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Online Registration must be completed no later then 1pm the day of your first tryout. Please check in at least 15 minutes prior to start.

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Raptors Girls Joins ECNL-Regional League Starting Fall 2021!



RICHMOND, VA (March 18, 2021) – The ECNL is excited to announce the addition of eight new clubs to the ECNL Girls Regional League – Heartland for the upcoming 2021-22 season.  The new additions represent a combination of new clubs to the ECNL Regional League platform, including Eclipse – Central Illinois, KC FusionRockford RaptorsSporting Michigan and Vision Soccer Academy, and current ECNL clubs bringing new teams and players into the ECNL Regional League pyramid – Eclipse SelectFC Wisconsin, and Liverpool FC Michigan

“I am thrilled to add these eight clubs to the expanding ECNL Regional League platform, as they will raise the level and provide an ECNL pathway in both new and existing markets,” said ECNL Girls Commissioner Jen Winnagle. “The expansion of the ECNL Girls Regional League – Heartland provides development and competitive opportunity to a broader player pool, and exposes new clubs to the ECNL mission: to Raise the Game by elevating standards and experience in all aspects of youth soccer. ”

Eclipse – Central Illinois
Normal, IL

Founded in 2007, and recently rebranded for their top female teams, Eclipse – Central Illinois started when multiple soccer clubs dating back to the late 1990s merged together as one organization. Along with the merger, the club officially became part of the Chicago Fire Soccer Club organization, providing the best resources and development opportunities to all players in the area. The club provides training for boys and girls from ages U4-U19, with the focus on total player skill development in a competitive and fun environment in the greater Central Illinois community.

“We are extremely excited to bring ECNL to Central Illinois,” said Tim Koch, Eclipse – Central Illinois President. “Partnering with the highest level, competitive youth league in girls soccer will provide never before offered opportunities to players in our region. We look forward to combining our strong coaches and players with the opportunities that ECNL provides in order to take soccer to the next level in Central Illinois.”

KC Fusion
Kansas City, KS

KC Fusion is dedicated to being one of Kansas City’s top youth soccer clubs. The organization strives to create and deliver to club members and their families an amazing youth soccer experience. With more than 2,500 players and a state of the art complex, cold weather training facility, a collection of high school and collegiate coaches on staff and accessibility for all families, KC Fusion helps every athlete in the organization become better players, better teammates and better people and to reach their every goal.

“KC Fusion is excited to have both our girls and boys teams as a part of the ECNL Regional League,” said Jason Pendleton, KC Fusion Executive Director. “ECNL provides our club a pathway to play high-level competition in our region and help our girls maximize their potential at national events. More importantly, ECNL offers us a partner that is consistent with our mission to help develop the whole soccer player by delivering an environment built on integrity, accountability, and respect. We are excited to get started!”

Rockford Raptors
Rockford, IL

Rockford Raptors was established in 1994 with the purpose of creating quality soccer training opportunities for Rockford’s youth. Since its inception, Rockford has now blossomed into a program with more than 2,000 athletes participating and more than 300 alumni who have competed in the collegiate ranks. Rockford also provides more than $70,000 in scholarships and financial aid for players, ensuring any athlete who wants to play can do so. 

“The Rockford Raptors are extremely excited and honored to be a part of the ECNL Regional League – Heartland,” said Frank Mateus, Rockford Raptors Executive Director. “This is another positive step in our club’s goal to be able to develop our players to their highest level and provide the best opportunities for them to be seen and evaluated to play at the next level.” 

Sporting Michigan
Rochester, MI

Founded in 2010, Sporting Michigan offers a dedicated and highly motivated team of coaches and administrators that truly care about teaching and developing players. In 2020, Sporting Michigan became an official Academy Affiliate of Sporting KC, allowing players that participate and compete for the club to be directly connected to Sporting Kansas City’s Academy and youth development initiatives. In turn, they have the opportunity to gain valuable experience while receiving heightened levels of training and development. 

