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Stanislaus United Head to ECNL-RL National Finals

During last month’s ECNL Regional League Western playoffs, one NorCal Premier Soccer team performed well enough to be invited to the July 14-17 ECNL Regional League Girls Finals in Richmond, Virginia.

Thanks to a 3-0 record in Norco, California, the 2009 Stanislaus United girls are on their way to ECNL Nationals after the squad finished third in the 2023 NorCal ECNL-RL and as runners-up in the NorCal State Cup.

After their success in NorCal competitions this past year, Stanislaus defeated Legends FC, SoCal Blues, and San Juan South by a combined scoreline of 9-2 en route to earning that exclusive berth in Virginia.

Fifteen different NorCal teams qualified for the ECNL-RL playoffs thanks to the position they finished in during the NorCal league season – Stanislaus are the lone NorCal squad remaining in postseason play after the Western playoffs.

During the NorCal season, Stanislaus was forced to constantly field different lineups due to the fact that five of their players earned call-ups with the Mexican youth national teams, but with a full roster in Norco, United showed their mettle.

According to head coach Jose Alcala, the key moment in the Western playoffs came when Stanislaus faced San Juan South, who had previously topped them in the State Cup final via a 1-0 scoreline.

In the rematch, United defeated their Central Californian rivals 3-1 in the final group stage game to secure the top spot in Group B with a perfect nine points out of nine.

“It was a great experience in a well-organized event and solid competition – it was good to see scouts in the RL playoff games,” Alcala said. “Being in the ECNL-RL Finals is a solid step for our club. It’s the second year we’ve been able to represent NorCal at a national event, which just shows the growth of our club.”

“Last year our 2008 girls placed third in Redmond, Washington and this year we hope to have a great showing with the 2009 girls in Richmond,” Alcala said. “Stanislaus United Soccer Club is thankful for the support from NorCal Premier Soccer and the pathway it provides for our players.”

Added NorCal Director of Competitions Dan Chamberlain: “Opportunities like this one are exactly why we have expanded our partnership with the ECNL for the 2023/24 season. An expanded ECNL Regional League in Northern California provides more chances for teams to qualify and represent NorCal in regional and national events, gaining valuable experience against top quality opponents. We look forward to continued opportunities for NorCal teams to participate in this pathway, and wish the Stanislaus girls the best of luck as they take on the best in the country again this year.”