United Soccer League

United Soccer League (USL), formerly known as United Soccer Leagues, is the organizer of several soccer leagues with teams in the United States and Canada. It includes men's and women's leagues, both professional and amateur. Leagues currently organized are the USL Championship, USL League One, USL League Two and the youth Super Y League. It is directly affiliated with the United States Soccer Federation and the United States Adult Soccer Association. The USL is headquartered in Tampa.[2]

United Soccer League
Founded1986 (1986)
FounderFrancisco Marcos[1]
Area served
  • United States
  • Canada
Key people
  • Jake Edwards (president)
  • Alec Papadakis (CEO)
  • Rob Hoskins (chairman)
United Soccer League divisions
Championship League One League Two


Year by year

  • 1986 Established as Southwest Indoor Soccer League
  • 1989 Added an outdoor league known as the Southwest Outdoor Soccer League. This was soon changed to Southwest Independent Soccer League which included both the indoor and outdoor leagues.
  • 1990 Renamed Sunbelt Independent Soccer League
  • 1991 Renamed United States Interregional Soccer League
  • 1995 Renamed United States International Soccer League
  • 1995 Renamed United Systems of Independent Soccer Leagues and formally established professional Pro League and amateur Amateur Premier League
  • 1995 The USL W-League women's semi-pro league is launched.
  • 1996 Established Select League consisting of strongest teams from Division 3 Pro League and Amateur Premier League in hopes of gaining Division 2 sanctioning.
  • 1997 Select League and the former American Professional Soccer League merged to form A-League under the USISL umbrella.
  • 1999 Umbrella USISL changed its name to the modern United Soccer Leagues.
  • 2009 Nike sells organization to NuRock Soccer Holdings, LLC. As a result, nine clubs left the First Division to form the North American Soccer League: Atlanta Silverbacks, Carolina RailHawks FC, Miami FC, Minnesota Thunder, Montreal Impact, Rochester Rhinos, Tampa Bay Rowdies, Vancouver Whitecaps, and the AC St. Louis expansion group.[3][4] United Soccer League was a division in the temporary USSF Division 2 league.[5]
  • 2010 USL announced the formation of USL Pro, which merged the USL First Division and USL Second Division.[6]
  • 2011 Inaugural season of USL Pro.
  • 2011 USL takes over operation of the Major Indoor Soccer League.
  • 2013 USL Pro and Major League Soccer announce a multi-year agreement, beginning that season, to integrate MLS Reserve League play with USL Pro teams, first through team affiliations and "interleague" play, eventually fully merging MLS Reserves into the USL Pro structure.
  • 2013 The W-20 League is launched, a youth league that is operationally aligned with the USL W-League.[7]
  • 2015 USL Pro renamed United Soccer League
  • 2015 USL W-League and W-20 League cease operations.[8]
  • 2017 USL is granted Provisional Division II status by U.S. Soccer.[9]
  • 2017 USL creates USL Division III league and files for Division III status with U.S. Soccer.
  • 2018 USL announces re-branding of its top league to the USL Championship, USL Division III to USL League One, and the Premier Development League to USL League Two beginning with the 2019 season


Founded in 1985 by Francisco Marcos, the Southwest Indoor Soccer League was first intended as a minor indoor league associated with Major Indoor Soccer League.[10] The league began with five teams, all owned by individuals who owned or operated indoor soccer arenas in the Southwest United States. League headquarters was in Austin, Texas. In 1986, Marcos' team, the Austin Sockadillos, entered the league giving it six teams. By 1989, the league had set its sights on greater prospects than remaining a small, semi-professional indoor league. A 1989 press release stated, "It is envisioned the league will be part of the USSF's plan to professionalize soccer in the USA prior to the 1994 World Cup, and the league plans to push its teams to be considered for the "three-tiered first, second and third divisions" plan the USSF envisions for soccer."[11]

Complete historical team list




Indoor seasons

The USL began operations in 1986 as the Southwest Indoor Soccer League, a semi-professional indoor league. The league quickly expanded and added an outdoor season in 1989. In 1991, the league renamed itself the United States Interregional Soccer League. By then, the outdoor league overshadowed the indoor league which continued to slowly dwindle in importance. By the 1997–98 season, only five teams remained indoors while the outdoor season had over a hundred teams divided into a three-division structure. This led the league to stop running an indoor league.

