Yesterday, it was announced that the two most consistent producers of boys soccer talent in the state of Nebraska will be joining the brand new Heartland Conference of the Boys Elite Clubs National League for the 2021-2022 club season. Gretna Elite Academy and Sporting Omaha FC will join six other regional clubs in the brand new Heartland Conference. This is great news for both clubs and the state of Nebraska.
The announcement is also exciting news for the Boys ECNL. The ECNL, which was originally founded in 2009, is widely considered the top level of girls club soccer in the United States (Gretna Elite Academy’s girls sides also compete in the ECNL), however in recent years they have been expanding their reach and growing their platform on the boys’ side as well. With the creation of the Heartland Conference, the ECNL adds seven new clubs (FC Wichita, KC Scott Gallagher, Sporting Iowa, SL Scott Gallagher (MO), and Vision Soccer Academy will join the Omaha clubs in the ECNL) and will shift SL Scott Gallagher (IL) from the Midwest Conference into the Heartland Conference.
“Gretna Elite Academy and Sporting Omaha joining ECNL is long awaited big news for boys soccer and finally gives the boys game a positive future for the top kids in the area,” said Gretna Elite Academy Boys Director Chris Dunford.
While the Omaha area has certainly produced it’s fair share of talented players on the boys side, there has been a relatively low ceiling of competition and national exposure available to the teams and players from the area. The move to Boys ECNL gives both clubs and their players an increased level of competition, the opportunity for more national exposure, while also allowing them to consistently compete against some of the top clubs in-region.
Both Sporting Omaha FC and Gretna Elite Academy have worked together on the boys side in recent years to increase the exposure for their teams and players (including coordinating their college ID camps), and this is just another big step in a positive direction for the future of boys soccer in Omaha and in Nebraska as a whole. Nebraska Soccer Talk is looking forward to watching both clubs and their players compete in the Boys ECNL in the coming season. To read more about the Boys ECNL and the brand new Heartland Conference visit the Boys ECNL Website.
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