ECNL’s President Joins Women’s Pro Soccer Team Kansas City
From the field of youth soccer to the professional pitches of the NWSL, Christian Lavers always wants to add to the game, and does.
Kansas City NWSL announced today it has appointed Christian Lavers as its first Director of Sport and Chief Soccer Officer to guide the club’s vision and strategy for technical programming and youth development.
“I am incredibly honored to have the opportunity to help accomplish the vision that Angie and Chris Long have set out both for Kansas City NWSL, and for the game more broadly,” Lavers said.
“We have the opportunity to collaboratively create one of the top development and performance environments in the world for the women’s game,” said Lavers. “And, to positively impact the trajectory of the sport at the youth, collegiate and professional levels.”
Lavers, widely recognized as a leader and pioneer in the development of elite athletes, will serve as a catalyst for the team’s local and national youth programming, as well as its vision for elevating the experience for professional women’s soccer.
The team’s approach to youth soccer will be to support and amplify the efforts of local clubs by providing additional resources, education and opportunities to youth clubs, coaches and players.
This approach reflects the ownership vision as well as the deep understanding and experience both Lavers and Head Coach Huw Williams bring to youth soccer.
The two have a long history of positive collaboration, having worked together for years in successful youth soccer programming and sharing the philosophy that a positive relationship between the professional game and the youth soccer community is the cornerstone for growing and improving the sport.
“Christian is not only a groundbreaker in achieving superior technical performance with athletes, he is an important and respected voice in the effort to improve the youth development experience at every level, in every region, for every player,” said Co-Founder and Owner Chris Long. “His experience combined with his inclusive, collaborative approach and willingness to challenge the status quo make him a perfect fit for our vision, particularly as it relates to youth programming.”
Lavers will continue as the President of Elite Clubs National League, Inc. (ECNL).
Back in January, Kansas City NWSL unveiled its crest, team colors and commitment to play “For Kansas City.”
The club’s inaugural brand is reflective of the organization’s commitment to and investment in the sport, its players, Kansas City fans and the city. The NWSL expansion team will play with the KC crest this season, while the club develops a permanent name and brand for future seasons.
The team crest focuses on a large “KC,” showcasing the club’s mission to Play For Kansas City. The two stars represent Kansas and Missouri, while the stripes demonstrate the history of the region’s railways and crossroads, with a nod to the Santa Fe, Oregon and California National Historic Trails that cross Kansas City. The red and blue colors reflect the primary colors in the state flags of the region and the teal brings a fresh color and feel to the club, distinctly evoking the bright future of the team and organization.
ECNL is a non-profit organization with a mission of improving the development experience for young elite players. ECNL efforts are grounded in player-centered programming, which creates a better, more enjoyable experience and, ultimately, more successful players, coaches and clubs.
The ECNL Girls is widely considered the top development and competition environment in the world for youth female players. Since 2016 more than half of all players drafted in the NWSL played as youth players in the ECNL; and in the 2021 NWSL Draft, the top four players drafted, and 29 of the 40 players drafted in total, played in the league.