“We are excited and honored to be a part of the ECNL Regional League – Heartland,” said John Phillips, Sporting Michigan Director of Player Development. “This is a great opportunity for our female players, families, and staff and will provide a fantastic platform for every athlete to grow.  All involved will benefit from the standards and professionalism that the ECNL holds and we look forward to contributing to the success of the conference and league.”

Vision Soccer Academy
Waukee, IA

Vision Soccer Academy was founded in 1996, establishing soccer roots throughout the Des Moines metro area. With programs for players from 3 -19 years of age with varying skill levels, VSA aspires to be a club that supports participation, encourages excellence, develops each player’s individual abilities and creates an atmosphere of fun and community.

“We feel our club is wholly aligned with the purpose of the ECNL,” said Chris McGill, Vision Soccer Academy Technical Director. “We will continue to work tirelessly to enhance the developmental experience for our female participants and look forward to proving ourselves against worthy clubs in the ECNL Regional League.”

Eclipse Select
Oak Brook, IL

The Eclipse Select Soccer Club was formed in 1997 to facilitate the elite-level youth soccer experience. It began with two teams and has evolved into a program consisting of more than 60 teams throughout the Chicago-land area, Central Illinois, and Northwest Indiana. Eclipse Select has enjoyed a vast amount of success on the field, which includes three ECNL Championships, more than 400 alumni competing in collegiate athletics and 15 professional athletes. 

“The Eclipse Select Soccer Club is a firm believer in the ECNL platform and the pathway it provides,” said Rory Dames, Eclipse Select President. “The addition of the Regional League – Heartland will allow more of our players to have the ECNL experience and further their development at the highest level.”

FC Wisconsin
Germantown, WI

FC Wisconsin was founded in 2012 to improve the daily player development environment in Wisconsin soccer.  FC Wisconsin represents the scope of the club’s player pool and vision – to represent and include the top players from throughout the state of Wisconsin. With a coaching philosophy focused on long-term player development, a commitment to ongoing coaching education, and a passion for helping players maximize their potential, FC Wisconsin develops the whole athlete on and off the field. 

“FC Wisconsin always seeks to provide the best possible competitive experience for all of our teams and players,” said Joana Bromley, FC Wisconsin Academy Director. “When the opportunity was presented to join the ECNL Regional League – Heartland, we knew this would elevate the program and offer more players the same quality ECNL experience. We could not be more excited for this next step and are eager to get the ball rolling in the fall!”

Liverpool FC Michigan
Pontiac, MI

Liverpool FC Michigan is a premier player development academy where players learn to play “The Liverpool Way” from licensed and Liverpool FC accredited coaches and the authentic coaching program of the English Premier League club. The program uses the same curriculum, coaching philosophy, and player development model of the Liverpool FC Academy in England.  As of the 2020-21 season, the club has nearly 130 travel teams and approximately 1,500 travel players ages U7-U19 at its five sites—Central at UWM Sports Complex in Pontiac, Ann Arbor, Clarkston/North Oakland, Ferndale, and Windsor, Ontario. The club recently announced a Hartland site will open in the 2021-22 season. 

“We have always admired ECNL and the platform it has provided for elite youth players across the country,” said Michigan Director of Coaching Kevin Garner of LFC Michigan.  “We could not be happier to join the league with other like-minded clubs of the ECNL and to provide the best possible environment for our players’ development.”


About the ECNL:

The ECNL is the nation’s leading youth soccer development platform. The ECNL respects and celebrates the unique individuality of every youth soccer player and club, supporting and enabling them to unleash their unfettered passion and fierce tenacity in striving to achieve their potential. 

The ECNL mission to Raise the Game is a total commitment to create the best possible environment for players, coaches, referees and administrators, with a determination to constantly question convention and challenge the status quo in youth sports.

The ECNL Commitment:

We will lead, set our eyes on new horizons, and pursue them relentlessly. Born out of the belief in a better way. Continued in the ever-evolving pursuit of excellence. 

Girls FB:  /theECNL |  Girls IG: @theECNL  | Girls TW: @theECNL


Rockford Raptors list of scheduled tournaments. Applications are now opened for most of these events

Click on Tournament link for more information

Click on Tournament link or Raptors logo for more information

The Rockford Raptors are scheduled to host the following tournaments and Showcases .

