Date posted: 05/10/2019
The Chattanooga Red Wolves SC Academy has made the choice to affiliate with US Club Soccer in the 2019/2020 season and will be a proud member of an organization that is at the forefront of player development in the United States. US Club Soccer operates some of the top leagues and tournaments in youth soccer. Some of their well-known brands include ECNL, NPL and National Cup.
The Red Wolves Academy will enter teams into US Club’s South Atlantic NPL and will compete in both the boys and girls league play for the upcoming season.
“We are very thankful to have the opportunity to join a quality league like the South Atlantic NPL and be affiliated with US Club Soccer,” said Matt Yelton, Chattanooga Red Wolves Academy VP of Youth Soccer Operations and Senior Director of Coaching. “The organizations that make up this league are some of the best clubs in our region and we hope to be a significant contributor to the high level of the league. We also look forward to the opportunity to have our players participate in US Club’s PDP events and the high level of quality that US Club is able to produce with their player development programs. US Club is at the forefront of developing programs that truly put players first, and the Chattanooga Red Wolves Academy believe that we will significantly benefit from being partnered with US Club and the South Atlantic NPL."
The Red Wolves will be joining a truly seasoned league, as the South Atlantic NPL has provided a high level of competition in the region since 2012. Featuring 12-U through 19-U boys and girls age groups, the league qualifies regular season champions in girls divisions to the annual Girls NPL Finals, while there are multiple pathways for boys qualifiers. The boys 14-U champion and the top two teams from 15-U through 17-U divisions advance to the ENPL National Playoff, while the victors of the oldest age group qualify to the ENPL 19-U National Finals.
The NPL, as a whole, is made up of various regional leagues (NPLs) throughout the country. It’s a proven, club-driven commodity that has elevated the youth soccer landscape and linked competition with player development and identification platforms.
Next season, here is how the South Atlantic NPL will be structured:
· AFC Lightning (Ga.)
· Charlotte Independence SC (N.C.)
· Chattanooga Red Wolves SC Academy (Tenn.)
· GPS Charleston (S.C.)
· Southern Soccer Academy (Ga.)
· Tormenta FC Academy (Ga.)
· Triangle United Soccer Association (N.C.)
· United Futbol Academy (Ga.)
· United Soccer Academy Mount Pleasant (S.C.)
· Wake FC (N.C.)
Two South Atlantic NPL member clubs have already been granted Players First club licensing, since the launch of the licensing application in December. Triangle United Soccer Association and United Futbol Academy are among the 59 clubs to date that have demonstrated a commitment to the Players First philosophy by giving every athlete a chance to reach their potential through the proper facilitation of relationships with their coaches, parents and players. The Red Wolves Academy are currently undergoing the Players First Licensing process.
Q. Will the Chattanooga Red Wolves Academy be affiliated with TN Soccer?
A. While we have a deep respect for TN Soccer, we are going to focus our effots on our growing relationship with US Club Soccer. US Club’s league structure and expectations lead to a better game-day experience for our players, and their Player’s First Program aligns with our philosophy of allowing parents and players the opportunity to be directly involved in the development process.
Q. What are some of the impacts of this affiliation?
A. Well for one, TN Soccer’s policies won’t govern the Red Wolves Academy. When parents hear terms like Policy 26, those are policies that govern TN Soccer members and not US Club members. We will also have the opportunity to participate in an additional ODP program with our players participating in US Clubs PDP events where players from Chattanooga will be selected to participate in Regional PDP events for evaluation to participate in US Club’s ID2 program.
Q. Will players be able to play for a coach they played for at a previous club?
A. Yes. Given we are a part of a different registering body, TN Soccer’s Policy 26 will not apply to our organization and coaches have no restraints in coaching players they have previously worked with.
Q. Are there other leagues that Red Wolves teams may participate in through US Club?
A. We are also looking at potential participation with the other US Club Leagues for U12 and older teams that are not participating in the South Atlantic NPL. Those conversations are ongoing and we will provide more information as we have it available.
Q. Does being affiliated with US Club impact a team’s ability to play other games or in tournaments?
A. No, all other aspects of a season will be as parents have come to expect. This means regular friendly matches against other regional clubs along with participation in tournaments as has always been the case for any player who has participated with a travel team in the past.
Q. Will all teams be registered with US Club or just U13 and older?
A. All Red Wolves Academy teams from all age groups will be registered with US Club.
Q. Where can I find additional information about US Club Soccer?
A. I would suggest going to US Club Soccer’s website. There is a wealth of information about the quality of organization that we will be a part of.