The United Soccer League (USL) is the largest professional soccer organization in North America, possessing nearly a decade of experience in bringing the world’s game to communities across the United States and Canada. Overseeing the USL Championship, USL League One, and USL League Two, the organization is built on a proven and recognized model in international football and counts more than 100 clubs in its membership.
Based in Tampa, Fla., the USL has grown over the past decade into a model organization with strong corporate partnerships, stable organizational leadership, and a dedicated staff that provides outstanding support to member clubs and outside partners. Sanctioned by the U.S. Soccer Federation and Canadian Soccer Association, the USL is #UnitedForSoccer, moving the game forward in the United States and Canada.
The USL Championship is one of the most successful professional soccer leagues in the world, reaching a population of more than 84 million and fueling the growth of the game across North America. Sanctioned by the U.S. Soccer Federation as a Division II professional league, The Championship includes a membership of more than 30 clubs across the United States and Canada.
Through The Championship’s headquarters in Tampa, Florida, the league’s clubs are provided with unparalleled support with a growing team of more than 50 professionals across 17 departments, ranging from operations to marketing, communications, and sponsorship.
The Championship has a national media partnership with ESPN, wherein all league matches are broadcast on ESPN+, ESPN3 and across linear channels. The league also operates USL Productions, which includes a state-of-the-art facility that produced and distributed more than 500 league matches and more than 1,000 hours of original content to national partners, local affiliates and international markets throughout the 2018 season.
Shaping the future of the game in the United States and Canada, the United Soccer League (USL) – one of the most successful professional soccer organizations in the world – announced in 2017 it would launch a new third division - USL League One in Spring 2019, uniting passionate fans in new markets with the thrill of a proven professional soccer experience.
The USL has targeted U.S. communities ranging in population from 150,000 to one million – markets that represent more than 75 million people without access to a local professional soccer club. League One has focused on launching new clubs in markets that possess strong local ownership groups, populations with broad-based diversity, a vibrant millennial and strong family base, established corporate support, and stadiums to properly showcase the sport for fans, partners and the public.
The proven developmental leader in North American soccer's evolving tiered structure, USL League Two (formerly the PDL) features 72 franchises in four conferences throughout the United States and Canada, including 18 clubs that are owned and operated by a professional club, or that hold a partnership with a professional club. League Two has proven to be an important stepping-stone for top professionals now playing throughout the world, with more than 70 percent of all selections in the MLS SuperDraft since 2010 having PDL experience, including 66 selections in the 2018 MLS SuperDraft. The League Two 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, League Two teams compete in the Lamar Hunt U.S. Open Cup as well as various exhibitions.
The United Soccer League officially unveiled its vision for the future of the league’s Academy system in March, with the announcement of USL Academy Cup, a new competition set to begin this year that will set the stage for the organization’s first-ever Academy League.
Off the field, the USL also plans to host workshops with members of the technical staff to share best practices and discuss long-term player development strategies. The USL Academy Cup’s additional programs will also continue to educate and improve refereeing and hold educational seminars for players and parents to better inform them of the growing opportunities to play professionally, as well as the commitment levels and higher demand associated with playing at that level.