Over the last five years, a big-picture takeaway from the Elite Clubs National League is how incredibly difficult it is to win a Champions League title. Most trophies have gone to clubs from California or Texas, two hotbeds for soccer in the United States; in fact, across the last five years, PDA (New Jersey) is the only Northeast Conference club to win a Champions League title.
Starting on Tuesday, teams from New England will go about changing that when the ECNL National Playoffs get underway in Del Mar, Calif., from June 25 to July 1. Directly from there, national champions will be crowned at the U-13, U-19 and U-19 Composite divisions.
As for the U-14s through U-17s, a select few from the Champions League brackets will carry through to National Finals from July 12-13 in Richmond, Va. Those four divisions feature 32 of the country's top teams, while 16 are vying for a trophy in the U-13 and U-19 divisions. The Composite one, meanwhile, has just six teams.
Here's what's in store for New England's clubs, with FC Stars East, Connecticut FC and Scorpions SC all in contention.