Events and Dates:

Friday-Sunday, April 9th-11th-Puri Cup College Showcase powered by Puma (11U-19U Boys & Girls Age Groups)

Friday-Sunday, April 16th-18th-Puri Champions Cup powered by Puma  (8U-19U Boys & Girls Age Groups)

Friday-Sunday, June 25th-27th - Puri Summer Cup Powered by Puma  (8U-19U Boys & Girls Age Groups)

Friday-Sunday, July 23th-25th-July Puri College ID powered by Puma  (8U-19U Boys & Girls Age Groups)

Friday-Sunday, September 3rd-5th-Puri Labor Day Cup powered by Puma  (8U-19U Boys & Girls Age Groups)

Friday-Sunday, November 5th-7th - Nov  Boys & Girls College ID

Friday-Sunday, November 12th-14th- SCNSL College Showcase 

Fine designs tournament apparel on line store for both weekends:

Click on logo for 2021 Puri Cup College Showcase & Puri Champions Cup online Store

We will have onsite apparel for purchase at 2 locations during the tournament but if you prefer or forget please see the links below to order online.

2021 Puri  Cup College Showcase Powered by Puma  4/9 - 4/11

2021  Puri  Champions Cup Powered By Puma  4/16 - 4/18




Covid-19 Guidelines

1: Must wear your Masks at all Times, including during games

2: 6ft Distancing at all times

3: No Post-Game Handshakes

4: Must Leave field promptly as soon as the final whistle is blown so the next two teams can arrive at the fields

5: Daily Screening of players conducted by parents/Coaches

6: Spectators must remain 10ft away from fields and must leave the fields as soon as your son/daughter’s game is finished.

7: players need to come to the field only 30 minutes before game time and should be fully dressed and ready to start warming up

9: We will have no benches on any of the fields so teams my bring their own chairs and benches 

8: Have a great time playing the game that we all love



Click on the Logo for Schedules and Result


New this year all check in will be done online to avoid as much in person contact as possible so please make sure to upload all of your check in forms.


Raptors Girls 06 will be playing in IYSA State Cup Finals on Thursday at 8pm ISC

Raptors Girls 05 IYSA Presidents Cup Runners Up

Raptors Girls 02/03 IYSA State Cup Runners Up

2021 Puri Champions Cup Powered by Puma - April 16th-18th

Application for the 2021 PURI CHAMPIONS CUP Powered by Puma, April 16th-18th Click on logo to Apply

Application Deadline: Monday, March 8th

8U-19U (2013-2002) Boys and Girls Age Groups

08U-10U (2013-2011) will play Three Full 60 minute games Plus playoffs (7v7)

11U-12U (2010-2009) will play Three Full 70 Minute games Plus playoffs  (9v9)

12U-14U (2009-2007) will play Three Full 70 Minute games Plus playoffs (11v11)

15U-19U (2006-2002) will play Three Full 80 Minute games (11v11)

8U-14U will have playoffs and awards for 1st and 2nd place teams

15U-19U Will be College Showcase format with three games and no playoffs.

Tournament Entry Fees

$600 Entry Fee including team parking fee for 2013-2011 (8U-10U)

$650 Entry Fee including team parking fee for 2010-2009 (11U-12U)

$745 Entry Fee including team parking fee for 2009-2007(12U-14U)

$795 Entry Fee including team parking fee for 2006-2002(15U-19U)


2021 Puri Cup College Showcase - April 9th-11th

Application for the 2021 PURI CUP COLLEGE SHOWCASE, April 9th-11th - Click to Register

BOYS & GIRLS 12U-19U (2009-2002) AGE GROUPS


Application Deadline: Monday, March 8th or full capacity. 

College Showcase format with three games and no playoffs.

