The CCL is based on the philosophy that the player is a member of the club as well as a member of the team and that successful clubs develop players and teams from within.
The Club Champions League (CCL) is the first, and largest, club-based youth soccer league in the United States. With four distinct competitive divisions, and two conferences (CCL and CCL New England) the league has over 15,500 participants, and over 75,000 registered youth soccer players within CCL member clubs in 9 states and the District of Columbia. The CCL is larger than many state associations.
The organization was founded on a simple concept that includes three main features:
1. Superior Competition
2. A Model for Player Development and
3. A Governing Board made up of Professional Soccer Directors from each club (click here).
The CCL offers a holistic club-based development model with it’s primary focus on the development of the very best youth soccer players while offering a level of play for all players ages eight to over twenty-three. As the first youth soccer league to implement the club-based model and introduce the club-to-club matchday, the CCL is the leader in the youth soccer landscape. The club-to-club matchday offers a unified league schedule where all teams from one club, host or travel to another club, boys and girls, and play all matches at one location. The matchday schedules are strategically managed to offer Technical Directors/Directors of Coaching (TD’s and DOC’s) and Full-Time Club Coaching Staff the opportunity to oversee, evaluate, assess, collaborate, and participate with many, if not all, of their club’s teams and players on a matchday. Most importantly, TD’s/DOC’s are able to de-conflict double coaches (coaches who coach more than one team), so that every player is intimately connected to their Head Coach for each match. The club-to-club matchday presents a club-based, community-feel as well as offering great flexibility for families with multiple players and the opportunity to carpool. The CCL and its member clubs have over 20 years of experience in the club-to-club matchday!
BOARD OF DIRECTORS: The CCL Board of Directors is made up of Professional Soccer Directors from each club. The Board structure is set as a President, Vice President, Secretary, Treasurer, voting members, and provisional members and/or non-voting members. An Executive Committee made up of the President, Vice President, Virginia North Representative, Virginia South Representative, and Maryland/Washington, D.C. Representative, maintains quality communications with Board Members within their respective territory. New clubs begin their tenure on the Board as provisional members. Upon a successful seasonal year, meeting specific standards of excellence, on and off the field, clubs may be voted to full membership with full voting rights. The Board holds multiple meetings per year to manage and measure its strategic imperatives, discuss strategic partnerships, while also receiving important reports from the full-time staff. Every decision made by the CCL Board has the best interests of player development in mind. As the CCL grows so will its representatives on the Executive Committee.
FULL-TIME STAFF: The league consists of (6) four full-time staff members; Brian Kuk, CCL Executive Director to oversee and manage the day-to-day operations, full-time staff, and strategic imperatives of the league; Darryl Gee, CCL Soccer Ambassador & Compliance to oversee club relationships and matchday compliance; Mayowa Owolabi, CCL Communications & Administration Director to oversee club communications, marketing, social media, CCL United, and NextGen Maryland; Kevin Cash, CCL Events & Sponsorship Director to oversee signature events and local/regional sponsorship and advertising; John Barata, CCL New England Director of Operations to oversee day-to-day operations of the CCL New England conference; Nick Dunbar, CCL New England Technical Advisor to oversee club relationship, standards, and compliance to help clubs grow from within. Contact Us (here). Brian, Darryl, Mayowa, are former TD’s/DOC’s of CCL member clubs, hold US Soccer National ‘A’ Licenses, successfully started and managed businesses, and have over 60 years combined youth soccer experience. Mayowa, John, and Nick hold US Soccer Instructors Licenses.
CCL HISTORY: Founded in 1997, the league operated under the Virginia Club Champions League (VCCL) name with current members Beach FC, FC Richmond, Roanoke Star, SOCA and Virginia Legacy participating until 2012. Founders of the club-to-club matchday, a full slate of matches were set for boys teams U11 through U18/19. In June 2000, girls teams were added to the club-to-club matchday. The VCCL adopted an 8v8 format for U11 teams in fall 2005, and an 8v8 format for U12 teams in fall 2007. To best reflect the future growth and evolution of the league, the Board of Directors agreed to re-brand in 2013 to the Club Champions League (CCL). In January 2015, CCL II was approved to expand the club-centric model and the league’s player development pyramid. In September 2015, CCL PRO23 was approved to provide the region’s most professional, competitive and unique Under 23 league as a player retention opportunity. Although a 9-10s developmental division began fall 2014, in January 2016, NextGen was approved to accurately reflect the 9-10s division as the next generation of CCL players and families. In the summer of 2018, NextGen expanded to include NextGen Virginia as a club-to-club based developmental league and NextGen Maryland as a team-based developmental league. Today, players compete in the Club Champions League within various divisions of the league based on club selection and ability appropriate to them. In 2018, the CCL re-branded its divisions to accurately reflect the organization’s growth and player development pathway: PRO23 (ages 16+), Premiership (11-19s, boys and girls), Championship (11-17/18s, boys and girls), NextGen Virginia and NextGen Maryland Divisions(9-10s, boys and girls).
