I think a lot of us are just trying to understand how the landscape has changed. It has changed a lot, especially in Southern California (with our TWO new closed leagues). So I have really appreciated the insights people with knowledge on the topic have been sharing on this site. In the hope of adding something of value to the conversation, I did some research to try to get a sense of how the national landscape has changed this year. Here's what I found out (I don't guaranty the following is 100% accurate, but it should be pretty close): 1) What happened to last season's ECNL clubs? Last season there were 84 ECNL clubs nationally. Of those, 66 are still in ECNL. Of the 66 that came back, 14 are dual DA-ECNL. It appears all 18 that left ECNL are now DA-only clubs. At quick glance the 14 dual DA-ECNL seem by and large to have been among the most successful clubs in ECNL's history. The 18 that left to become DA-only, perhaps less successful. (But I'll reserve final judgment on that.) The change from 2016-17 in the Southwest ECNL Conference was as follows: Now Dual DA-ECNL: So Cal Blues Slammers FC San Diego Surf West Coast FC Still ECNL-Only: Strikers FC Arsenal FC Heat FC Sereno SC Left ECNL and Now DA-Only: SC del Sol Eagles SC Real So Cal So 8 of 11 teams in So Cal's regional ECNL conference are back. (There is a separate issue as to how rosters might have changed. The roster impact likely varied by age group, as others have noted above.) 2) What teams joined ECNL? Though 18 clubs left ECNL, they were replaced by only 14 (to bring the total back up to 80 nationwide). In the Southwest Conference the Del Mar Sharks were the only new club invited to join (meaning our area conference is down 2 teams). 3) Where did the rest of the DA clubs come from? There are 69 total DA clubs. As indicated above, 31 DA clubs were in ECNL last year (14 still are). That means there are 38 clubs that, for whatever reason, did not participate in ECNL previously and are now DA. Though they are without ECNL experience these 38 clubs now claim they can offer a more elite soccer experience than has ever existed for girls before. In the case of So Cal, that could theoretically be possible. The non-ECNL clubs that joined DA are pretty good. They include: Albion SC Beach Futbol Club LA Galaxy FC LA Galaxy San Diego Legends FC Los Angeles Premier Futbol Club Pateadores 4) What are the odds of DA players earning a spot on the USWNT? Not high enough to give any serious thought to. There are 23 or so roster spots on the USWNT. Current players range in age from 19 to 32 (spanning 14 different age groups). Assuming DA rosters average 20 players, the 69 DA clubs might have 27,000 or more players over 14 different age groups. So the odds would probably less than one in a thousand, even if you assumed all future USWNT players will come out of DA. 5) My daughter plays for ECNL (or DA). How big will her college scholarship be? I estimate there's fewer than 4,000 Division I and Division II partial women's soccer scholarships handed out to each graduating high school class. ECNL was very good at placing players on college teams. But there used to be 84 ECNL teams and are now 149 DA and ECNL teams each year combined (ignoring the dual age years). Nevertheless, the odds of earning a partial scholarship still look pretty good. ECNL and DA would seemingly graduate only about 3,000 players a year who might be the first to compete for those 4,000 scholarships. (And that's not accounting for other levels of college soccer that some ECNL and DA players might choose to play, including none at all.) That said, the average Div I women's soccer scholarship is $17,121. For Div. II it's $7,756. If you are looking for financial help for your daughter to attend college, a much smarter investment would be to hire a tutor and have her study year-round for the PSAT. If she makes National Merit Finalist she'd get an automatic 1/2 tuition scholarship at USC (worth about $26,000 annually). A side benefit is your child's odds of actually getting into USC would be much better too! 6) Where does the Development Player League (DPL) Fit In? Personally, I don't know. The 10 DPL clubs in our region are the only DA teams in the country that decided to form a second closed league like this. I've heard the DPL clubs argue that it is needed because they don't have an ECNL team. But that seams pretty weak given that there are 69 DA clubs nationally and only 14 are dual DA-ECNL. Given the success the dual clubs had in ECNL, you can see why they stuck with it. It doesn't otherwise seem like there is a compelling reason to have a second team participating in a closed league. And given that DPL is not national, a closed league would seem to limit opportunities, if anything. The only purpose I can imagine is as a marketing tool to try to draw more top players to their clubs, which is part of the reason I've been so critical of DPL in my other posts, including of their decision to hide their rosters this fall. But I recognize others may have a different view, especially DPL parents and those directly involved in the league's founding. 7) Is DA a good thing? That's both subjective and to be determined. If this becomes simply a fight for market share between DA and ECNL clubs (which it has kind of started out to be given that most clubs joining DA were non-ECNL clubs), then I think it could be harmful and destabilizing. However, if it results in an increased investment in top coaches and facilities beyond what exists in ECNL and area leagues, it could be quite positive.