The NPL was created to elevate and change the competitive youth soccer landscape by extending developmental principles espoused by U.S. Soccer into more age groups and clubs, by linking competition with player development and identification platforms, and by providing meaningful weekly competition culminating in the NPL Finals.

NPLs are independent leagues, unified under one national competition platform, and based on a common technical framework designed to improve long-term player development. The NPL provides a platform:

  • focused on long-term player development;
  • for the country’s top soccer clubs, allowing consistent, meaningful high-level games appropriately scheduled with higher training-to-game ratios;
  • that allows players to be scouted and evaluated by U.S. Soccer National Staff and Technical Advisors;
  • that is designed and structured by the clubs, based on the needs of the clubs; and

The NPL is an important component of US Club Soccer’s vision to refine the landscape for competitive youth soccer. This vision recognizes that:

  • Properly-structured youth soccer clubs are the vehicle through which player development occurs in the United States.
  • Clubs should play in leagues that provide meaningful games, allow establishment of the proper training-to-game ratio, and eliminate calendar congestion.
  • NPLs, as well as the best clubs, should be integrated in US Club Soccer’s id2 National Identification and Development Program, include Player Development Programs (PDPs) in select local markets, and work closely with U.S. Soccer staff regarding player identification, and player and coach development.

The NPL has hosted NPL Showcases since 2014 to provide high school-aged players with opportunities to play high-quality games in front of collegiate coaches and scouts.

In 2014, top 16-U through 18-U boys teams gathered in suburban Las Vegas for the inaugural NPL Showcase. Every year since then, NPL Showcases have been organized for 15-U through 17-U girls teams in Palm Coast, Fla.

Beginning in 2015, the NPL entered into partnerships with the Jefferson Cup and Surf Cup to provide slots to top NPL teams at those renowned events.


Formerly known as the NPL Champions Cup, the NPL Finals annually crowns NPL national champions as the culminating event of year-long, league-based competition.

The prestigious postseason features qualifiers in 13-U through 18/19-U boys and girls age groups from every NPL across the country.

With the launch of the Elite National Premier League (ENPL), the coveted destination for all NPL boys teams will be the ENPL Finals beginning with the 2017-18 season.

For more information on the 2018 NPL postseason pathways by age group, gender and league, please visit this web page.