How SCDSL and ECNL are Changing the Definition of Team- Part Two

To read part one of this article click here

team /tēm/

A group of players forming one side in a competitive game or sport.


I think the word that sums up the new definition of team is movement.  Here’s a few examples:

  • Player Pools: Instead of static individual teams, many clubs now have age level player pools.  Although players are still assigned to a specific team, they are able to move up, down and all around.  I think this can be a positive thing- especially if all the players (and coaches!) of a specific age level are encouraged to get to know each other and work together.  This can break down some of the difficulties of , “You’re on the B team,” and give players the incentive to work harder.  In Big Soccer Girl’s age level, the same coach has the A and the B teams and is able to easily move girls back and forth as well as encourage cooperation and socialization.
  • Club Control: Now that the rules about keeping a certain amount of players have gone away, clubs are free to add/subtract players and teams at will.  The momentum of a particular group of players working up through the ranks no longer applies.  I’m not really sure what I think about this.  I think it’s probably good for player development, but it allows for a great deal of movement not only between teams but also between clubs.
  • Club Consolidation (or world domination…ha-ha!)  The biggest movement seems to be more people driving down the freeway to have their girls join the big ECNL clubs!  Since everyone’s daughter is a candidate for the National team and a full ride to Stanford, it’s essential that they play for an ECNL club so that they are seen by college coaches.  I’m not sure how many college coaches are watching U10 games, but that’s besides the point.  Not only are players moving, entire team and/or clubs are being gobbled up in pursuit of the all mighty ECNL or the SCDSL.  With no rules about the number of teams per age level or player movement it’s a free for all!  

Is all this movement good or bad?  I’m not really sure!  I’ll think about it more as I’m driving little soccer girl 30 miles to practice.

What do you think?

2 thoughts on “How SCDSL and ECNL are Changing the Definition of Team- Part Two

  1. Thanks for sharing the observations and info…this is all new to me since we just recently switched to an ECNL club here in San Diego (probably easy to guess which one). Our old club (non-ECNL) and this new one are like night and day. Our daughter is still a ‘younger’ (u9) and ECNL feels so far away for us (she may even decide to switch sports by the time we get there!) Anyway, we are still new to the club scene in general so I don’t know anything about anything…I just know that it’s harder to get in our club the longer we wait to try out…It feels strange for us to be thinking about all of this ECNL business when my daughter is just 8 years old! Anyway, it’s interesting to hear the differences in coast vs. Scdsl and all the player movement. Our u9 team apparently will be playing in the scdsl this fall and will be the only one in the age group while our other u9 team will continue to play the Presidio league. It’s interesting that you mention that the other club teams bring multiple age groups and play within and between teams since it doesn’t appear that we will be doing that. We have been playing the spring league this season and I noticed that a few of the clubs had 2-3 teams…when I asked some of the parents about it they said that they don’t have ‘set’ teams at this age…that kind of explains it! thanks for the blog.

    1. Yep, pretty easy to guess 🙂 I’m not sure how it works if some teams play in Presidio and others play in SCDSL, but it seems like you would still be able to move back and forth. All the players need is their regular player card that has their club on it, not a special pass. That will be interesting to see how it all works. I agree that it is totally strange to be thinking about ECNL at age 8 and who knows, something better might start before our kids are even old enough. Good luck to your daughter and your family. Thanks so much for reading and commenting. Lisa

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