In 2010, the USL began to consider relaunching an indoor season. However, it decided instead to take over operations of the Major Indoor Soccer League; beginning indoor operations in 2011. The champions were determined by a single games in 1987, 1988, 1992, 1993, 1994, 1995, 1996 and 1998. The champions were determined by a best of three series in 1998 and a best of five series in 1989, 1990 and 1991 and a home-and-home series in 2012 and 2013.

Season Winner Final score Runner-up
1986/87 Addison Arrows 7–2 Lubbock Lazers
1987/88 Oklahoma City Warriors 3–0 Austin Sockadillos
1988/89 Lubbock Lazers 3 games to 2 Austin Sockadillos
1989/90 Addison Arrows 3 games to 0 Phoenix Hearts
1990/91 Colorado Comets 3 games to 0 Oklahoma City Warriors
1991/92 Oklahoma City Warriors 7–2 Atlanta Magic
1992/93 Atlanta Magic 11–7 Arizona Cotton
1993/94 Atlanta Magic 8–3 Chattanooga Express
1994/95 Atlanta Magic 6–3 Oklahoma City Slickers
1995/96 Baltimore Bays 10–8 Atlanta Magic
1996/97 Baltimore Bays 5–4; 13–10 Tulsa Roughnecks
1997/98 Baltimore Bays 11–4 Tulsa Roughnecks
The USISL ceased operating its own indoor league in 1998.
From 2011–2014, the USL operated the MISL.
2011/12 Milwaukee Wave 14–2; 12–10 Baltimore Blast
2012/13 Baltimore Blast 21–12; 8–6 Missouri Comets
2013/14 Missouri Comets 15–8; 4–19; 6–4 Baltimore Blast

Outdoor seasons 1989–2010

In 1989, the Southwest Indoor Soccer League added a summer, outdoor season known as the Southwest Outdoor Soccer League. In 1990, the league dropped both "indoor" and "outdoor" from its name as it ran both a semi-professional indoor and outdoor season. By 1995, the outdoor season had grown to such a size that the USISL, as it was known at the time, split the league into two levels, the aptly named, fully professional Professional League and the semi-professional Premier League. In 1996, the USISL added a third, higher, Select League. This was formed from the strongest teams from both the Professional and Premier League. The Select League, along with the competing A-League, both received official Division II status from FIFA. However, the A-League was in decline while the USISL was expanding. Therefore, in 1997, the A-League ceased operations and merged into the USISL Select League which was renamed the USISL A-League. From that point, the USL's three-level structure remained stable until 2010. Some teams left to start the North American Soccer League and the First and Second Divisions were merged to become the USL Professional Division.

