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USL Super League
Organizing bodyUnited Soccer League
FoundedSeptember 21, 2021; 2 years ago (2021-09-21)
First season2024–25
CountryUnited States
ConfederationCONCACAF
Number of teams8
Level on pyramid1
Websitewww.uslsuperleague.com
Current: 2024–25 USL Super League season

The USL Super League (USLS) is a future Division I professional women's soccer league in the United States. The league will be owned and operated by the United Soccer League.[1][2] Originally planned to launch in August 2023, it is now slated to begin play in August 2024.[3]

History

USL announced the formation of the Super League on September 21, 2021. Along with the pre-professional USL W League, which started in 2022, the USLS is part of the creation of a full pathway for women's soccer.[4][5] Amanda Vandervort, former Chief Women’s Football Officer for FIFPro, the global player’s association, was appointed League President on October 12, 2021.[6]

In May 2022, United Soccer League announced that the Super League schedule will align with the "women’s international soccer calendar" with seasons running from August to June in order to "drive increased value."[7] To attempt to avoid the worst of winter weather, a mid-season break is planned.[8] The league said it planned to field 12 teams in the inaugural season.[8]

On January 31, 2022, MLS club D.C. United reversed their decision in establishing a club for the inaugural USL W League 2022 season, instead reportedly looking to join the USLS in the future.[9] On July 12, 2022, Santa Barbara Sky was announced as a USL expansion club, aiming to have a professional men's team in USL League One and a professional women's team.[10] On July 14, 2022, the USL announced a partnership with USL NOLA, a group which aims to bring a USL Championship team to the city by 2025 and a USLS team to New Orleans, Louisiana in the future.[11] On August 30, 2022, the USL announced that the JAXUSL ownership and executive group had acquired the rights to a USL Championship franchise in Jacksonville, Florida, to begin play by 2025 and a USLS team to begin play in the future.[12] On October 18, 2022, USL Championship club Memphis 901 FC announced their intentions to construct a new soccer-specific stadium and accompanying training facilities that would host their men's team and a potential professional women's soccer team.[13] On November 7, 2022, USL League Two club Real Central New Jersey announced that they and the USL were exploring the establishment of a team in the Super League.[14] On December 8, 2022, it was announced that USL League Two club Lane United FC acquired exclusive rights to pursue a Super League franchise in Lane County, Oregon.[15]

On May 16, 2023, USL Super League announced the initial eight markets that would be participating in their inaugural season, with an additional five that would be joining in later seasons, pending stadium projects. They also announced that they would be intending to launch as a first division league, as opposed to second division as had been previously announced.[16] The proposed divisional change would increase the minimum costs and standards for teams, market sizes, and staff, and would make the USL Super League the second top-division professional women's soccer league in the United States alongside the National Women's Soccer League.

In February 2024, the Super League announced that it had been granted Division I status by U.S. Soccer.[17] It also announced that a club based in Brooklyn, N.Y. would join the league beginning in 2024.[18] The league also updated the teams planned to participate in the inaugural season and those that were planned for future expansion.[19]

Competition format

The Super League schedule will run from "fall to summer", with the first season set to begin in August 2024.[17] This schedule is in line with many international leagues but is different than other American leagues which run from spring to fall.[8] The Super League will not use a college draft.[2]

Teams

Teams are planning to launch in the following markets for the 2024–25 USL Super League season.[19]

