Northern Illinois Soccer League

The Northern Illinois Soccer League is a youth soccer league that covers Northern Illinois.

About Northern Illinois Soccer League

Founded in 1975, the Northern Illinois Soccer League (NISL) has become a leading youth soccer organization in the region, providing young players with opportunities to develop their skills and compete in various levels of soccer, from recreational to competitive play. The league is affiliated with the United States Youth Soccer Association (USYSA) and adheres to its guidelines and policies.


NISL is divided into several divisions, with each division hosting its own clubs and teams. Players can participate in leagues and tournaments within their respective divisions, ensuring a competitive and enjoyable soccer experience.

In addition to league play, NISL organizes several tournaments throughout the year, attracting teams from the surrounding regions. The league also collaborates with other soccer organizations to provide additional tournament opportunities for players.

Player Development

NISL places a strong emphasis on player development, offering various programs and resources to support players and coaches. These include coaching education courses, player development camps, and college recruiting services.

The league has a comprehensive player development pathway that caters to players of all ages and skill levels. These programs focus on developing technical skills, tactical knowledge, physical fitness, and mental resilience.


NISL is committed to providing resources and support for coaches, including coaching education courses, mentorship programs, and access to the latest coaching materials and resources.

The league prioritizes safety and implements various safety protocols to ensure the well-being of players, coaches, and referees. This includes background checks for coaches and volunteers, concussion education and management protocols, and other safety measures.

NISL promotes sportsmanship and fair play, establishing a code of conduct for all players, coaches, and spectators. The league encourages respectful behavior on and off the field and has a zero-tolerance policy for abusive or disrespectful behavior.

Notable Clubs

Here are just a few of the many notable clubs that are part of NISL:

  • Chicago Fire Juniors – Affiliated with the professional soccer team Chicago Fire FC, the Chicago Fire Juniors is a premier youth soccer club in the region, known for producing talented players and winning numerous state and regional titles.
  • Galaxy Soccer Club – Galaxy Soccer Club is a well-established youth soccer club with a strong reputation for player development. The club has produced several college and professional players.
  • FC United – FC United is a youth soccer organization known for its emphasis on player development and producing top-level players.
  • Sockers FC – Sockers FC is a youth soccer organization that focuses on developing players’ skills and fostering a love for the game. The club has a rich history and a strong reputation for player development.

Notable Players

Here are a few notable players who came up through NISL:

  1. Mike Magee – Magee is a retired professional soccer player who played for various Major League Soccer teams and the United States Men’s National Team. He began his youth career playing for the Chicago Sockers in the NISL.
  2. Vanessa DiBernardo – DiBernardo is a professional soccer player who currently plays for the Chicago Red Stars in the National Women’s Soccer League and has represented the United States Women’s National Team. She began her youth career playing for the Eclipse Select Soccer Club in the NISL.
  3. Patrick Doody – Doody is a retired professional soccer player who played for the Chicago Fire in Major League Soccer. He began his youth career playing for the Chicago Fire Juniors in the NISL.

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