Season Winner Final score Runner-up
1989Colorado Comets3–1Addison Arrows
1990Colorado Comets
1991Richardson Rockets3–0New Mexico Chiles
1992Palo Alto Firebirds1–0Tucson Amigos
1993Greensboro Dynamo2–1Orlando Lions
1994Greensboro Dynamo2–1 (SO)Minnesota Thunder
Season Winner Final score Runner-up Season Winner Final score Runner-up Season Winner Final score Runner-up
Division II Division III Semi-pro
1995 ProfessionalLong Island Rough Riders2–1Minnesota Thunder 1995 PremierRichmond Kickers3–1Cocoa Expos
1996 SelectCalifornia Jaguars2–1 (SO)Richmond Kickers 1996 ProfessionalCharleston Battery3–2 (SO)Charlotte Eagles 1996 PremierCentral Coast Roadrunners2–1San Francisco Bay Seals
1997 A-LeagueMilwaukee Rampage1–1 (3–0)Carolina Dynamo 1997 D-3 ProAlbuquerque Geckos4–1Charlotte Eagles 1997 PDSLCentral Coast Roadrunners2–1Cocoa Expos
1998 A-LeagueRochester Raging Rhinos3–1Minnesota Thunder 1998 D-3 ProChicago Stingers3–2 (OT)New Hampshire Phantoms 1998 PDSLSan Gabriel Valley Highlanders3–2Jackson Chargers
1999 A-LeagueMinnesota Thunder2–1Rochester Raging Rhinos 1999 D-3 ProWestern Mass Pioneers2–1South Jersey Barons 1999 PDLChicago Sockers3–1Spokane Shadow
2000 A-LeagueRochester Raging Rhinos3–1Minnesota Thunder 2000 D-3 ProCharlotte Eagles5–0New Jersey Stallions 2000 PDLChicago Sockers1–0Mid-Michigan Bucks
2001 A-LeagueRochester Raging Rhinos2–0Hershey Wildcats 2001 D-3 ProUtah Blitzz1–0Greenville Lions 2001 PDLWestchester Flames3–1Calgary Storm
2002 A-LeagueMilwaukee Rampage2–1 (OT)Richmond Kickers 2002 D-3 ProLong Island Rough Riders2–1Wilmington Hammerheads 2002 PDLCape Cod Crusaders2–1Boulder Rapids Reserves
2003 A-LeagueCharleston Battery3–0Minnesota Thunder 2003 Pro SoccerWilmington Hammerheads2–1 (OT)Westchester Flames 2003 PDLCape Cod Crusaders2–0Chicago Fire Reserves
2004 A-LeagueMontreal Impact2–0Seattle Sounders 2004 Pro SoccerUtah Blitzz2–2 (5–4 PK)Charlotte Eagles 2004 PDLCentral Florida Kraze1–0Boulder Rapids Reserves
2005 First DivisionSeattle Sounders1–1 (4–3 PK)Richmond Kickers 2005 Second DivisionCharlotte Eagles2–2 (5–4 PK)Western Mass Pioneers 2005 PDLDes Moines Menace0–0 (6–5 PK)El Paso Patriots
2006 First DivisionVancouver Whitecaps3–0Rochester Raging Rhinos 2006 Second DivisionRichmond Kickers2–1Charlotte Eagles 2006 PDLMichigan Bucks2–1Laredo Heat
2007 First DivisionSeattle Sounders4–0Atlanta Silverbacks 2007 Second DivisionHarrisburg City Islanders1–1 (8–7 PK)Richmond Kickers 2007 PDLLaredo Heat0–0 (4–3 PK)Michigan Bucks
2008 First DivisionVancouver Whitecaps2–1Puerto Rico Islanders 2008 Second DivisionCleveland City Stars2–1Charlotte Eagles 2008 PDLThunder Bay Chill1–1 (4–1 PK)Laredo Heat
2009 First DivisionMontreal Impact3–2; 3–1Vancouver Whitecaps 2009 Second DivisionRichmond Kickers3–1Charlotte Eagles 2009 PDLVentura County Fusion2–1Chicago Fire Premier
2010 D2 Pro LeaguePuerto Rico Islanders2–0; 1–1Carolina RailHawks 2010 Second DivisionCharleston Battery2–1Richmond Kickers 2010 PDLPortland Timbers U23s4–1Thunder Bay Chill

Outdoor seasons 2011–2018

USL Pro / United Soccer League Premier Development League (PDL)
Season Winner Final score Runner-up Season Winner Final score Runner-up
Division III Semi-pro
2011 USL ProOrlando City SC2–2 (3–2 PK)Harrisburg City Islanders 2011 PDLKitsap Pumas1–0Laredo Heat
2012 USL ProCharleston Battery1–0Wilmington Hammerheads 2012 PDLForest City London2–1Carolina Dynamo
2013 USL ProOrlando City SC7–4Charlotte Eagles 2013 PDLAustin Aztex3–1Thunder Bay Chill
2014 USL ProSacramento Republic FC2–0Harrisburg City Islanders 2014 PDLMichigan Bucks1–0Kitsap Pumas
2015 USLRochester Rhinos2–1 (AET)LA Galaxy II 2015 PDLK-W United FC4–3New York Red Bulls U-23
2016 USLNew York Red Bulls II5–1Swope Park Rangers 2016 PDLMichigan Bucks3–2Calgary Foothills FC
Division II Semi-pro
2017 USLLouisville City FC1–0Swope Park Rangers 2017 PDLCharlotte Eagles2–1Thunder Bay Chill
2018 USLLouisville City FC1–0Phoenix Rising FC 2018 PDLCalgary Foothills FC4–2 (AET)Reading United AC

United Soccer League 2019–present

USL Championship (Division II) USL League One (Division III) USL League Two (Semi-pro)
Season Winner Final score Runner-up Season Winner Final score Runner-up Season Winner Final score Runner-up
2019Real Monarchs3–1Louisville City FC 2019North Texas SC1–0Greenville Triumph SC 2019Flint City Bucks1–0 (AET)Reading United AC

