The addition of the Under-13 age group marks the first time that US Youth Soccer has increased its age range at the National Championships since 2001, when the Under-14 and Under-15 groups were added. Previously, the farthest an Under-13 team could advance was its respective Regional Championship. All four of the US Youth Soccer Regional Championships include Under-13 teams, with Region III (South) adding in the age group in 2012.
Another major change to the 2013 US Youth Soccer National Championships, which will be held in Overland Park, Kan., will be the addition of two more US Youth Soccer National League qualifying spots for the Under-15 through Under-17 age groups. Previously, only two spots in the National Championships were available to National League teams that did not qualify for the National Championships through their respective regional tournaments.
National League competition allows the nation's top 16 teams per gender age group to increase their exposure to collegiate, professional and U.S. National Team coaches and provides the highest level of competition for boys and girls teams in the country. Teams in the Under-15, Under-16, Under-17 and Under-18 age group have to apply to participate in the National League, with only the top four teams receiving a guaranteed spot for the next year. The National League recently completed its fifth season, and during the first four years, National League teams have claimed 13 of a possible 22 National Championship titles. The 2012 National Championship begin July 24 in Rock Hill, S.C. at Manchester Meadows.
About the US Youth Soccer National Championship Series –
The US Youth Soccer National Championship Series provides more than 10,000 teams from US Youth Soccer's 55 State Associations the opportunity to showcase their abilities against the best in the nation while emphasizing teamwork, discipline and fair play. The yearlong competition begins with over 185,000 players in the US Youth Soccer State Championships. These champions and selected wildcard teams, through US Youth Soccer Regional Leagues, advance to compete in one of four the US Youth Soccer Regional Championships. Champions (U-14 through U-19) from each regional event advance to the US Youth Soccer National Championships. The Under-15 through 17 Boys and Girls age groups have two teams representative of the US Youth Soccer National League, in which the top two teams in each gender age group earn a direct path to the national championships. Overall the National Championship Series provides top collegiate coaches with the premier stage to identify and scout the most coveted players in the country. For more information, visit http://championships.usyouthsoccer.org
About the United States Youth Soccer Association (US Youth Soccer) –
US Youth Soccer - "The Game for ALL Kids!®"
is the largest youth sports organization in the country and largest member of the United States Soccer Federation, the governing body of soccer in the United States. US Youth Soccer registers more than 3 million players annually, ages 5 to 19, and over 900,000 administrators, coaches and volunteers in 55 member State Associations. US Youth Soccer programs provide a fun, safe and healthy environment for players at every level of the game. For more information, visit www.USYouthSoccer.org.