$950 Entry fee including team parking fee for 2005-2002 - (16U-19U Boys & Girls)

$795 Entry Fee including team parking fee for 2009 (11v11) - 2006 - (12-15 Boys & Girls)

$675 Entry Fee including Team parking fee for 2009 (9v9) 12U Boys & Girls 

Raptors Boys Class of 2020 - College Players

Raptors Girls Class of 2020 - College Players

Proud to be Raptors FC



•More than 300 former Raptor Players have gone on to play at the College level.


•3 former players now play in the MLS


•Currently More ODP Players than any other local Club

•More National Team players come from Raptors FC than any other local Club

• has listed 2 Raptors FC players on the Top 100 players in the Country

•Only Player from Rockford named to ESPN’s Rize All Chicago Team

•Only local Club to have players selected to All-Midwest Regional Team

•Entire Coaching staff is certified and licensed while more Raptors Coaches hold advanced diploma‘s and more Licensed "A" coaches than any other local club.

•Average tenure for a Raptors Coach is more than 6 years with the Club and many have been with the Club since the inception.

•National Champions (2 times)

•National Runner-up 2004 and 2005

•Regional Champions (5 Times)

The History

•Establishedin 1994 as one professional team in the former USISL (now called USL, a second divisionleague below MLS) with the help of Dr. Wedgbury and established Youth system shortly thereafter. Doing so with the sole purpose of creating quality soccer training opportunity for Rockford’s youth. Later was the backing for establishing ISC and Sportscore Two as The premier Soccer Facility in the Country.

•Annually provides more than $70,000 in scholarships and financial aid for players.

•Annually provides recreational leagues for more than 2,000 kids

•ONLY Local Club that have participated in MRL (boys & Girls) since its inception.

•Established and continues to host one of the most successful and sought after tournaments in the Midwest and Country as The Puma Cup hosts more than 680 teams annually over 2 weekends in April.

•Established and hired a Full-time Professional Athletic Trainer. To continue to raise and set the bar for other Clubs to try and copy but not duplicate. The ONLY local Club to do so.

•2009 Raptors  named as PUMA Premier ClubThe Rockford Raptors have received the designation as a Puma Premier Club. They join an elite group of clubs from across the nation: Sacramento United (Sacramento, Ca), Les Bois SC (Boise, ID), Southern California Blues (Costa Mesa, CA), Albion SC (San Diego, Ca), TSF Academy (Lincoln Park, NJ), Brooklyn Italians, (New York, NY), Charlotte United (Charlotte, NC) and Snohomish United (Snohomish, WA)

Passion, Dedication, Loyalty and Honor



Rockford Raptors FC


Raptors FC Offers Three Levels of Programs - Which is Best for Your Child?

Please see below for the Raptors FC outline of programs available for yor child.  Contact us with any questions you may have.

Thank you, Raptors FC Staff


Register NOW to be able to start training and playing Intra-scrimmages.

Please see the Club Registration Tab for more information.

Rockford Raptors Return to Activity Protocol: Phase 4

Click on the Raptors Logo to log in the Raptors Fitness Training on Saturday Mornings at 10am

The Rockford Raptors are happy to report that we will return to Training on Monday, June 29th For the entire Club (2012-2001).  In order to be able to return to training we had to follow all guide lines and we have created a protocol that everyone needs to follow.  This Protocol is set to follow Phase 4.  We ask everyone to make sure to read our protocol and  make sure that your daugther and/or son follow this anytime that we have training and or games.

Great News as we move to Phase 4 of Restore Illinois we will be able to train with a maximum of 50 people as well as play games and Tournaments

Illinois Youth Soccer Return To Play Protocol (Updated June 22)

Details For Regions That Enter Phase 4 Of Restore Illinois 

Illinois Youth Soccer Return To Play Protocol (Updated June 22)

Illinois Youth Soccer Association (IYSA) is dedicated to protecting the health and safety of our soccer community. We understand that our member organizations want to get back on the field, but this must be done with strict focus on the safety of the players, coaches, referees and families and follow state and local guidelines for resumption of activities. The purpose of this document is to provide IYSA member soccer organizations and their athletes, parents, and coaches with information that they can use to assist them with developing their return-to-activity programming specific to their situation in context of the COVID-19 pandemic.

