04/08/2016 7:00 AM
The Western New York Flash Academy announced today that is has officially been accepted as a Member Club of Elite Clubs National League (ECNL). The WNY Flash Academy will be a part of ECNL’s 2016-2017 season.
“We’ve always strived to compete at the highest level with our professional team who are now in their fourth season in the NWSL,” said WNY Flash Academy Director of Soccer Operations Aaran Lines. “As we have expanded our academy ECNL has always been a goal of ours as a club. Having ECNL in the Western New York area is unparalleled and we look forward to having Western New York players showcase themselves in the best youth soccer league in the United States.”
ECNL was founded in 2009 and is best known for its dedication to creating a league where the top female talent can compete against each other in order to further develop elite soccer players while empowering young women. The news comes after notable ECNL alumni Allie Long, Crystal Dunn, and Mallory Pugh scored in Wednesday’s U.S. Women’s National Team 7-0 win over Colombia.
The affiliation with ECNL will further improve what the WNY Flash Academy has already started. The Flash Academy proves its worth as many of its female players commit to top college programs, and ECNL does the same. Last year, ECNL reported that of its 1,346 players graduating in 2016, 90 percent committed to playing college soccer and about 72 percent committed to NCAA Division I programs.
In 2015, ECNL alumni were big influences in NCAA play. Of the teams that competed in the 2015 NCAA Final Four, 68 were ECNL Alums, with National Champion Penn State having 18 players from different ECNL clubs on its roster. Of the 60 2015 All-Freshman honors, 41 went to ECNL Alumni along with 118 receiving All-Conference honors and 11 being awarded various Player of the Year awards.