Current USL Super League teams
Team City Stadium Capacity Founded Joining Head coach
Brooklyn FC Brooklyn, New York Maimonides Park
7,000
2024
2024
TBA
Carolina Ascent FC Charlotte, North Carolina American Legion Memorial Stadium
10,500
2023
2024
England Philip Poole[20]
Dallas Trinity FC Dallas, Texas Cotton Bowl Stadium
90,000
2023
2024
Scotland Pauline MacDonald[21]
DC Power FC Washington, D.C. Audi Field
20,000
2023
2024
France Frédéric Brillant[22]
Fort Lauderdale United FC Fort Lauderdale, Florida[23] Training Facility at NSU
2,000
[needs update]
2023
2024
England Tyrone Mears[24]
Lexington SC Lexington, Kentucky Lexington SC Stadium[a]
7,500
2023
2024
United States Michael Dickey[26]
Spokane Zephyr FC Spokane, Washington One Spokane Stadium
5,100
2023
2024
United States Jo Johnson[27]
Tampa Bay Sun FC Tampa, Florida Riverfront Stadium[28]
5,000
2023
2024
Canada Denise Schilte-Brown[29]
  1. ^ The new Lexington SC Stadium, which will house both the USL1 and USLS sides, is expected to open in time for the 2024–25 USLS season.[25]

Future teams

The following teams are expected to join the league pending completion of stadium construction or upgrade projects.[19]

Planned USL Super League teams
City Stadium Capacity Founded Joining
Indianapolis, Indiana Eleven Park (planned)
20,000 (planned)
2023
2025
Sporting Club Jacksonville
TBA
2023
2025
Madison, Wisconsin Breese Stevens Field
5,000
2023
2025
USL Palm Beach[30]
TBA
2023
2025
USL Arkansas[citation needed] USL Arkansas Stadium
5,000
2023
2026
East Ridge, Tennessee CHI Memorial Stadium
5,500
2023
TBA
Oakland Soul SC
TBA
2023
TBA
Phoenix, Arizona Phoenix Rising Soccer Stadium
10,000
2023
TBA
Tucson, Arizona
TBA
2023
TBA

Location map

USL Super League is located in the United States
Chattanooga
Chattanooga
Indianapolis
Indianapolis
Madison
Madison
Phoenix
Phoenix
Tucson
Tucson
USL Super League clubs
Current club Future club

League leadership

Overview of USL Super League executives
Title Name Years
President[6] Amanda Vandervort 2021–present
Vice president[31] Missy Price 2022–present
Vice president of operations[32] Carrie Taylor 2023–present

