Over the first nine years of the U.S. Youth Soccer National League, there have been four Wisconsin teams involved in the competition. There will be the same number of state sides in the National League during the 2016-17 season.
The Elm Grove SC and Milwaukee Bavarians Under-18 boys teams and two girls sides, the North Shore United Blue Under-17s and SC Waukesha Blue Under-18s, are among the teams announced as National League entries earlier this week.
The competition expanded to 256 teams this season, up from 160 during the 2015-16 season. The Under-15 and Under-19 boys and girls divisions feature 16 teams apiece, while there are 32 teams in the Under-16, Under-17 and Under-18 divisions.
Teams will be split into eight-team divisions and play seven-game schedules, starting with the National League Fall Showcase in Wilson, N.C. – the girls event is Dec. 1 to 4 and the boys will play Dec. 8 to 11. Other league matches will be played at the Disney Showcase in late December and early January in Orlando, Fla., and the Player's College Showcase in March in Las Vegas. Schedules will be announced in the fall.
The top two finishers in each of the Under-15 and Under-19 divisions will earn berths in the U.S. Youth Soccer National Championships, which are July 25 to 30 in Frisco, Texas, as will the division champions in the Under-16, Under-17 and Under-18 age groups. The four Wisconsin teams are among 67 sides from Region II to earn spots in the National League, tied for the most among the country's four regions.
The previous state teams to participate in the competition are: United FC Under-15 boys (2011-12), North Shore United Under-18 girls (2012-13), SC Waukesha Blue Under-18 boys (2013-14) and SC Waukesha Blue Under-14 boys (2015-16).