W-League seasons 1995–2015

Season Winner Final score Runner-up
1995 W-LeagueLong Island Lady Riders3–0Southern California Nitemares
1996 W-LeagueMaryland Pride3–0Dallas Lightning
1997 W-LeagueLong Island Lady Riders2–1 (OT)Chicago Cobras
1998 W-League W-1Raleigh Wings4–3Boston Renegades
1998 W-League W-2Fort Collins Force3–1Hampton Roads Piranhas
1999 W-League W-1Raleigh Wings3–2 (OT)Chicago Cobras
1999 W-League W-2North Texas FC5–1Springfield Sirens
2000 W-League W-1Chicago Cobras1–1 (4–2 PSO)Raleigh Wings
2000 W-League W-2Springfield Sirens2–1Charlotte Lady Eagles
2001 W-League W-1Boston Renegades5–1Vancouver Whitecaps Women
2001 W-League W-2Charlotte Lady Eagles3–1Memphis Mercury
2002 W-LeagueBoston Renegades3–0Charlotte Lady Eagles
2003 W-LeagueHampton Roads Piranhas1–0Chicago Cobras
2004 W-LeagueVancouver Whitecaps Women0–0 (4–2 PSO)New Jersey Wildcats
2005 W-LeagueNew Jersey Wildcats3–0Ottawa Fury Women
2006 W-LeagueVancouver Whitecaps Women3–0Ottawa Fury Women
2007 W-LeagueWashington Freedom3–1Atlanta Silverbacks Women
2008 W-LeaguePali Blues2–1F.C. Indiana
2009 W-LeaguePali Blues2–1Washington Freedom Reserves
2010 W-LeagueBuffalo Flash3–1Vancouver Whitecaps Women
2011 W-LeagueAtlanta Silverbacks Women6–1Ottawa Fury Women
2012 W-LeagueOttawa Fury Women1–1 (4–3 PSO)Pali Blues
2013 W-LeaguePali Blues1–0Laval Comets
2014 W-LeagueLos Angeles Blues6–1Washington Spirit Reserves
2015 W-LeagueWashington Spirit Reserves2–1Colorado Pride
The W-League ceased operations after the 2015 season.


  • Rob Hoskins – chairman[12][13]
  • Alec Papadakis – chief executive officer, managing partner
  • Jake Edwards – president
  • Justin Papadakis – chief operating officer
  • Court Jeske - executive vice president
  • Karen Gittens - chief financial officer
  • Steven Short – senior vice president, USL League One
  • Joel Nash – vice president, USL League Two & Super-Y League
  • Garrison Mason – vice president, general counsel
  • Lizzie Seedhouse – vice president, digital & content
  • Brad Baker – vice president of broadcasting
  • John Cochol – vice president, club services
  • Brett Luy – senior vice president, league operations
  • Gordon Bengtson – vice president, competition and technical development
  • Josh Keller – vice president, business development


  1. Kennedy, Paul (March 7, 2018). "Francisco Marcos: 'The impatient train left a long time ago'". Soccer America. Retrieved December 14, 2018.
  2. "About". www.uslsoccer.com. Retrieved August 22, 2017.
  3. "USL outcasts set to launch new league in 2010". Soccerbyives.net. November 10, 2009. Retrieved October 8, 2011.
  4. Molinaro, John F. (November 10, 2009). "CBC Sports: Whitecaps, Impact to form breakaway league". Cbc.ca. Retrieved October 8, 2011.
  5. "US Soccer Federation To Oversee Combined NASL/USL League". Goal.com. January 7, 2010. Retrieved January 8, 2010.
  6. "USL Restructures Professional Division". www.uslsoccer.com. September 8, 2010. Archived from the original on October 11, 2010. Retrieved September 10, 2010.
  7. "W-20 League Set for 2013 Debut". www.uslsoccer.com. April 4, 2013. Archived from the original on April 9, 2013. Retrieved June 29, 2013.
  8. "W-League Statement". United Soccer Leagues (USL). November 7, 2015. Archived from the original on November 19, 2015. Retrieved November 7, 2015.
  9. "U.S. Soccer Board of Directors Grants Provisional Division II Status to NASL and USL". U.S. Soccer. January 6, 2017. Retrieved July 24, 2017.
  10. "Indoor Soccer Comes to City Warriors Feature "Cream of Crop' Players". December 22, 1986. Retrieved August 22, 2017.
  11. "earlyyears". www.unm.edu. Retrieved August 22, 2017.
  12. "USL Executives". United Soccer League (USL). March 26, 2019.
  13. "USL Expands, Strengthens League Office". United Soccer League (USL). February 8, 2017.
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