EXPANSION TO NORTHERN VIRGINIA, MARYLAND, AND WASHINGTON, D.C.: Under the VCCL banner and in the spring of 2011, the league expanded to include Arlington Soccer Association, BRYC Elite, Fredericksburg FC, Loudoun Soccer and SYA. In the spring of 2012, expansion continued to included Washington, D.C. and Maryland based clubs: DC Stoddert, FC Frederick and Maryland United. Under the CCL banner and in the winter of 2014, Potomac Soccer Association (Maryland), LMVSC (Virginia) and McLean Youth Soccer (Virginia) were accepted into the league. In winter of 2016, Ellicott City (Maryland) was accepted to the league, while FCSC United (Virginia) was accepted to CCL II. In the winter of 2018, Alexandria Soccer Association (Virginia), Herndon (Virginia), and VA Rush (Virginia) were accepted to the CCL. And at the same time, Culpeper SC (Virginia) was accepted to CCL II. In 2019, VBR Star, Central Virginia United (CVU), New River United (NRU), and Shenandoah Valley United (SVU) became the founding members of the Championship West Division.
EXPANSION TO NEW ENGLAND (MASSACHUSETTS, NEW HAMPSHIRE, VERMONT, RHODE ISLAND, CONNECTICUT, AND MAINE): In 2020, the CCL expanded its operations and launched CCL New England offering club-to-club and team based league options. CCL New England will begin to roll-out CCL New England PRO23, CCL New England United, NextGen, and more over the next two years. CCL also hired two employees (Director of Operations and Technical Advisor) to help with the transition and growth in New England.
COMPETITION/DIVISIONS: PRO23, the peak of the CCL’s developmental pyramid, offers competitive play for Men and Women (separate divisions) from June-July. PRO23 offers clubs a player retention opportunity providing current college players the opportunity to come home and play for the club that helped develop and prepare them for collegiate soccer. Top youth players and former collegiate/professional players round out PRO23 rosters to offer a one-of-a-kind off-season development experience. Older players mentor younger players and all continue their pursuit of soccer excellence. CCL’s Premiership, the pinnacle of CCL’s youth development programming, offers the the highest level of competition for both boys and girls, ages 11-19s, at the state, regional and national levels. CCL’s Championship is for ages 11-19s, boys and girls, and is a competitive platform offering both individuals and clubs the opportunity to develop under the same standards as the Premiership. Not only does the Championship offer a fantastic competitive environment but it allows players to compete at a level appropriate to them and possibly prepare them for Premiership play in the future. Unique to the Championship, clubs that do not participate in the Premiership can work with like-mind Directors and clubs to help grow their club within the club-based model. The doorstep to the league is NextGen. NextGen is for the next generation of players and offers developmental play for ages 9-10, boys and girls. The CCL is recognized for being the “Best Regional League in the United States” and “The Destination for the College Bound Player”. Annually, the CCL sees over 300 student-athletes continue their education and playing careers at the NCAA Division 1, Division 2, and Division 3 levels. The CCL is also recognized for being a top league that develops quality players who are prepared for the rigors of college soccer but also for being ardent supporters of High School soccer and the social importance associated with staying connected with community.
CHAMPIONS: The Premiership and Championship offer Age Group winners at the end of each seasonal year. Standings are determined by weekly competition for 12-18/19s and 12-17/18s, Premiership and Championship respectively: three points for wins, one point for ties, and no points for losses. Unique to each division, and keeping to the importance of club and community, each Premiership team 13-18s and Championship team 13-18s secure “Championship Points” for their club based on age group placement. “Championship Points” are then calculated to determine an Overall Club Champion, Overall Boys Champion, and Overall Girls Champion for each division, separately. The Overall Club Champion trophy stays with the Champion at their Club Office until the next seasonal year Overall Champion is determined. NextGen, Premiership 11s, and Championship 11s is purely developmental with no standings kept or “Championship Points” accumulated. Click here for a history of CCL Champions. Click here to see our National, Regional, and State Cup Champions!
