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Philadelphia Ukrainian Nationals girls teams joining ECNL



Photo by Matthew Ralph

Philadelphia Ukrainian Nationals’ girls teams will be moving from the Girls Academy to ECNL next season.

The Ukies are one of three new clubs joining the ECNL Girls platform for the 2024-2025 season. Colorado Rush and Nationals SC are the other two clubs announced earlier this week.

“We could not be more excited and thankful to be the newest member of the ECNL Girls,” Ukrainian Nationals Technical Director Joe Nemzer said. “As a club, we strive to provide our players with a premier training and developmental environment. We will embrace this opportunity to compete against some of the nations best clubs, both within the North Atlantic Conference and on the national stage.”

The North Atlantic Conference currently includes teams from four other area clubs: Penn Fusion, FC Delco, Hex FC and PDA South.

The move follows the club’s entry into the ECNL Boys Regional League ahead of the current season. The boys teams moved from U.S. Youth Soccer’s Elite 64 league to the regional league and are seeking a promotion from regional league to the ECNL Boys platform. The Ukies were one of the founding clubs of the Girls Academy, which launched in 2020 following the shuttering of the U.S. Soccer Girls Development Academy.

“We are excited to add these clubs and their teams to the league,” ECNL Girls Commissioner Ralph Richards said in a news release. “The ECNL is committed to creating a robust pyramid and pathway to and between the ECNL and the ECNL Regional League for clubs in every region of the country. We feel these decisions help to finalize that pathway and pyramid, and firmly establish the ECNL and the ECNL Regional League as the top two platforms in competition and showcasing opportunities in America for girls soccer.”

Philadelphia Ukrainians has had two Girls Academy national semifinalist teams and sent six teams to the GA Champions Cup over the past two seasons. Currently they have 27 Division 1 commitments collectively between their class of 2024 and 2025.

Matthew Ralph is the managing editor of Philadelphia Soccer Now / Brotherly Game. He's covered soccer at all levels for many years in the Philadelphia region and has also written for, NPSL, PrepSoccer and other publications. He lives with his wife and two young children in Broomall, Pa., but grew up in South Jersey and is originally from Kansas.

Copyright © 2024 Philadelphia Soccer Now and Brotherly Game

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