On February 7-8, many of the top players from the ECNL's Midwest Conference converged in Madison, WI for one of the league's 2015 Player Development Programs (PDPs). FC Wisconsin Eclipse was well represented in the event, with 11 players among the approximately 60 attending. Beyond FC WI Eclipse, players from Eclipse Select (IL), Minnesota Thunder Academy (MN), St. Louis Scott Gallagher - IL, St. Louis Scott Gallagher - MO, Sockers FC - Chicago (IL), and Sporting Blue Valley (KS) were also in attendance.
Invitations to ECNL PDPs are based upon objective scouting and recommendations from Directors of Coaching and other scouts across the conference. Players that have excelled in conference competition throughout the season are invited to attend, with top players from each ECNL PDP considered for invitations to the annual ECNL / id2 National Training Camp held in Beaverton, OR in August.
Each ECNL PDP includes one training session with curriculum based on US Soccer youth national team training programs, and 2 intra-event games. The training session on Saturday morning outlined the style of play desired from the players, and highlighted ideas on combining and creating chances in functional positions. The players were then placed into teams for games Saturday afternoon and Sunday morning. The players were also given a special treat when ECNL and University of Wisconsin alum Cara Walls, who was drafted in January into the NWSL by the Chicago Red Stars, stopped by to talk to the players about her journey.
Players from FC Wisconsin Eclipse in attendance were: Christina Barczak (D), Jordyn Bloomer (GK), Jess Cooley (D), Kate Del Fava (M), Madeline Hoitink (D), Taylor Kerwin (M), Mary Kate Simon (D), Bianca Stubler (M), Jen Wandt (GK), Lindsey Weiss (F), and Payton Wesley (D).
There is no cost to attend an ECNL PDP - all costs of participation are covered by the ECNL. The coaches for the Madison event were: David Nikolic (Associate Head Coach Northwestern University), Trae Manny (Goalkeeper Coach for Eclipse Select and the Chicago Red Stars NWSL), Scott McDoniel (ECNL Director for St. Louis Scott Gallagher - MO) and Andy Lee (Staff Coach for FC Wisconsin Eclipse).
For more information on the event, including the full roster of attendees, click here.