USL has become the largest organization of elite-level soccer leagues in North America by building on the vision, commitment, and passion of players, fans and investors. Now in its third decade of operation, USL continues to be a driving force in the growth of soccer in the United States, Canada and Caribbean. USL provides a clearly defined path for the progression of male and female soccer players beginning at the youth level (Super Y-League/NextGen), continuing through the amateur level (PDL/W-League/Super-20/W-20) and up to the professional level, both outdoor and indoor (USL PRO/MISL). A platform for countless players to reach for their dreams each year, USL is devoted to developing the sport at the grassroots level in every community across the region.
USL PRO is the strongest U.S. men’s professional soccer league on and off the field below and in support of Major League Soccer (MLS). Focused on league stability and franchise performance longevity, USL PRO features 14 teams in 2014, including expansion teams in Los Angeles, Oklahoma City and Sacramento. Teams have already been announced for 2015 in Colorado Springs and Tulsa, with more additions expected soon. Through aggressive and deliberate growth in adding teams fully capable of meeting USL and US Soccer standards, USL PRO is building a robust, national professional soccer league in a format that promotes the benefits of regional league play. In 2013 USL PRO began a groundbreaking, multi-year partnership with MLS that features individual team affiliations, inter-league play, and the opportunity for MLS clubs to field a second team in USL PRO. In addition to league play, USL PRO teams compete in the Lamar Hunt U.S. Open Cup as well as various domestic and international exhibitions. USL PRO is the longest-standing pro league affiliate member of US Soccer.
The proven developmental leader in North American soccer's evolving tiered structure, the PDL features 64 teams within four conferences throughout the United States and Canada, including 12 teams affiliated with USL PRO or Major League Soccer clubs. The PDL has proven to be an important stepping-stone for top professionals now playing throughout the world, with 70 percent of all MLS draftees having PDL experience. The PDL season consists of 14 regular season matches for each team, seven home and seven away, and provides elite collegiate players the opportunity to taste a higher level of competition while maintaining their eligibility. In addition to league play, PDL teams compete in the Lamar Hunt U.S. Open Cup as well as various exhibitions.
The W-League is the first and longest-standing women’s soccer league in North America. The 2014 W-League campaign will feature 25 teams in four regional conferences playing 10-12 regular season matches. Featuring current and former international and professional stars, the W-League also provides elite amateurs the opportunity to compete while maintaining their eligibility as college student-athletes. The league is recognized throughout the world for providing superior competition for female players, while offering affordable family entertainment for fans throughout North America.
As the premier U-20 adult-amateur women’s league in North America, W-20 provides the necessary platform for top 17- to 20-year-olds in the United States and Canada to compete at an elite level, while also serving as a reserve system for professional and senior adult-amateur women’s teams. W-20 utilizes the W-League’s operational infrastructure that emphasizes quality ownership, league standards and player development to maintain itself as the leader in under-20 women’s soccer in North America.
As the longest standing and most sophisticated U20 men’s North American amateur league, the Super-20 League provides the platform for top 17- to 20-year-olds in the United States and Canada to compete at the elite level. While serving as a reserve team system for many PDL teams, the USL Super-20 League features teams competing in regional divisions, playing in 8-10 regular season matches throughout the summer months.
Founded in 1999, the Super Y-League is dedicated to the progression of future professional players and has steered the course for development of elite clubs, players, and coaches. Affiliated with U.S. Soccer, the Super Y-League ODP Program has opened countless doors for players to be identified for U.S. National Team programs. The Super Y-League contains the youth academies of Major League Soccer clubs, USL PRO clubs, PDL and W-League clubs. The league also serves clubs looking to develop the game from the ground up.
The NextGen Series is an exciting, new youth soccer initiative undertaken by USL and IMG Academy, established to provide clubs the opportunity to take part in an elite-level league for U12 and U14 boys and girls. NextGen takes a developmental approach which engages the player, coach, and parent, while facilitating player growth across 10 important disciplines. These disciplines are conducted by world-renowned experts in their respective areas of performance, and include Ignite360 athletic assessment, physical and mental conditioning, technical skill development, tactical development, and vision development; as well as instruction about nutrition, leadership, on-field communication, and injury prevention. Teams participate in an eight-month season featuring two evaluation/competition events at IMG, and top players are identified through the NGS Player Tracking Program and invited to attend the NGS ID Training Camp at IMG.