In bigger age brackets in the past, sometimes teams were faced with playing elimination games in the morning and afternoon of the same day.

    The National Cup XVII Finals returns to Aurora Sports Park in Aurora, Colo., for the second time in three years and third time in the 17-year history of the cup-based tournament. A week before the National Cup XVII Finals, Aurora Sports Park also plays host to the 2018 Girls NPL Finals.      


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    PHILADELPHIA, Pa. (Via US Club Soccer) – The 2018 United Soccer Coaches Convention is about a month away, but it’s not too early to start planning your schedule for the largest annual gathering of soccer coaches in the world.

    As has been the case for the past two conventions, US Club Soccer will be hosting classroom and field sessions with LaLiga:

    • Thursday, Jan. 18; 1-2 p.m.: Classroom session – “Player Formation and Planning Development for the Long Term” with LaLiga Formation Methodology experts Gari Fullaondo and Hugo Blanco (Convention Center Room 113B)
    • Friday, Jan. 19; 1-2 p.m.: Field session – “Translating Tactical Training to the Game” with Fullaondo and Blanco (Kwik Goal Demo Field 1; Exhibit Hall C)

    The two long-term partners are also collaborating on an additional classroom session with a TBD LaLiga ambassador. Last year, US Club Soccer presented Raúl Gonzalez Blanco, who was LaLiga’s Country Manager in the U.S. at the time, during its sessions and a special autograph signing. More details on this session will be made available soon.

    Beyond these sessions, US Club Soccer encourages attendees to attend sessions led by its Players First partners – a collection of best-in-class resources advancing the pillars of Club Development, Coaching Development, Player Development, Parent Engagement & Education and Player Health & Safety.

    Here’s a day-by-day breakdown of Players First partner sessions.

    Wednesday, Jan. 17:

    The 2018 United Soccer Coaches Convention technically opens Wednesday, although the Exhibit Hall grand opening is Thursday night. On Wednesday, World Football Academy will host “Football Braining” with renowned periodization expert Raymond Verheijen from 8 a.m. – 5 p.m. in Convention Center Room 304.

    A shorter, digital introduction to the topic is available via webinar. Access to this webinar, titled: “The Principles of Football Braining,” can be purchased here.

    Thursday, Jan. 18:

    Before the Exhibit Hall opens its doors at 6 p.m., numerous sessions will take place. ECNL President Christian Lavers leads a classroom session titled “Trends, Strengths and Weaknesses in American Youth Female Soccer” in Room 108B from 11 a.m. – 12 p.m.

    An hour later, US Club Soccer/LaLiga host a classroom session: “Player Formation and Planning Development for the Long Term” in Room 113B.

    Beast Mode Soccer’s David Copeland-Smith will present a field session from 4-5 p.m.: “The Separation Touch: How to Train it and Why it is Vital to Your Players” on Kwik Goal Field 1 alongside Rachel Daly and Katie Nimitz.

    Friday, Jan. 19:

    Before US Club Soccer/LaLiga’s field session at 1 p.m. (“Translating Tactical Training to the Game”), Raymond Verheijen is back at it with another session. The World Football Academy champion begins a two-part session called: “Football Technique: The Execution of Decisions. How Isolated Training Kills Creative Players” from 11:30 a.m. – 12:30 p.m. in Room 201ABC. This classroom session precedes a field session titled the same subject, which will be held from 2:30-3:30 p.m. on Kwik Goal Field 2.

    Positive Coaching Alliance extends its strong booth presence inside the Exhibit Hall to a workshop in Room 202A: “Leading Your Organization: Developing a Positive Coaching Culture.” Led by lead trainer Kelly Kratz, this session simulates a PCA workshop, of which hundreds are held every year throughout the country.

    Before grabbing dinner, consider attending a 4-5 p.m. session in Room 103C titled: “Fostering Grit: Empowering Youth Players to Plan and Own Their Development On and Off the Field,” featuring Soccer Parenting Association founder Skye Eddy Bruce. She will be joined on that panel by Jordan Angeli, Yael Averbuch and Adelaide Gray.

    Saturday, Jan. 20:

    Positive Coaching Alliance is back at it with a post-breakfast panel discussion from 9:30-10:30 a.m.: “Better Athletes, Better People: How Soccer Coaches Can Develop Winners On and Off the Pitch” in Room 103C. This panel is packed with influential figures, including Erin Chastain, Marcia McDermott, Jason Sacks, Charlie Slagleand Jim Thompson.

    World Football Academy’s Verheijen finishes up a personally busy Convention with a one-on-one session from 2:30-3:30 p.m. in Room 203AB that will follow an interview format.

    A few Players First partners will have booths during the Convention. US Club Soccer’s Players First-themed booth can be found in the Exhibit Hall by locating #549. US Club Soccer and LaLiga have also co-branded a coffee bar (#559) behind the US Club Soccer booth.

    • Fit for 90: #453
    • Player’s Health: #959 & #1058
    • Positive Coaching Alliance: #1152
    • Soccer Parenting Association (alongside Beast Mode Soccer & AstroTurf): #113/211
    • SportSessionPlanner: #838

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