• July 2, 2021

The wait is over. 

After months of national events, conference competitions, training sessions and weekend trips, everything has been pushing toward this: the ECNL Boys National Playoffs, which take place July 3 – 9, 2021 in Greensboro, North Carolina. 

At the ECNL Boys National Playoffs, champions will be crowned for the U13 and U18/19 age groups. It will also serve as the first-leg of the Champions League competition for the U14-U17 age groups, with select teams moving on to St. Louis for the ECNL Boys National Finals. 

Teams learned of their opponents and position Wednesday during the live bracket release and have been waiting anxiously to step on the field to begin their quest to lift a trophy. With more than 250 teams and more than 4,500 athletes competing in the ECNL Boys National Playoffs, the ECNL Postseason will be the largest and one of the most exciting events of the ECNL calendar. In addition, it is expected to see hundreds of college scouts on the sidelines, helping to elevate the postseason atmosphere even more.

Below is what every age group can expect at the ECNL Boys National Playoffs, along with a few notable teams and groups to watch throughout the competition.

For more information on the ECNL Playoffs, click here


The 18/19 age group will have a 16-team knockout round to determine its champion, and the NO. 1 seed FC Dallas (17-0-1) is primed for a title run and is one of the top teams to watch. FC Dallas scored 87 goals during conference play and earned a +67 goal differential, one of the best marks in the playoffs. FC Dallas also is home to the Gatorade Boys Soccer National Player of the Year in Bryce Boneau, making them a must-watch every time. 

Another team that could make a deep run is San Diego Surf, the No. 5 seed in the bracket. The Surf finished atop of the Southwest Conference with a 13-1-1 record and allowed just 11 goals in all competitions. With such a stingy defense, San Diego could ride that wave to a semifinal matchup against FC Dallas, with the winner ready for the title fight. 

To view the full Champions League bracket and schedule, click here.


For the U17s, 64 teams are broken into 16 groups, where each group winner will secure a spot in a 16-team bracket, with the final eight teams heading to St. Louis for the National Finals. Florida Kraze (10-3-3), Albion Hurricanes (13-4-3), CESA (11-4-3) and Maryland United (9-6-3) all highlight Group I, one of the most-attended levels for collegiate scouts. Each of these teams play a sound technical game, excelling in all facets. Pitting them together in group play will create contests that will test each squad, resulting in what should be thrilling matches from the opening to closing whistle. 

The team to beat entering the playoffs, though, is Lonestar SC South, who enters the competition with a 19-0-0 record in conference play. The team also participated in national events, suffering its only loss of the year at ECNL Virginia at the hands of STA. They will have their hands full though, placed in Group A with Slammers FC (12-3-3), Charlotte Independence Pro (10-4-4) and Concorde Fire Platinum (8-7-3). Each team in its own right could advance and whoever does escape to St. Louis will have been tested and ready for a deep trophy run. 

To view the full Champions League bracket and schedule, click here.


The U16s will follow the same format as the U17s, and Group G, which houses Florida West (12-2-2), CESA (11-1-6), Legends FC (10-5-3) and SLSG (6-3-3), is one worth highlighting. Florida West heads into the playoffs on a roll, recently attending the ECNL Boys Virginia national event, where the team finished 3-0-0 and also beat other postseason favorites, such as Sporting Delaware. That experience, in a high-level environment, will pay dividends at the ECNL Playoffs. 

Another group that will be extremely competitive is Group K, which will be the home for Real Salt Lake – AZ (11-1-1), Pac Northwest (9-2-2), NCFC Youth Academy (12-4-2) and FC Wisconsin (8-2-1). Each team boasts a win percentage of .667 or better, making it one of the toughest top-to-bottom groups at the U16 level. With such an even spattering of teams in the group, any one of the four could rise to the top and move on to St. Louis.  

To view the full Champions League bracket and schedule, click here.


One team to really look out for at the U15 level is Pipeline SC (17-1-0), who finished the season as one of the best teams across the country in the age group. In its group is Richmond United (9-2-4), Heat FC (9-6-3) and Rise (10-10-0). Each team will provide its opponents challenges, but with Pipeline’s track record this season, they are a strong favorite. 

Group C will also be an interesting group at this age, consisting of the following clubs: Charlotte SA Academy (14-1-3), World Class FC (9-3-3), Mustang SC (5-2-2) and Pittsburgh Riverhounds (7-4-0). Leading the group is Charlotte SA Academy, which finished top in the Mid-Atlantic Conference, while World Class, Mustang and Pittsburgh finished no worse than fourth in their respective conferences. It will be a tough group and one where any of the four teams could advance to St. Louis. 

Just like the U17s and the U16s, each group will be aiming for a spot in a 16-team bracket, with just eight teams earning a place at the National Finals in St. Louis. 

To view the full Champions League bracket and schedule, click here.


Thirty-two teams will be competing in North Carolina for four spots at the National Finals in St. Louis, creating an atmosphere unlike anything these teams have seen so far. One of the fascinating groups will be Group A, which features Eclipse Select (12-0-0), Dallas Texans Academy (15-3-2), Colorado Rapids (7-2-1) and Charlotte Independence Pro (10-4-3). Eclipse Select is one of eight teams entering the competition undefeated, while Dallas Texans, Colorado Rapids and Charlotte Independence all were formidable opponents during the regular season, setting up a group stage that will have exciting contests every day. 

 Another interesting group is Group E. Headlining that group is Albertson SUSA (15-1-0), a club that scored 90 goals this season and averaged 5.6 goals per game. Also looking to advance from Group E is NCFC Academy (14-3-1), Oklahoma Energy (13-1-6) and Washington Premier (8-3-3). In addition to hosting one of the highest-scoring teams in the playoffs, the combined .775 points percentage (50-8-10 record) is one of the best marks of any age group, making every game a must-watch. 

To view the full Champions League bracket and schedule, click here.


The U13 age group features a 16-team knockout bracket, which will culminate with a champion being crowned in Greensboro. Two of the favorite teams are Louisville City and Utah Avalanche, seeded 1st and 2nd overall, respectively. Both teams head into the playoffs undefeated, with Louisville City scoring a ridiculous 73 goals while only allowing four all season. Meanwhile, the 5th seeded Seattle United could be a potential dark horse squad. The team scored the most goals of any other club during the regular season with 78 tallies and finished with a 12-1-1 record. If Seattle and Louisville City were to win its first two games, it would set up a clash between the two teams in the semifinals, creating potentially one of the best matches of the postseason.

To view the full Champions League bracket and schedule, click here.