USL League One
Organizing bodyUnited Soccer League
FoundedApril 2, 2017; 4 years ago (2017-04-02)
First season2019
CountryUnited States
Other club(s) fromCanada
(North American Football Union)
Number of teams12
Level on pyramid3
Domestic cup(s)U.S. Open Cup
Current champion(s)Greenville Triumph SC (2020)
Current regular
season title
Greenville Triumph SC (2020)
Most championshipsGreenville Triumph SC
North Texas SC (1 title each)
Most regular
season titles
North Texas SC
Greenville Triumph SC
(1 title each)
TV partnersESPN+
Current: 2021 USL League One season

USL League One (USL1) is a professional men's soccer league in the United States and Canada that began its inaugural season in 2019. United Soccer League announced the formation of the league on April 2, 2017, with the temporary name USL Division III (USL D3). The league is targeting cities with a population of 150,000 to one million, mostly in cities currently without a professional team.[1]


The USL Championship was granted second division sanctioning by the United States Soccer Federation in January 2017, leaving the third tier of American soccer unoccupied. From 1996 to 2009, the United Soccer League operated leagues at the lower divisions under various names, including the USL Second Division, and the second division as USL First Division.[2] On April 2, 2017, the USL announced that it would launch a new third division league in 2019, with a minimum of eight clubs and lower requirements than the second division USL.[3][4] It was also announced that branding and other information about the league would be announced during the summer of 2017.[3]

In the following months, the league began searching for cities and markets in which to locate new member teams. From April 26 to May 3, 2017, League Vice President Steven Short toured the southeast region of the United States, stopping in the cities of Lexington, Kentucky, Knoxville, Tennessee, Asheville, North Carolina, Greenville, South Carolina, and Columbia, South Carolina.[5] After the closing of the tour, the league announced a possible plan for Tormenta FC, a Premier Development League team from Georgia, to join the league.[6] A few weeks later, league executives announced they would be visiting the Midwest area in the United States between May 22 and 26, stopping in Dayton, Ohio, Toledo, Ohio, Fort Wayne, Indiana, Lansing, Michigan, and Grand Rapids, Michigan.[7] After the original tour concluded, Vice President Short visited Des Moines, Iowa to meet with the Des Moines Menace of the Premier Development League to join the league.[8] Preceding the tour of the Midwest, Short visited two more cities in North Carolina: High Point and Fayetteville. Following the tour, Short announced potential plans to build a new multi-purpose stadium in High Point and had positive outlooks on potentially sharing a J. P. Riddle Stadium with the Fayetteville SwampDogs, or the ballpark for the Fayetteville Woodpeckers that ultimately opened in 2019 as Segra Stadium.[9]

The unveiling of the first founding member, South Georgia Tormenta FC, took place on January 25, 2018.[10] This was followed by FC Tucson on February 6,[11][12] Greenville Triumph SC on March 13,[13][14] and Madison, Wisconsin on May 17.[15] Toronto FC II of the USL was announced on July 2,[16] and Chattanooga, Tennessee was announced on August 1.[17]

On August 22, 2018, Rochester Stadium Operations, LLC announced that the Rochester Rhinos will be stepping down from the USL Championship and joining League One in 2020.[18] On September 11, 2018, the league announced that Richmond Kickers would also be dropping down from Championship to League One due to financial difficulties competing in the higher league.[19] On October 8, 2018, Penn FC, another long-time USL member, announced they would follow Rochester in stepping down to League One in 2020.[20] On October 10, the Lansing City Council unanimously approved a deal for the new Lansing Ignite FC team to begin USL League One play at Cooley Law School Stadium in the inaugural 2019 season.[21] On October 2, 2018, the tenth and final founding member was revealed to be the reserve team of FC Dallas. Four days later, the club unveiled its branding as North Texas SC.

