Red Bull National League 17 Aims to Crown National Youth Champion
For the first time in U.S. soccer history, a newly formed Red Bull National League 17 will bring together the top Under-17 Men's teams from across the country to compete for one national title. The top eight teams from the East and West regions will meet head-to-head during the year with four weekend-long tournaments. The first of these tournaments will take place November 17-19, 2006, in Raleigh, NC, in conjunction with the Capital Area Soccer League (CASL) Shootout.
"Red Bull National League 17 further demonstrates Red Bull's commitment to soccer in this country," said Red Bull New York Sporting Director and Head Coach Bruce Arena (pictured left). "This will give young players the opportunity to compete against not just the best clubs in their region, but the best in the entire nation. We are excited to be a part of a league that will showcase some of the top youth teams in the United States."
The Red Bull National League 17 will kick off its inaugural 2006/2007 season with 16 invited teams, eight from the East Region and eight from the West Region. These teams include:
| West Region
|| East Region
| Arsenal FC
|| Atlanta United
| Colorado Rush
|| CASL Elite
| Crossfire Premier
|| Chicago Magic
| Dallas Texans
|| Chicago Sockers 2
| Irvine Strikers
|| Concorde Fire
|| FC Delco
|| Scott Gallagher
All 16 teams will attend the first event of the season whereas the second and third events will be regional competitions. They will each play three games per weekend and only play each other once in the entire regular season. Standings will be based on the point system: 3 points for a win, 1 point for a tie and 0 points for a loss. The fourth event will take place in Chicago, May 26-28, 2007, and will serve as the official league playoffs. One team will leave the field that day as the national champion.
In addition to the National Title, the winning team will win a trip to New York to play the New York Red Bulls Under-17 team in Giants Stadium. The New York Red Bulls Under-17 team will be joining the Red Bull National League 17 for the 2007/2008 season, along with other new teams that will be chosen through a qualification and possible play-in process.
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