TAMPA, Fla. –The United Soccer League (USL) will create a professional Division II women’s soccer league in the United States: the USL Super League. With this new league, the USL presents an unprecedented pathway for players--from youth to professional--within one ecosystem. The formation of the USL Super League will provide new opportunities for players, fans, coaches, referees, staff and executives looking to participate in women’s professional soccer.
The USL Super League’s compensation structure and professional standards will be consistent with the USL men’s professional leagues. The USL Super League brand reflects this commitment to gender equity and reaffirms that the USL portfolio is built upon a recognized and proven structure of success in international football.
“Today, we are thrilled to unveil the USL Super League and begin an exciting new chapter in the growth of Women’s Soccer in the United States,” said CEO Alec Papadakis. “We aim to make the USL Super League globally recognized and admired for its community-building, operational excellence, financial sustainability, and high level of competition. With these objectives in mind, we deepen our commitment to equitable treatment of our men’s and women’s pathways, and to create career opportunities for women to play professional soccer, women coaches, women technical directors, and women soccer executives. We at the USL League Office are united in our passion and commitment to the pursuit of this vision.”
The USL Super League expects to double the number of professional women’s soccer teams in the United States when its inaugural season begins in 2023. The USL women’s pathway now includes the Girls Super Y League, the Girls USL Academy, the women’s pre-professional USL W League which kicks off next year, and the women’s professional USL Super League. The USL Super League will apply for Division II sanctioning from U.S. Soccer in the coming months.
“In our country, there are seven times as many professional soccer teams for men than there are for women,” said Betsy Haugh, USL Director of Women’s Soccer Operations. “We are going to improve that ratio, and we invite players and fans to join us in building a new, outstanding level of women’s soccer.”
The USL Super League and the pre-professional USL W League complement each other by generating fan excitement and spurring interest from clubs and cities across the country. For its inaugural 2022 season, the W League has already announced its first 16 member clubs and expects more than 30 teams to take the field in 2022. This growth reflects the heightened demand for elite women’s soccer among fans, partners and investors. The USL W league will continue to promote women’s college soccer and its more than 900 programs as the foundation of U.S. dominance in the world’s game.
USL will continue expanding its league office staff, including a robust club services group, to ensure all teams meet or exceed high standards throughout its women’s soccer vertical. The USL Super League will benefit from USL’s extensive media landscape, commercial and strategic partnerships, and national footprint, with clubs in more than 120 communities across the country. Soccer-specific stadiums are the bedrock on which the USL Super League will be built. USL Championship and League One clubs play in 26 soccer-specific venues across North America, with another 25-30 expected in the next five years.