LANCASTER, Mass. | Five ENPL and NPL postseason events take place June 29-July 3 at Progin Park:
The ENPL represents the top level of boys competition in US Club Soccer with qualifying NPLs and Boys ECNL Conferences clamoring for position in the ENPL postseason. The NPL is the next level, and these Boys NPL Finals events - for 15-U through 19-U competitors - represent the culmination of their collective seasons.
The ENPL Eastern Playoffs, however, is the first postseason layer of a two-stage postseason. The top two teams from each age group earn advancement to the ENPL National Finals (14-U through 17-U), July 13-14 in Aurora, Colo.
The 19-U ENPL National Finals is different from its younger ENPL divisions, though, as 19-U qualifiers from all over the country are meeting this weekend for national championships.
The 13-U ENPL event does not include advancement either, and it will not award champions. It's a smaller event designed to provide additional competitive programming to 13-U teams within ENPL qualifiers, if they chose to participate.
This is it: the final day of the ENPL and NPL postseason events in Lancaster. We'll award five champions today:
On the ENPL side among 14-U through 17-U age groups, teams competing on Tuesday need to win their game this morning to punch their ticket to the ENPL National Finals in Aurora, Colo. in 10 days.
Fields 8 and 9 are Progin Park are being live streamed tomorrow. Those games can be watched at the top of this page or on the ENPL homepage.
Heat advisory (Progin Park): After discussions with medical personnel on-site, we'll continue to shorten halves by five minutes and enforce mandatory water breaks for all games today. Please hydrate before, during and after the matches - players, parents, coaches, spectators, etc.
UPDATE: We're all done. All the ENPL qualifiers to the 2018 ENPL National Finals in Colorado have been determined, and all the NPL championships in the 15-U, 16-U, 17-U and 19-U age groups have been awarded.
The star of the show, though, was undoubtedly the 19-U ENPL Finals, which Ohio Premier SC defeated NEFC to claim the first-ever ENPL national title.
Once again, we'd like to thank all the participating teams, including players, coaches, parents, spectators and more. And, certainly all the ENPL qualifying competitions - NPLs and Boys ECNL Conferences alike - deserve recognition.
Stay tuned for a full recap and additional videos on US Club Soccer's Facebook page.
The heat once again forced games to be shortened by five minutes per half.
Time slots were held at 9 a.m., 11 a.m. and 1 p.m. Games were intensified by the mounting pressure of win-or-go-home situations.
For those competing on the ENPL side among 14-U through 17-U age groups, the goal continues to be to finish in the top two of each age group. Then, those top two teams of every age group travel to Colorado for the ENPL National Finals, July 13-14, where national titles will be awarded.
The 19-U ENPL National Finals is a single-stage postseason, though, and a national champion will be awarded on Tuesday.
On the NPL side, there will be champions, as well. Semifinal matches were played today to determine finals match-ups tomorrow to award the Boys Eastern NPL Finals champions of the year.
All games scheduled for Sunday will have halftimes reduced by five minutes due to concerns with high temperatures and heat index.
The reduction limits exposure to the hottest part of the day, especially for the afternoon games. Referees will continue to enforce hydration breaks throughout the game.
Players aren't the only ones who should be focused on hydration. Parents, coaches and spectators should also drink lots of water and seek shade whenever possible.
The ENPL playoffs takes a day off today for those 14-U through 17-U teams, but the 19-U ENPL Finals and the Boys Eastern NPL Finals (15-U through 17-U) and 19-U Boys NPL Finals continues today. Time slots are 10 a.m., 12 p.m. and 2 p.m.
Stay tuned for more updates, including videos.
Day 2 is forecasted to be one of the hottest days of the week, and as the temperatures rise, so does the pressure.
The 19-U ENPL National Finals is shaping up to be a long battle. On Friday, Manhattan SC, Ohio Premier SC, West Florida Flames, Madison 56ers, Sockers FC Chicago and NEFC all claimed victories, earning crucial three points apiece.
Of the eight games on Friday, five were decided by one goal or ended in a tie. Two were decided by two goals. We'll see if that trend continues during the second day of the tournament.
The Boys 19-U NPL Finals was just as competitive in the opening day. In three games, there was one tie and the other two games were 4-3 and 2-1 results.
Games start at 9 a.m., and there's a full slate all day at Progin Park. Thankfully, after an overcast and rainy day on Thursday, the forecast calls for sunny skies during the tournament - albeit with temperatures in the mid-90s at times.
As games get underway, we want to take a moment to congratulate all the qualification pathways, clubs, coaches, players and parents for all their hard work and dedication this season. It is an accomplishment to have made it this far, and US Club Soccer wishes you the best of luck this weekend.
UPDATE (6:15 p.m. ET): Games have wrapped up for the day at Progin Park. Time slots began at 9 a.m., and the last one was at 3 p.m.
College coaches could be seen throughout Progin Park all day, especially on the sidelines of the 19-U ENPL National Finals and 19-U Boys NPL Finals games.
A photo gallery is available here on the US Club Soccer Facebook page.