Oct 8, 2012

Central VA Clubs form Elite Development League (EDL)

Four Virginia clubs have embarked on the creation of a new Virginia travel soccer league called the Elite Development League (EDL).  The purpose of the EDL is to provide clubs with an elite environment to develop players and teams.    The EDL will play its inaugural season in Spring 2013.    

The founding clubs of the Elite Development League are the
Chesterfield United Soccer Club, Culpeper Soccer Association, Dynamo Soccer Club and Fredericksburg Soccer Club, Inc.  All four clubs have stellar reputations and have made tremendous strides in the soccer community in the past year.   

“The objective of this league is to find clubs with common goals of player and coach development.  By controlling the amount of travel, game schedules, quality of the fields and opponents, we can do a better job of enhancing the soccer environment”, said Steve Lovgren, Dynamo Director of Coaching.

The league operates under the philosophy that the strength of a club is determined by the quality of the club’s player development and coaching development programs.   The strength of the league is determined by the strength of its clubs.   Therefore, the league imposes specific standards on all member clubs to ensure league quality.   Each club must meet certain coaching education requirements, curriculum requirements, and have a club centric approach towards player development.   The founding clubs are all in agreement that having standards ensures the uniqueness and quality of the league.   

The league has a number of features that cater towards developing the elite player.   Some of those features are listed below:
  • Each club is required to have their “A” team participate in the league.  
  • The technical directors of each club directly control the soccer specific decision making.   
  • The league provides a block scheduling format where all the teams in one club play all the teams at another club on the same day at the same field location.   The block scheduling is scalable so it allows smaller clubs to participate.
  • Less politics in the decision making processes including objective requirements for new clubs interested in membership.
The EDL will launch with 5 clubs in 2013.   The fifth club will be selected in 2013.   A large number of clubs in Virginia and Maryland have already contacted the EDL about membership.   However, the purpose of the EDL is to ensure quality over quantity.   The EDL is looking for clubs that have a club centric towards player development rather than a team centric approach. 

Each year the Elite Development League will host a tournament.  This weekend will be the inaugural EDL Columbus Day Invitational in Richmond, Virginia.  The tournament has 85 participating teams in its first year.  All proceeds from the event go towards keeping the league fees low for member clubs.  All EDL member clubs participate in this tournament.

The founding EDL clubs are playing “friendlies” against each other as a dry run ahead of the inaugural EDL season in Spring 2013.    Marcello Manzano, the Technical Director with FSCI, has already seen marked improvement, “The ease of working with other soccer professionals to build this innovative league, speaks volumes.   This league is unique in that considerable effort has gone towards the ensuring that the league’s organizational structure has less conflicts of interest and politics as seen in other travel leagues.   The result is that the player is central in all decision making.”.    

To find out more about the Elite Development League, please go to www.edlsoccer.com .