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USL Championship


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 USL Championship includes a membership of 24 clubs across the continental United States.

Through the league's headquarters in Tampa, Florida, the clubs are provided with unparalleled support with a growing team of more than 100 professionals across 20 departments, ranging from operations to marketing, communications and sponsorship.

The USL Championship has a national media partnership with both ESPN and CBS platforms which sees all league matches broadcast on digital and 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 2024 season.


The USL Championship was formed when two existing professional leagues were combined into a single league property before the 2011 season. The league was designed to help ensure the long-term stability of professional soccer in North America and featured 12 teams in a pair of six-team divisions during its initial campaign. Among the league’s founding members were five longtime USL clubs with more than 100 years of operation among them, including the Charleston Battery, Pittsburgh Riverhounds SC and the Richmond Kickers.

Over the course of the current decade, the sophisticated business model that provides the foundation for the USL has allowed the league to grow into the largest professional soccer league in North America, with 36 current members that include world-class ownership groups. The league’s current club owners also hold stakes in teams that compete in the National Basketball Association, Major League Baseball, the National Hockey League, Minor League Baseball and the NBA G-League. In January of 2017, after a thorough application review process, the U.S. Soccer Federation granted the USL Division II status beginning in the 2017 season, recognizing the significant investment and high level of operating excellence within the USL and its member clubs.


Now in its 109th edition, the Lamar Hunt U.S. Open Cup has crowned a champion since 1914 in every year except 2020 and 2021 due to the Covid-19 pandemic. The history-filled tournament is conducted on a single-game-knockout basis and open to all professional and amateur teams affiliated with U.S. Soccer. In 1999, the oldest ongoing national soccer competition in the United States was renamed to honor American soccer pioneer Lamar Hunt.

The 2024 U.S. Open Cup winner will earn $300,000 in prize money, a berth in the 2025 Concacaf Champions Cup and have its name engraved on the Dewar Challenge Trophy – one of the oldest nationally-contested trophies in American team sports – now on permanent display at the National Soccer Hall of Fame in Frisco, Texas. The runner-up will earn $100,000, while the team that advances the furthest from each lower division will take home a $25,000 cash prize.

All 24 USL Championship clubs entered the tournament in 2024, beginning play in the Third Round.