MYS Boys ECNL Overview

On Sunday, April 1st, the MYS Technical Leadership shared exciting information about the new Boys ECNL program. You can review the presentation by clicking on this link.

MYS Boys ECNL Announces 2018-2019 Coaching LIneup

After successfully transitioning to the ECNL Boys league, the club announces its coaching staff for the upcoming year, looking to continue to build the culture and environment to help players reach the next level in their development.

The staff is led by former DC United player Jamil Walker. Walker holds his USSF 'A license, and his coaching history growing as impressive as his accolades on the field. His experience includes three trips to the National tournament in four years, two State Cup championships, as well as Regional League championship and multiple regional semi-final finishes. Walker was recently recognized as the National Coach of the Year for his work and achievements with the '00 Hotspurs.

Along with Walker, coach Alan Portillo will lead two teams. Portillo is known for building teams into championship-caliber squads and recently won his first VYSA State Cup, as well as taking two teams to the Regional tournaments and into National Cup play. Coach Alan looks to build on his strong year with a second consecutive trip to Regional league play, and another run at the National Cup. The staff also currently includes Region I ODP Head Coach and former American University Head Coach Todd West.

The staff is rounded out with USSF 'A license coach Brent Heupel. Heupel spent a year and a half with the DC United Youth Academy, serving as the Co-coach of the U12 group, and assisted with the U18/U19s. An active member of the VYSA ODP programs, Heupel served as an assistant with the Regional champion '00 VA State team, and helped two VA girls State teams reach the Regional championship in consecutive years.

McLean's Director of Soccer Keith Tabatznik stated, "It would be hard to find a better slate of coaches in youth soccer than those we have here in McLean - and not just our ECNL coaches. Nearly half of all of our coaches are US Soccer A or B licensed which is an amazing percentage in a youth soccer club."

McLean's Technical Director, Clyde Watson (a DC/VA Soccer Hall of Fame member) and Region I Head Goalkeeper Coach John Szaro compliment the staff. Please visit our Bio pages to review the Technical Leadership and Coach Bios.

U13 (2006) Jamil Walker

USSF A License

USYS Nationals

DC United Player

U14 (2005) Brent Heupel

USSF A License

Former DC United Academy Coach

U15 (2004) Todd West

USSF A License

Region I ODP

U16 (2003) Alan Portillo

USSF D License

USYS Nationals

U17 (2002) Todd West

USSF A License

Region I ODP

U18 (2001/2000) Jamil Walker

USSF A License

USYS Nationals

DC United Player

McLean Youth Soccer - Boys ECNL Program Overview and FAQs

McLean Youth Soccer (MYS) is regarded as one of the top clubs in the region, providing player pathways from recreational to elite travel levels. To adapt to changes in the youth soccer landscape and to provide an elite, national level offering to boys on par with the club's existing girls ECNL program, MYS applied for and was accepted into the ECNL Boys Program for Fall 2018.

Background: Since joining the ECNL Girls program in 2013, McLean girls have been provided an opportunity to compete and develop their talents in an elite, national-level environment. The program has been a success for the club and its girls, providing consistently high levels of competition, top training opportunities, and unmatched college exposure. MYS ECNL Girls is nationally renowned, with 33 current players committed to Division 1 and 3 colleges and two on US national teams in 2018. The club has maintained robust local and regional travel team opportunities for girls not in ECNL, and a pathway for all to the highest level of play in the nation.

Since adding high level technical staff and a training focus, today MYS fields two national level teams in older age groups, younger Green teams with strong potential and ever-improving White, Gold and Silver teams.

Today, however, the elite soccer landscape is changing quickly. The fast-growing ECNL Boys and an established but expanding DA system have increasingly become the destination for many aspiring top athletes. They provide proven elite player development and reliable exposure to national level competition for all age groups, and to college recruiters for older boys. MYS leveraged its good standing in the ECNL Girls program for acceptance in ECNL Boys.

Summary: To consolidate progress and continue growth of its boy's elite program and adapt to an evolving soccer landscape, MYS believed it needed to access one of the two national, elite player development leagues. ECNL has proven to be extremely successful for MYS girls. Leveraging our good standing within the ECNL program enabled us to secure an ECNL Boys charter for Fall 2018. We believe that not joining this League would have disadvantaged the club's highest performing players and possibly slowed or reversed progress of the club's boy's elite pathway, diminishing routes for all players to the highest level of play.

