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
that provides an avenue for qualification for the NPL Finals.
US Club Soccer established the National Premier Leagues (NPL) in 2011 as a platform to provide the highest level of competition in given geographical areas. Nine leagues kicked off play in September 2011 as part of the NPL's inaugural season. The season came to a close in July at the 2012 NPL Champions Cup, held in Waukegan, Ill., featuring league champions from across the country. Five teams from three leagues were crowned NPL national champions.
Now, the NPL has grown to include college showcase opportunities with its annual NPL Showcase (Girls) in Florida over the New Year's holiday and through partnerships with the Surf Cup and Jefferson Cup.
The NPL Finals, formerly known as the NPL Champions Cup, continues to be a coveted, league-based national championship competition featuring U-13 through U-18 boys and girls teams from around the country.
Leo Garcia became the league's general manager in July 2014.