For the second time in the 10-year history of the U.S. Youth Soccer National League, North Shore United has a participant.
Coming off three consecutive Wisconsin State Championships, last year’s U15 Girls Blue squad was invited to be one of 32 teams around the nation to compete. U.S. Youth Soccer’s change to using birth years means the squad will a bit different, and will compete at U17. Joe Hammes, director of coaching for North Shore United, will coach the team.
“It is a great achievement for our girls qualifying for the National League,” Hammes said. “The motto of the National League is ‘earn your place,’ and after several years of hard work the girls have rightfully earned their place in the top league in the country. The National League offers games against the toughest competition in the country. Our girls are up for the challenge, and look forward to the opportunity to continue to push their development as individuals and a team.”
Seven games are scheduled in two separate events. The girls will play Dec. 1-4 at the National League Fall Showcase in Wilson, N.C., and the Disney Soccer Showcase, Dec. 31-Jan. 2 in Orlando.
There are eight teams from each of U.S. Youth Soccer’s four regions, in the U17 girls bracket and North Shore is the only Wisconsin representative in this age group. Only four Wisconsin teams are among the 256 chosen for U15 through U-19.
“The National League also gives teams unprecedented exposure to college coaches, so it is going to be an exciting environment for the team to compete in,” Hammes said.
Last fall, the U15 girls finished fourth of 11 teams in the Midwest Regional League Premier II Division, with 6 wins and 4 losses. They also won the state championship, outscoring opponents 21-2 in five matches, and then recorded a win, a loss and a draw at the Region II Championships. The team will compete in the MRL Premier Division once again this fall.
NSU qualified a U18 girls team four the National League four years ago, and it was only one of four Wisconsin teams ever to participate prior to this year. The National League expanded to 256 teams this year.