LOS ANGELES, 04/02/2024  – In a landmark move that promises to reshape the youth soccer landscape, the Development Player League (DPL) and the Elite Academy League (EA) are proud to collaborate and announce the launch of the National Development League (NDL) for the 2024 season, creating a tier of innovation for leagues, clubs and teams.

The National Development League is the first of its kind, a national team-based league born out of a vision to bring teams together, creating a cohesive network that fosters growth, development, and competition at the highest level while serving as a foundational platform for clubs to demonstrate their potential to advance within the Club vs Club ecosystem.

“We’re thrilled to join forces with the NDL to enhance opportunities for young female athletes. Incorporating a Team vs Team dynamic aligns perfectly with our mission of fostering Meaningful and Purposeful experiences. This marks another milestone in the DPL’s journey as a pioneer and influencer in youth soccer. Importantly, this enhancement strengthens the DPL without altering the overall structure or intent of the league. It’s a groundbreaking collaborative initiative within the youth soccer community.” – Lee Hudson, DPL League Development Manager.

The NDL is built on the foundation of inclusivity and opportunity. Its mission is to make the highest levels of the game accessible, allowing players, teams, and clubs to earn their place among the elite through merit and performance. By forging a dynamic National Development League Network, it ensures talent has the visibility and the opportunity to rise to the forefront.

“The DPL and EA share in the desire to elevate clubs by helping them perform at higher levels and create clear player and club pathways.  Working together to create an inclusive way for teams to work toward a club v club model was feedback that was consistently coming into our groups, which forced everyone to sit on the same side of the table and support the creation of the National Development League.  Our desire is to create opportunity for more!”  – Ryan Miller, EA commissioner.

As a Pathway Alliance member, the NDL is committed to creating experiential opportunities that drive growth and development from the team versus team level upwards. This includes league play, event access with DPL and EA, talent ID pathways for individual players, and substantial investments in the players, coaches, and clubs that form the backbone of the league. The goal is to enrich our national soccer ecosystem, providing a ladder of opportunity that spans local, regional, and national competitions.

At its core, the National Development League is a network of team versus team youth soccer leagues acting as a proving ground for clubs to access the National Club vs Club Leagues, the DPL and EA. This structure is designed to deliver superior experiences for all members, from players and coaches to players and their families, ensuring that the journey through youth soccer is both rewarding and transformative.

The NDL invites leagues from across the nation to join this groundbreaking initiative as we embark on a journey to elevate youth soccer to new heights. This is more than just a league; it’s a movement to champion the potential of every young athlete through competition, development, and opportunity.

For more information on how to become a part of the National Development League or to learn more about the league’s structure and benefits, please visit our website www.NationalDevelopmentLeague.com.


The National Development League, created by the Development Player League (DPL) and the Elite Academy League (EA), is the only national youth soccer league designed to maximize opportunities for individual teams to compete at the highest levels with an objective to earn opportunities in the club vs club platforms, the DPL & EA.

Through a transparent and accessible pathway, the NDL aims to revolutionize youth soccer in the United States, promoting growth, excellence, and the development of young talent.