The league filed for Division III status with the USSF on August 14, 2018. Ten founding teams were listed in the application.[22][23] On December 14, 2018, USSF voted to provisionally sanction League One as a Division 3 league for 2019.[24][better source needed] The league currently shares Division III status with the National Independent Soccer Association.[25]

The first League One game was played on March 29, 2019 when Tormenta FC defeated Greenville Triumph SC 1–0 before a crowd of 3,519 at Eagle Field in Erk Russell Park. Alex Morrell scored the first goal in the 72nd minute.[26][27]

On May 1, 2019, an Omaha, Nebraska team to start play in 2020 was unveiled.[28] On October 9, 2019 it was announced that both the New England Revolution and Inter Miami CF would be placing reserve teams in the league, bringing the total number of teams for the 2020 season to 12 teams.[29] On October 21, 2019 it was announced that one of its inaugural teams, Lansing Ignite FC, would fold after its first and only season in existence.[30]


The league currently has 12 teams scheduled to participate in the 2021 season.[22]

Team City Stadium Capacity Founded Joined Head coach MLS affiliate
Current teams
Chattanooga Red Wolves SC East Ridge, Tennessee CHI Memorial Stadium 5,500[31] 2018 2019 United States Jimmy Obleda
Fort Lauderdale CF Fort Lauderdale, Florida DRV PNK Stadium 18,000 2019 2020 England Darren Powell Inter Miami CF
Forward Madison FC Madison, Wisconsin Breese Stevens Field 5,000 2018 2019 England Carl Craig Chicago Fire FC
Greenville Triumph SC Greenville, South Carolina Legacy Early College Field 4,000 2018 2019 United States John Harkes
New England Revolution II Foxborough, Massachusetts Gillette Stadium 20,000 2019 2020 United States Clint Peay New England Revolution
North Carolina FC Cary, North Carolina WakeMed Soccer Park 10,000 2006 2021 United States John Bradford
North Texas SC Arlington, Texas Choctaw Stadium 48,114 2018 2019 United States Eric Quill FC Dallas
Union Omaha Papillion, Nebraska Werner Park 9,023 2019 2020 United States Jay Mims
Richmond Kickers Richmond, Virginia City Stadium 22,611 1993 2019 United States Darren Sawatzky
South Georgia Tormenta FC Statesboro, Georgia Eagle Field 3,500 2015 2019 Scotland Ian Cameron
Toronto FC II Toronto, Ontario BMO Training Ground 1,000 2014 2019 United States Mike Muñoz Toronto FC
FC Tucson Tucson, Arizona Kino North Stadium 3,200 2010 2019 United States Jon Pearlman (interim)

Future teams

Team City Stadium Capacity Founded Joining Head coach MLS affiliate
Planned expansion teams
Central Valley Fuego FC Fresno, California TBD TBD 2020 2022 vacant
Northern Colorado Hailstorm FC Windsor, Colorado Future Legends Complex 6,000 2021 2022 Libya Éamon Zayed
Fort Wayne FC Fort Wayne, Indiana Shield's Field 3,200 2019 2023 United States Mike Avery
Spokane Spokane, Washington New downtown stadium 5,000 2021 2023 vacant
  MLS affiliated
  MLS owned

Former teams

Club City Stadium Capacity Joined Final season MLS affiliation Fate
Lansing Ignite FC Lansing, Michigan Cooley Law School Stadium 7,527 2019 2019 Chicago Fire Folded[30]
Orlando City B Kissimmee, Florida Osceola County Stadium 5,400 2019 2020 Orlando City SC Withdrawn by MLS parent club[32]

Location map


USL1 SpokaneFort Wayne FCNorthern Colorado Hailstorm FCCentral Valley Fuego FCNorth Carolina FCFort Lauderdale CFNew England Revolution IIUnion OmahaFC TucsonToronto FC IIRichmond KickersTormenta FCOrlando City BForward Madison FCLansing Ignite FCGreenville Triumph SCNorth Texas SCChattanooga Red Wolves SC

Current clubs   Future clubs   Former clubs   Club played in different league


Team USL1 Cup Year(s) won Regular season
Year(s) won USL1 seasons
North Texas SC 1 2019 1 2019 2
Greenville Triumph SC 1 2020 1 2020 2

USL League One Finals

Season Champions Score Runners–up Venue Attendance MVP
2019 North Texas SC 1–0 Greenville Triumph SC Toyota Stadium 3,245 Arturo Rodríguez (NTX)
2020 Greenville Triumph SC Cancelled[33] Union Omaha Legacy Early College Field 0 None selected