Illinois is currently in Restore Illinois Phase 3 with all of the state on track to reach Phase 4 on Friday, June 26. When a regon is designated Phase 4 by the state of Illinois, gatherings of fifty (50) or fewer people including full team training, games and tournaments are allowed as long as capacity and safety precautions are maintained. 

This Protocol is based on Illinois Department of Public Health, US Soccer and US Youth Soccer guidelines for soccer organizations, clubs and teams that have reached the Restore Illinois Phase 4. The information in this document is NOT intended or implied to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. The knowledge and circumstances around COVID-19 are changing constantly and, as such, Illinois Youth Soccer Association makes no representation and assumes no responsibility for the completeness of this information. Further, your organization is expected to strictly comply with the Center for Disease Control (CDC), state and local guidelines for the resumption of play and seek advice from medical professionals and/or public health officials in your area if you have specific questions. These guidelines address only early phases of return-to-play and additional guidelines may, or may not, follow as the COVID-19 pandemic continues to evolve.

Although the young and healthy may be subject to less severe cases of COVID-19, every case of this disease is potentially life-altering or deadly, particularly in those with risk factors that may occur within our communities. Health consequences may be long-standing and only apparent weeks after initial infection and recovery. Until COVID-19 is either eradicated, a vaccine is developed, or a cure is found, there is no way of eliminating the risk of infection. This should always be at the forefront when designing and considering return-to-activity.


Restore Illinois Phase 4 Information

Restore Illinois Phase 3 Information

Additional COVID-19 Documents & Info


Due to the Covid-19 deadline for return to play we are currently working on new dates for club tryouts.

If you are new to the club and want to try out please fill out the attached form below. Once reviewed, a member of our staff will contact you with further information.

For additional information contact us at



Message to all Rockford Raptors Families

IYSA Communicable Disease Release of Liability and Assumption of Risk Agreement.

Dear Raptors Family,

With the Governors anticipated announcement later this week to move Illinois to Phase 3 of the state’s recovery plan on June 1, we'd like to inform you of the club's plans when we reach this stage. 

Despite the opportunity to conduct training sessions with 10 or fewer people, we have decided not to return to the training fields until at least June 15th. Based on the protocols and guidelines set forth by US Soccer, the USYSA, and the IYSA (, the feasibility of conducting these sessions pose many logistical and safety challenges that would be difficult to meet at this time. 

Additionally, due to the State’s strict guidelines and protocols the Rockford Park District is required to adhere to for this reopening, Sportscore 2 will remain closed until further notice. 

Every registered player will be required to complete the new “IYSA Communicable Disease Release of Liability and Assumption of Risk Agreement” before being allowed to return to any club activities. Please complete the attached form and email it to your team coach or manager to keep on file. 

Until we can return to the field, we will continue to offer the current lineup of club-wide training with our live technical training on Monday and Wednesday, and Movement Fitness SAQ Training on Tuesday and Thursday. We will also be scheduling future webinars that will benefit our players on and off the field.

2020-2021 Tryouts

Due to the uncertainty of when we can return to the field we will not be holding in-person tryouts. All Raptors players registered with the club for 2019-2020 season will offered a "Club" roster spot for the 2020-2021 season. 

Any new players wishing to be considered for the upcoming season should complete the New Player Tryout Form

Once the coaching staff has had thorough time to evaluate the list of returning players, along with any new players wishing to join the club, actual "Team" rosters will be announced with the goal of placing each player at a training and competition level appropriate to support their continued development.

Details on how to register and accept your place in the club for 2020-2021 season will be available soon. Club fees will not be increased and will remain the same as 2019-20. 

We’d like to again thank all of you for your patience and understanding as we continue to navigate our way through these unprecedented times. We’re all eager to get back on the pitch and resume training and games but the health and safety of all our players, parents, and coaches remains the top priority. We will keep you updated as new developments are announced. Please feel free to contact us with any additional questions or concerns. 


Frank Mateus, Executive Director

Hugh Ward, Director of Coaching


Roland Hahn, ECNL Director



During this difficult time it is even more important that we support our locally owned businesses.