EVENTS: CCL COLLEGE SHOWCASES. A TRADITION OF EXCELLENCE. For over 20 years, the CCL has provided its Premiership 16-19s, boys and girls teams, with two top-level soccer events attended by NCAA Division 1, 2 and 3 college coaches from across the country: CCL December College Showcase and CCL February College Showcase (February); click here to learn more about our College Showcase events. Unique to the CCL, each event is included in league fees at a deeply discounted member club rate compared to other national events. As the league has evolved, the CCL offers Premiership and Championship teams other low cost events as well. Premiership, along with the College Showcases, is offered the Generation adidas Invitational. Championship, is offered a College Showcase and the adidas Fall Festival. NextGen, is offered up to (4) ScrimmageFests powered by Kwik Goal and is included in these age groups low cost league fees. Click here to see our events.
CCL UNITED TEAMS: The Preeminent All-Star Teams in the Region! In September 2015, CCL UNITED Boys and Girls (formerly known as CCL Select) were invited to compete for the coveted Gothia Cup Tipselit Trophy (link) played in Sweden, July 2016. The CCL UNITED Boys became the first US-based youth boys soccer team to be invited to play for the Tipselit Trophy. The league has created a professional youth soccer immersion experience where players are scouted, attend tryouts, are selected to a Training Centers, and then ultimately selected to a final roster. Teams typically train once per month leading up to a special team camp prior to participating in top events. CCL UNITED teams travel to FCN (link) for the team camp in Denmark and play two friendly matches versus professional youth academy teams prior to attending events. CCL UNITED team delegations include: 17 or 18 Players, Head Coach, Associate Head Coach, Certified Athletic Trainer, and additional CCL full-time staff. As the CCL United program evolves, so will the events that these teams attend. CCL United is currently available for 17s and 15s, boys and girls. In 2019, the league expanded CCL United to include (2) CCL United Championship teams that will participate in the Vildbjerg Cup (link).
GROUND-BREAKING PARTNERSHIPS AND SPONSORSHIPS: In 2015, the CCL signed a 10-year strategic partnership and sponsorship agreement with adidas North America, and a four-year agreement with soccer.com. Both agreements, including the pairing of these agreements, provides members clubs, and their members (players, families, coaches, teams), unprecedented benefits never seen within the youth soccer landscape. Also in 2015, the CCL signed a 10-year partnership agreement with the National Soccer Coaches Association of America (NSCAA), now known at the United Soccer Coaches. The United Soccer Coaches partnership will positively impact the American youth player and coach. In 2017, mobile phone service provider, Sprint, became an exclusive sponsor to the league. In 2018, the CCL and Kwik Goal, the gold standard of soccer goals and training equipment, entered into a 3-year strategic partnership. The CCL actively seeks partners and sponsors to help member clubs receive one-of-a-kind and unique benefits to help the player/family, coach, team, club and league. Click here to see our Sponsors & Partners.
NATIONAL LEAGUES ALLIANCE: In April 2019, US Youth Soccer announced the CCL to pioneer a league-based pathway to the Eastern Regional Championship (link). At the same time, the National League Alliance was launched to unite leagues across the United States. The Alliance was created to bring like-minded soccer professionals (whose leagues may have different models) together who want to positively affect change in the youth soccer landscape. Under the Alliance, leagues will share best practices, programs, offer exclusive college showcase opportunities, and share strategic partnerships to help players/families, coaches, teams, and clubs. The Long Island Junior Soccer League (LIJSL), National Capital Soccer League (NCSL), and Northeast Soccer League (NSL) joined the Alliance in early 2019. If interested in joining the Alliance please contact CCL’s Executive Director (email here).
The CCL is affiliated with the United States Soccer Federation, United States Youth Soccer Association, Virginia Youth Soccer Association, Maryland State Youth Soccer Association, Massachusetts Youth Soccer Association, New Hampshire Soccer Association, Vermont Soccer Association, Soccer Rhode Island, Soccer Maine, and Metro DC-Virginia Soccer Association.