See also


  1. ^ "About". USL. April 25, 2017. Retrieved April 25, 2017.
  2. ^ Kennedy, Paul (March 30, 2017). "USL: A new Division III league in works for 2019". Soccer America. Retrieved December 8, 2017.
  3. ^ a b "USL to Launch Third-Division League in 2019" (Press release). United Soccer League. April 2, 2017. Retrieved December 8, 2017.
  4. ^ Straus, Brian (March 30, 2017). "USL will launch second league in 2019 to occupy U.S. Soccer's Division 3". Sports Illustrated. Retrieved December 8, 2017.
  5. ^ "USL DIII VP Short reflects on southeast expansion tour". USL D3. May 10, 2017. Retrieved July 23, 2017.
  6. ^ "Tormenta FC to explore USL DIII possibilities". USL D3. May 5, 2017. Retrieved July 23, 2017.
  7. ^ "USL DIII Expansion Tour Visits Midwest". USL D3. May 22, 2017. Retrieved July 23, 2017.
  8. ^ "Homonoff: Menace 'Evaluating' USL's DIII". USL D3. June 16, 2017. Retrieved July 23, 2017.
  9. ^ "Short Shares Thoughts on North Carolina Visits". August 8, 2017. Retrieved August 11, 2017.
  10. ^ "Tormenta FC joins USL Division III for 2019". January 25, 2018. Retrieved January 25, 2018.
  11. ^ "FC Tucson Leads USL Division III'S West Coast Expansion". United Soccer League (USL). February 6, 2018.
  12. ^ "FC Tucson moves to USL Division III, becomes professional team". Arizona Daily Star. February 6, 2018.
  13. ^ "USL Division III Welcomes Greenville as Founding Member". United Soccer League (USL). February 6, 2018.
  14. ^ "Greenville's Pro Soccer Team To Be Called Greenville Triumph Soccer Club". Greenville Triumph Soccer Club. August 9, 2018.
  15. ^ Staff, USL DIII (May 17, 2018). "Madison Unveiled as Fourth USL Division III Founding Member". USL Championship.
  16. ^ Staff, USL DIII (July 2, 2018). "USL Division III Names Toronto FC II as Founding Member". USL League One.
  17. ^ Staff, USL DIII (August 1, 2018). "Chattanooga Welcomed as Newest USL Division III Founding Member". USL League One.
  18. ^ "Rochester Approved for USL Division III" (Press release). Rochester Rhinos. August 22, 2018.
  19. ^ "Kickers Named a USL Division III Founding Member". United Soccer Leagues. September 11, 2018. Retrieved September 12, 2018.
  20. ^ "Penn FC to join USL League One in 2020" (Press release). October 8, 2018.
  21. ^ Couch, Graham (October 10, 2018). "Pro soccer in downtown Lansing gets go-ahead from City Council". Lansing State Journal. Retrieved October 11, 2018.
  22. ^ a b "USL Division III Files Sanctioning Paperwork to U.S. Soccer". United Soccer League (USL). August 14, 2018.
  23. ^ "USL Division III submits sanctioning request to U.S. Soccer with 10 teams". Paul Kennedy. SoccerAmerica. August 14, 2018.
  24. ^ Goff, Steven [@soccerinsider] (December 14, 2018). "U.S. Soccer Federation's board of directors has voted to provisionally sanction @USLLeagueOne as a Division III pro league in 2019. #usl" (Tweet). Retrieved December 14, 2018 – via Twitter.[non-primary source needed]
  25. ^ Kivlehan, Chris (February 17, 2019). "Breaking: NISA Sanctioned By USSF, To Start In August". Midfield Press. Retrieved June 4, 2019.
  26. ^ "Gameday Report: March 29, Week 1". USL League One. March 29, 2019.
  27. ^ "Tormenta takes down Greenville". Mike Anthony. March 30, 2019.
  28. ^ "Omaha Unveiled as USL League One's Newest Club". May 1, 2019.
  29. ^ Staff (October 9, 2019). "Inter Miami FC, New England Revolution Launch League One Clubs". USL League One. Retrieved October 9, 2019.
  30. ^ a b Staff (October 21, 2019). "Lansing Ignite FC Ceases Operations". USL League One. Retrieved October 21, 2019.
  31. ^ "CHI Memorial Hospital Unveiled as Naming Rights Sponsor for Chattanooga Stadium". USL League One. Retrieved March 5, 2020.
  32. ^ "Three MLS Teams Withdraw from USL Competition" (Press release). United Soccer League. October 16, 2020. Retrieved November 4, 2020.
  33. ^ "USL League One Final Cancelled, Greenville Named 2020 Title-Winners". Staff. October 29, 2020. Retrieved October 29, 2020.