2019 International Champions Cup Futures Tournament featured Atletico Madrid, Barcelona, Manchester City, and Paris Saint-Germain
Four ECNL Girls U15 Teams Selected to Compete in the Inaugural Girls Division of the International Champions Cup Futures Tournament Challenging the World’s Biggest Clubs. The chance to shine on the world stage and test their skills against Atletico Madrid, Barcelona, Manchester City, and Paris Saint-Germain was amazing.
At ICC Futures Tournament, FC Barcelona Wins The 2019 International Champions Cup Futures Girls Title
The Elite Clubs National League (ECNL), the nation’s premier youth soccer league, had four of its top U15 ECNL Girls teams competing against leading clubs from around the world in the first girls’ division of the annual International Champions Cup (ICC) Futures Tournament operated by the Relevent Sports Group (RSG).
The Girls ICC Futures Division hosted 12 teams from five countries at the IMG Academy in Bradenton, FL from December 10-15, 2019.
“This is the first international club competition of this caliber for youth female soccer players in the United States, creating an incredible opportunity for our teams to compete against a lineup of the world’s best-known clubs,” said Christian Lavers, President of the ECNL.
“The competition featured some of the best youth players in the world, and the experiences were both invaluable and unforgettable.”Christian Lavers, President of the ECNL.
“We were honored to share these moments with the teams, clubs, and the ICC as we look to continue to lead the game forward with exciting new opportunities and programs,” said Lavers.
The four ECNL teams included Concorde Fire Platinum of Georgia, Heat FC of Nevada, LAFC Slammers from California, and PDA Blue of New Jersey. These teams were selected based on their performances in the ECNL in the 2018-2019 season.
Atletico Madrid, Barcelona, Manchester City and Paris Saint-Germain (PSG) were the four European club academies who traveled to measure their soccer abilities against the American teams — which also included four ICC US-based Regional All-Star teams (South, East, Midwest, and West), which included leading ECNL players and more from around the country.
One of the highlights of the youth soccer tournament was when ECNL’s PDA triumphed over ICC West Regional All-Stars in a penalty shootout.
While PDA’s glory ended with two quick first-half goals scored by FC Barcelona the 2019 International Champions Cup Futures Girls final, the thrill of playing against La Masia’s finest will last forever.
ECNL players everywhere celebrated as the incredible US women’s team won the World Cup and now, with the excitement of an Olympic year in 2020, the talented young women of the ECNL had their own opportunity to walk in the shoes of legends as they competed in their own international club tournament.
“This tournament is a great opportunity for the players to challenge themselves against the best players in Europe in a fantastic environment,” said Jen Winngale, Commissioner of the ECNL Girls.
“Exposing our players to international opportunities grows their soccer and life skills as they see different styles of coaching and playing,” said Winngale. “The tournament perfectly aligns with our mission to build leaders in this game.”
ICC Futures Tournament Game Structure
On December 11 & 12, the ICC Futures teams competed in group play.
Each team was placed in a group of four, competing against each team within their group across three matches. Based on standings, the teams either qualified for the top division (Championship), middle division (Trophy), or third division (Bowl). Due to the smaller pool of teams, the girls’ teams each competed in a semifinal match in their division. The Championship Division ultimately decided the girls’ 2019 ICC Futures Champion.
Matches had two 25-minute halves with a 10-minute halftime. If a match resulted in a tie, there was no overtime period in the knockout stages and penalty kicks determined the winners.
On December 11 and 12, matches were live-streamed through InternationalChampionsCup.com, Facebook and Twitter. On December 14 and 15, the Championship Division including the Quarterfinals, Semifinals, and Finals for both girls and boys was televised on ESPN.
Images courtesy of ECNL and ICC – For more information, please visit ICC