References

  1. ^ "USL Announces New Professional Division II Women's Soccer League". uslsoccer.com. USLSoccer.com Staff. September 21, 2021. Retrieved September 21, 2021.
  2. ^ a b Yang, Steph (May 16, 2023). "USL announces new women's pro league to rival NWSL". The Athletic. Retrieved May 16, 2023.
  3. ^ "USL Super League". USL.
  4. ^ "USL announces new professional women's soccer league: USL Super League". espn.com. ESPN. September 21, 2021. Retrieved September 21, 2021.
  5. ^ "USL launching women's Division II league with 'commitment to gender equity'". theathletic.com. The Athletic. September 21, 2021. Retrieved September 21, 2021.
  6. ^ a b "Amanda Vandervort Named USL Super League President". uslsoccer.com. USLSoccer.com Staff. October 12, 2021. Retrieved October 12, 2021.
  7. ^ USLSoccer com Staff (March 15, 2022). "USL Super League to Align with International Women's Soccer Calendar and Kick Off in August 2023". USL Championship. Retrieved May 20, 2022.
  8. ^ a b c "New women's USL league to play fall-to-summer". ESPN.com. March 15, 2022. Retrieved May 20, 2022.
  9. ^ Steven Goff [@soccerinsider] (January 31, 2022). "D.C. United will not field a team in the USL W League (women's amateur) this year. But sources say they are planning to have a team in the USL Super League (women's second-tier pro) starting in 2023. #dcu" (Tweet). Retrieved July 15, 2022 – via Twitter.
  10. ^ USLLeagueOne com Staff (July 12, 2022). "Santa Barbara Sky FC to Join USL League One". USL League One. Retrieved August 30, 2022.
  11. ^ USLChampionship com Staff (July 14, 2022). "Local group aims to bring USL club to New Orleans". USL Championship. Retrieved July 15, 2022.
  12. ^ USLChampionship com Staff (August 30, 2022). "United Soccer League announces expansion plans for Jacksonville". USL Championship. Retrieved August 30, 2022.
  13. ^ "Memphis 901 FC Announces Plans for a New Soccer Specific Stadium". Memphis 901 FC. Retrieved October 21, 2022.
  14. ^ "USL AND REAL CENTRAL NJ SOCCER EXPLORING PROFESSIONAL SOCCER EXPANSION". Real Central NJ. November 7, 2022. Retrieved July 23, 2023.
  15. ^ USLLeagueOne com Staff (December 8, 2022). "Lane United FC acquires exclusive rights to pursue professional USL franchises". USL League Two. Retrieved December 9, 2022.
  16. ^ "USL Super League Announces Initial Markets". USLSuperLeague.com. USL Super League. May 16, 2023. Archived from the original on May 16, 2023. Retrieved May 16, 2023.
  17. ^ a b "USL Super League Receives Division One Sanctioning from U.S. Soccer and Confirms Field of Teams for Inaugural Season". USLSuperLeague.com. USL Super League. February 9, 2024. Retrieved February 9, 2024.
  18. ^ "USL Super League Awards Franchise to Brooklyn for 2024/25 Inaugural Season". USLSuperLeague.com. USL Super League. February 9, 2024. Retrieved February 9, 2024.
  19. ^ a b c Kassouf, Jeff (February 15, 2024). "USL Super League: What we know and what we don't ahead of August 2024 launch – Equalizer Soccer". The Equalizer.
  20. ^ Cover, Amanda. "USWNT Assistant Coach, Philip Poole, to Lead Super League Carolina Women's Professional Soccer Team as Inaugural Head Coach". SuperLeagueCarolina.com. Super League Carolina. Retrieved January 2, 2024.
  21. ^ Dallas Trinity FC [@dallastrinityfc] (June 20, 2024). "We're proud to announce our Head Coach, Pauline MacDonald! Welcome to Trinity FC, Coach! #DTFC #NewBoots" (Tweet). Retrieved June 20, 2024 – via Twitter.((cite web)): CS1 maint: url-status (link)
  22. ^ "Washington's new women's soccer team gets a name, logo and coach". Washington Post. Retrieved May 20, 2023.
  23. ^ "USL Super League awards franchise to Fort Lauderdale". www.USLSuperLeague.com. USL Super League. November 21, 2023. Retrieved November 21, 2023.
  24. ^ "USL Fort Lauderdale Appoints Tyrone Mears as Club's First Head Coach". USLSuperLeague.com. USL Super League. Retrieved January 25, 2024.
  25. ^ "2024 USL Super League Season Ticket Membership". Lexington SC. Retrieved February 13, 2024.
  26. ^ Fields, E. "Lexington Sporting Club Announces Michael Dickey as Super League Head Coach Ahead of the Inaugural Season". LexSporting.com. Lexington SC. Retrieved January 9, 2024.
  27. ^ "Jo Johnson Named Zephyr FC Head Coach Ahead of Historic Inaugural Season". SpokaneZephyrFC.com. Spokane Zephyr FC. Retrieved June 25, 2024.
  28. ^ Liebson, Rebecca (October 11, 2023). "Tampa women's pro soccer team will build home stadium at local high school". Tampa Bay Times. Retrieved November 6, 2023.
  29. ^ "Super League Tampa Bay names club president and head coach". www.USLSuperLeague.com. USL Super League. July 15, 2023. Retrieved November 21, 2023.
  30. ^ "International Polo Star Nacho Figueras to Bring Professional Men's and Women's Soccer to the Palm Beaches". www.USLSoccer.com. USL Soccer. December 14, 2023. Retrieved December 14, 2023.
  31. ^ "United Soccer League Names Missy Price Vice President of Women's Soccer". www.USLSuperLeague.com. USL Super League. January 11, 2022. Retrieved November 21, 2023.
  32. ^ "USL Super League Names Carrie Taylor Vice President of Operations". www.USLSuperLeague.com. USL Super League. July 13, 2023. Retrieved November 21, 2023.