Upstate New York’s Elite Youth League: Thruway Soccer League

What is the best option for aspiring and talented young players in Western New York?  Take a look at Upstate New York’s Thruway Soccer League.

The Thruway Soccer League has at least one division for both boys and girls from the u11 to the u18/19 level.  Teams from throughout Upstate in each division play an 8 game schedule mostly on the weekends of the summer months.

For me the cornerstones of the Thruway League are the three separate Empire United teams playing in the u18/19 division.  The U.S. Soccer Development Academy League is made up of 80 elite youth clubs from around the country.  One of these clubs, Revolution Empire (formerly Empire United), was formed from independent organizations from Buffalo, Rochester, and Syracuse.  Each city has their own local teams from age 9 to 18 and the standouts from these teams form the Development Academy squads for the u15/16 and u17/18 divisions.  The Buffalo, Rochester, and Syracuse teams play in the Thruway League alongside other strong and stable youth clubs.

Clubs in the Thruway League range geographically from Buffalo to the Capital region.  Games are played throughout upstate, including the following cities and town: Albany, Schenectady, Liverpool, Oneonta, Spencerport, Brighton, Henrietta, Buffalo, Clarence, Elmira, Endicott, West Seneca, Hilton, Corning, Utica, Binghamton, Batavia, Webster, Akron, Rochester, Lansing, Lockport, Big Flats, North Tonawanda, Guilderland, Sarasota Springs, Getzville, Orchard Park, Watertown, Cicero, Fairport, Lancaster, Tonawanda.

Some of the other teams in the lower age groups are from: Loudonville, Apalachin, Glenmount, Troy, Caledonia, Chittenango, Clifton Park, Cohocton, Depew, Elma, Williamsville, Fredonia, Pittsford, Herkimer, Owego, Homer, Youngstown, New Hartford, Lewiston, Hamburg, Wampsville, Yorkshire, Mattydale, Schuylerville, Solvay, Stillwater, Lagrangeville, Dryden, Grand Island, Victor, Kenmore, Westmoreland.

The league is relatively young, having been formed in this framework in 2011.  The Thruway Soccer League appears financially solvent and added a number of teams for the 2012 season.

Is this league the cream of the crop in the state? I think so.

The Thruway Soccer League affords young players the opportunity to compete at a higher level than the traditional regional leagues within Upstate New York; Rochester District Youth Soccer League, Central New York Junior Soccer League, Genesee Youth Soccer League, Broome County Soccer Association, Capital District Youth Soccer League, and the Buffalo and WNY Junior Soccer League.  The Thruway league also offers a path to compete in both the Colonial League and Presidents Cup, competitions that feature youth teams from across US Youth Soccer’s Region 1 (Virginia, West Virginia, Pennsylvania, Maryland, Delaware, New Jersey, Connecticut, Rhode Island, Vermont, New Hampshire, Massachusetts, and Maine).  In addition, exceptional players have a chance to impress coaches from Revolution Empire during league play and could earn an invite to the Development Academy squad, now an established pipeline to youth national teams.

For more information, visit the Thruway Soccer League’s website:


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