Please see attached a list of  businesses that are owned by our Raptor families.

This list will be updated on a daily basis.  If you want to add your business to the list,  please email Hugh Ward at

Another Great Accomplishment on Raptors Class 2016 player. She just continues to make us all very proud of her and we can't wait to see what's next


Written by Calvin Wetzel from the "Her Hoop Stat"

#TwoSports #ThreeStories
Tales of Division I Decisions and Dual-Sport Dominance from Three Extraordinary Athletes

There are 3,323 NCAA Division I women’s basketball players that qualify for the Her Hoop Stats minutes per game leaderboard this season. The collective group would only fit into half of the Ivy League arenas. But the number of those that have played another Division I sport? They would likely fit into your car.

As Kansas State head volleyball coach Suzie Fritz puts it, “That’s a very, very difficult endeavor that is probably limited to a handful of people.” Handful, indeed—the word is only fitting for a group that you can count on one hand. There are three of them, to be exact. Three ultra-talented athletes who are better at their second sport than most are at their first.

The multisport tie that binds aside, each one has a unique story.

McKaela Schmelzer 
Redshirt Junior Guard, UW-Milwaukee 
3.7 PPG, 2.5 APG, 35.7 3P% 
Photo Credit: UW-Milwaukee Athletics

There’s being in shape, there’s being in Division I-athlete shape, and there’s being in two-sport-Division I-athlete shape. Then, there’s McKaela Schmelzer.

Schmelzer is perhaps the only player on this list who runs less in basketball than in her other sport. “She’s probably the most conditioned athlete I’ve ever coached at any level,” said UW-Milwaukee head women’s basketball coach Kyle Rechlicz.

“Training, in the weight room, fitness—I mean that kid loves to compete,” added UW-Milwaukee head women’s soccer coach Troy Fabiano.

Schmelzer’s college decision is a quintessential story of coming full circle. After originally committing to play soccer for UW-Milwaukee during her sophomore year of high school, a change in the Panthers’ coaching staff led her to reopen her recruitment. Before long, Northern Illinois swooped in and Schmelzer was all set to become a Husky.

Then came the final months of McKaela’s high school basketball career. Around January of her senior season, she realized that she wasn’t ready to give up basketball just yet. Northern Illinois wasn’t keen on the two-sport idea, and thus began another period of open recruitment. When Rechlicz heard about Schmelzer’s decision, she didn’t hesitate. “I absolutely jumped on the opportunity,” Rechlicz said, “because she’s just such a competitor.”

Such a competitor, in fact, that breaks from workouts are more nuisance than respite. “You try to take her out of a drill because you want to manage her minutes, and she loves to give you a dirty look,” Fabiano said.

It’s a relentless work ethic that’s accompanied by humility and a drive to improve. During an attacking drill in a soccer practice last season, McKaela was losing the ball a bit too frequently. Fabiano quipped, “Wow, you’re a point guard in basketball?”

Schmelzer’s response? “Yeah, but did you see how many turnovers I have?”

“That’s the type of person she is; she doesn’t sell something she’s not,” Fabiano said. “She doesn’t throw her teammates under the bus … she just wants to get better.”

Rechlicz sees the same determination on the basketball court. “I think part of that is due to soccer, and I also think part of that is due to who McKaela is as a person,” she said. “Being as competitive as she is, she never lets something hold her back.”

Schmelzer’s number one piece of advice for young athletes would be to have that same mindset: “Don’t ever let anybody tell you no.”

The one time when McKaela will tell you no is when you ask her if one of the sports is her favorite. “I don’t think I’ve ever given anybody an answer,” she said. “Whichever one I’m in I love, like with a passion.”

After redshirting her freshman year of basketball, Schmelzer will return next year for one more season before graduating with a degree in biomedical engineering. Her collegiate soccer career is over, but Fabiano sees potential for more soccer in her future. “If she wants to be, she could be a pro,” he said. “She has all the tools.”

Congrats to Raptors GK Tim Trilk for Signing Professional Contract with Chattanooga Red Wolves SC