Girls Elite Clubs National League (U12-U19)

What is the ECNL?

The Elite Clubs National League (ECNL) was founded in 2009 by forward-thinking Directors of Coaching across the country who saw a need for change in and special commitment to improving the daily environment for American elite female youth soccer players.  These Directors came together and collaborated to build what would become the top female youth development platform in the world. The grassroots leadership and cooperation were unprecedented in American youth soccer, and the ECNL continues to be the most progressive and innovative development platform in the country.

What is Bethesda’s Vision?

Building on its 42-year community-based tradition, nationally-recognized Bethesda Soccer Club is known as the premier soccer club in the District/Maryland/Virginia region that:

  • Prepares players to move through its developmental levels to elite status
  • Develops all players to their highest level of skills, teamwork, and leadership on and off the field
  • Retains its superior coaches through its professional development programs
  • Promotes cutting-edge thinking and practice in the sport

Who oversees Bethesda’s ECNL program?

Bethesda's ECNL teams are part of the club's broader Girls Program which is run by our U15-U19 Age Group Director Kevin Layton.

How many days per week will the ECNL teams train?

ECNL  teams will train a total of four days per week during the spring season. During the fall, our U12-U14 teams will practice four days a week while our U15-U18 teams will practice once a week. 

How many games are played and how long is the ECNL season?

Each ECNL team plays approximately 25 league games, including six games at Showcases. The season begins in September and commences with the National Championship in late June/early July.

How many players are selected per team?

Each team will select between 18-22 players for the given year.

How do ECNL players get exposure to US National teams?

US Soccer Training Centers are sessions that are hosted every few months in various locations where National Team coaches train & identify players. US Soccer Training Centers have replaced ODP (USYS) sessions and zero costs are associated for players who are invited to attend these sessions.  US Soccer scouts attend the majority of divisional games to identify players for National team camps & US Training centers.

What about College exposure?

Bethesda SC players undoubtedly receive the best college exposure of any club in the country, with players attending some of the top local and national Showcase events in the country, including our own Bethesda Premier Cup. Our club has a long and storied history of creating a pathway for our players to college which you can read more about here.

In addition, Bethesda SC has partnered with SportsRecruits, a college recruiting software that is designed by former college athletes for the next generation of players. All BSC U15-U19 players will receive a complimentary SportsRecruits account with full access to their software including resources, webinars, and messaging.

For more information on your SportsRecruits account, please contact your coach.

How many ECNL players have gone on to Division I College Programs?

Since joining the ECNL  Bethesda has had over 200  players go on to play Division I soccer and many other players going on to play in Division II and Division II. To see where alumni have ended up on and off of the pitch please go to our Alumni page. If you want to learn more about our Pathway to College please check out our college resources page.

How often are ECNL teams required to travel?

Academy clubs can expect 10-12  away matches in a given season, some of which will require overnight travel. Exact travel distances will vary depending on their geographic proximity to their opponents and ECNL National events.

Can ECNL players participate with non-ECNL teams during the season?

Full-time ECNL players are permitted to participate on their ECNL team and non-ECNL teams. Players can also play on their high school teams.

Where will the ECNL teams train?

Currently, the ECNL teams divide their practice time between multiple locations in the Montgomery County area. Exact practice locations will be provided through the team's TeamSNAP page. 

We would like to practice with the ECNL but are not sure if we can commit to the game schedule. Does BSC offer any customized options for my player?

Yes. If your player is interested in practicing with an ECNL team and guest playing occasionally in matches/tournaments we do have a Discovery Player option. For more information please contact our U15-U19 Age Group Director Kevin Layton at

Does Bethesda SC offer Scholarships?

Yes. Bethesda Soccer Club is one of the few travel soccer clubs across the country that offers need-based scholarships to players to help offset registration fees and costs. To learn more about our Scholarship Program and key deadlines click here.

What about our Uniforms?

For uniform information, please see our uniform page.


BSC Families have the ability to opt into our Club Fee Protection Plan. For more information on what this covers please see our page for Dewar Insurance.

Bethesda Team Pictures - Chris Daw


 If you have a question about the ECNL Program or to schedule a tryout please contact our ECNL Director Kevin Layton at