MYS staff developed plans to ensure the continuity of McLean's current boys White, Gold and Silver teams and improve the player experience for those boys and girl's teams through guest playing on ECNL and better matching of teams to the appropriate CCL and NCSL division or league.

McLean Boys ECNL - FAQs

Frequently Asked Question (FAQ)
McLean Boys ECNL


What is the ECNL Boys Program? A nationwide soccer league comprised of 6 conferences with over 63 (includes Mid Atlantic) top clubs that provides elite development and game opportunities, and exposure to college recruiters through guaranteed play in national showcases, while allowing players to participate in high school soccer. For more information, go to the Boys ECNL website.

How will MYS and its players benefit from ECNL? High level competition. Retention of top players. Guaranteed participation in national showcases. Improved and reliable exposure for all ECNL teams to college recruiters - no longer dependent on qualifying for US National League or top showcase brackets. Allows MYS players to continue to play in high school (as over 90% currently do) and MYS teams to play in local tournaments. Creates in-club pathway for all players seeking an elite travel experience.

Is the ECNL Boys related to the ECNL Girls Program? Yes - it is operated by the same staff who have made ECNL Girls the top youth soccer league in the country.

What is the difference between the ECNL Boys and the US Soccer Development Academy (DA) program? Both are national level programs for the development of our country's elite players that provide college showcases and national championships. DA strictly prohibits players from participation in high school teams and any other soccer team (aside from national teams) including Super Y, ODP, etc. ECNL permits players to play on such teams. Up to 99% of McLean's elite boys players and girls ECNL players currently play on their high school teams.


How will McLean's non-ECNL teams be impacted? U12-U19 Green teams will be renamed ECNL or pre-ECNL. Non-ECNL teams will continue to play in the CCL and NCSL but all players will be eligible to guest-play on ECNL teams. White teams will now be named Green and Gold teams will now be named White. Further, our staff will analyze each team after try-outs to ensure they are placed in the CCL or NCSL division or league appropriate to their level of play. Meeting the elevated standards of ECNL is expected to have a positive influence on the entire boys travel program and ECNL should provide an inspiring in-club option to non-ECNL players that aspire to a higher level of play.

Continuing to improve the player experience for those players is a top club priority.

For what age groups will ECNL be offered? U13,14,15,16,17,18/19, Pre-ECNL for U12

What other clubs will McLean play? McLean will play in a Mid-Atlantic conference that will include teams from Virginia, North and South Carolina. In Showcase events, McLean teams will face teams from throughout the country.

What is the level of competition? ECNL has attracted many of the top soccer clubs in the nation. The level of play during the boys program inaugural year has been described as mostly equivalent to US National League competition. The first ECNL Boys Showcase in Florida in January attracted over 150 college coaches from around the country due to the high standard of play.

Will this league give my son exposure to college coaches? One of the things ECNL does best is attract and cater to college coaches. It is a destination league for recruiting.

How often will these teams practice? 3 times per week.

How far and how often do we travel for away games? In-conference games will likely be in VA, North/South Carolina. There will be 14-16 regular season games plus showcases and other tournaments. Regular season games will likely occur over 7-8 weekends, mostly in the fall.

What are the fees for this program? During 2017-18, ECNL Girls club fees in MYS were $2,372 per player. There are additional Team and Travel fees that vary per age group. We anticipate the Boys fees to be similar.

Is financial aid available to ECNL families? Yes. Financial aid is available to all programs within the club. Instructions to determine eligibility can be found on our website.

How many players will be on the roster? ECNL allows up to 30 players on a roster. Most teams tend to roster 22 players. U13s &14s usually roster 18 players. U19s approximately 24 players.

Will the players travel together to games or are families responsible for their own league travel? Based on how the girls are currently structured - U15s and older usually travel by bus. U13s&U14s: parents are responsible for travel arrangements. Occasionally travel to Showcases may require air travel for which arrangements are ultimately the responsibility of parents. With older age groups, chaperones may be used to reduce family travel costs.

Who will be coaching these teams? The coaching assignments will be released in the spring and will include our talented staff coaching the age groups where they will best be able to advance our players.

If my son is not selected for this program, will he have the opportunity to guest play? What other options does he have in McLean? ECNL and CLL have good guest player policies. We believe this is very healthy for development where players have a potential opportunity to "guest up" with teams as they progress and perform. The option for players not on our ECNL teams will play in a CCL or NCSL division where they can play in Showcases or games with ECNL as/if appropriate.