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Youth Soccer Programs Explained

National League | Georgia Premier LeaguePre-Georgia Premier League  | Classic | Athena | Academy | Recreation | Club Finder | Parent Education


National League 

Teams can get promoted from Classic and Athena divisions into the US Youth Soccer National League. US Youth Soccer is the largest and oldest youth soccer league in the country. Georgia is in a conference with North Carolina and South Carolina, which limits travel and provides top level competition from teams from those states who have also earned the right to play in the National League. The National League also provides elite showcases for the top teams from all 50 states. The showcase National League events bring in hundreds of college coaches, pro scouts and U.S. Soccer national team scouts. 

Georgia Premier League (GPL)

The purpose of the Georgia Premier League is to provide the highest standards for the most competitive match environment possible among the best teams in Georgia Soccer, in preparation for National League play, in terms of quality, organizational structure and culture of excellence with appropriate alignment for the level number of games through a full season of play.

The league’s inaugural season started with the 13U age group and an 11 game Fall season; 12 teams playing each other once with the plan to increase that across all divisions for both boys and girls, in a home/away format, while providing the feeder/pathway into national-level play.

The GPL will provide the ideal transition level for teams moving down from the National League and will create a high-level of competitive matches within the state, in support of high-quality club teams in their goals to: play one game each week, avoid long disruptive time gaps of several weeks between games and avoid the time and expense of multiple games per weekend for consecutive weekends (whenever possible).

Additionally, the GPL will be supported by a higher branding impact and will showcase opportunities for teams and clubs that earn the opportunity to participate.

The 12U Competitive League is assigned to be the Pre-GPL that will provide the natural developmental step towards the GPL and utilizing the highly successful format.

Pre-Georgia Premier League (Pre-GPL)

The purpose of the Pre-Georgia Premier League is to create the most competitive match environment possible, in preparation for the 13U GPL Select seeding for both boys and girls divisions, by identifying the most competitive teams before the transition to Select play and maintaining the principles of the Academy philosophy that have served the Georgia Soccer membership so well. In other words, the state association aims to find that sweet spot, the perfect balance between the clear need for results and the pressure of the consequence from those results.

Classic and Athena 

At 13U-19U Georgia Soccer offers Select Leagues. Classic league (for boys )has five (5) divisions and Athena league (for girls) has four (4) divisions. A team can start in the lowest division and get promoted all the way to Classic 1 and Athena A divisions based on play.


Most Georgia Soccer clubs offer Academy-level play for ages 9U to 12U. This provides more practice, better coaching and more competitive games in an environment where they keep score but not records. Academy focuses on player development.


Almost all players start in recreational soccer; some play recreational all their lives. Georgia Soccer has recreational programs for ages 3 to 80.