United Soccer League

Last updated

United Soccer League
Industry Soccer
Founded1986;33 years ago (1986)
FounderFrancisco Marcos [1]
Headquarters,
U.S.
Area served
  • United States
  • Canada
Key people
  • Jake Edwards (president)
  • Alec Papadakis (CEO)
  • Rob Hoskins (chairman)
Website uslsoccer.com
United Soccer League divisions
USL Championship icon logo.svg USL League One icon logo.svg USL League Two icon logo.svg
Championship League One League Two

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, the United States Adult Soccer Association and the Canadian Soccer Association. The USL is headquartered in Tampa. [2]

USL Championship professional soccer league in the USA and Canada

The USL Championship (USLC), formerly known as United Soccer League (USL) and USL Pro, is a professional men's soccer league in the United States and Canada that began its inaugural season in 2011. The USL is sanctioned by the United States Soccer Federation as a Division II Professional League since 2017, placing it under Major League Soccer in the hierarchy. The USL is headquartered in Tampa. Until 2016 it had Division III status.

USL League One proposed American professional soccer league

USL League One (USL1) is a professional men's soccer league in the United States and Canada that will begin 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. The league is targeting cities with a population of 150,000 to one million, mostly in cities currently without a professional team.

USL League Two American development soccer league

USL League Two (USL2), formerly the Premier Development League (PDL), is a development soccer league sponsored by United Soccer Leagues in the United States and Canada, forming part of the United States soccer league system. The league has 72 teams competing in four conferences, split into eleven regional divisions. Unofficially, it is considered to be the fourth tier of competition, behind Major League Soccer, USL Championship, and USL League One. USL League Two is headquartered in Tampa, Florida.

Contents

History

Year by year

USL Second Division defunct American soccer league

The United Soccer Leagues Second Division was a professional men's soccer league in the United States, part of the United Soccer Leagues (USL) league pyramid. It was at the third tier of soccer in the United States, behind Major League Soccer and the USL First Division, and one step up from the USL Premier Development League and the other leagues at Level 4.

The USL W-League was a North American women's soccer developmental organization. The W-League was also an open league, giving college players the opportunity to play alongside established international players while maintaining their collegiate eligibility. The league was administered by the United Soccer Leagues system, which also oversees the men's United Soccer League and Premier Development League. The W-League announced on November 6, 2015 that the league will cease operation ahead of 2016 season.

The American Professional Soccer League (APSL) was a professional men's soccer league with teams from the United States and later Canada. It was formed in 1990 by the merger of the third American Soccer League with the Western Soccer League.

Narrative

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

SISL

The Amarillo Challengers were a soccer club based in Amarillo, Texas that competed in the SISL and USISL.

The Atlanta Express was a soccer club based in Atlanta, Georgia that competed in the SISL.

The Austin Lone Stars were a soccer club that competed in the SISL, USISL and United Soccer Leagues from 1987 to 2000. The club originally started in 1987/88 as the Austin Sockadillos in the original indoor SISL league. They became the Austin Lone Stars in 1994.

The New Mexico Chiles were an American soccer club established in 1990 which competed in the American Professional Soccer League. In 1991, the team merged with the New Mexico Roadrunners and moved to the USISL until its disestablishment in 1996.

The Oklahoma Warriors were a soccer club based in Oklahoma City, Oklahoma that competed in the SISL and USISL.

The Permian Basin Shooting Stars were a soccer club based in Odessa, Texas that competed in the SISL and USISL. For the 1991/92 indoor season, the team was renamed the Permian Basin Mirage.

USISL

The Arkansas Diamonds were a soccer club based in Little Rock, Arkansas that competed in the SISL and USISL. The team was first owned by Samir Haj, a youth club coach based in Fayetteville, Arkansas. The franchise struggled for funding as it first played outdoor at Scott Field in Little Rock and its indoor games on the road. The team also played ambassador for Arkansas by hosting Russian professional soccer team Nitsru Kishnev in 1989 and 1990 in a combination of indoor and outdoor international "friendlies". Several local players that grew up in the Arkansas soccer leagues played in the earlier years including David T. Jones ,Brad Shock and Robb Fischer from the Westside Futbol Club. In 1992 the team took a hiatus as it looked for new ownership. Rusellville, Arkansas businessman John Sandford came to the rescue in 1992/93 partnering with Soccer USA an indoor soccer center that was based in North Little Rock, Arkansas. The franchise reverted to the USISL and in 1994 competed as the Arkansas A's playing its games in Sherwood, Arkansas. The team was owned by the former Arkansas State Soccer Association's DOC Nigel Boulton and a small group of dedicated parents whose children played for the A's youth teams run by Boulton. Funding remained a serious problem and in 1995 the group sold the franchise rights to a Tennessee businessman but the team was never reborn in Arkansas or relocated elsewhere.

The Georgia Steamers was a soccer club based in Atlanta, Georgia that competed in the SISL and USISL.

The Atlanta Magic were a soccer club that competed in the USISL from 1991 to 1996. The club originally started in 1991/92 in the indoor USISL league. They played in the 1992 USISL outdoor season as the Atlanta Datagraphic Magic, and the 1993 USISL outdoor season as the Atlanta Lasers. In 1995, they only played 2 games in the USISL Pro League, and they folded after the 1995/96 indoor season.

Champions

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.

SeasonWinnerFinal scoreRunner-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.

SeasonWinnerFinal scoreRunner-upSeasonWinnerFinal scoreRunner-upSeasonWinnerFinal scoreRunner-up
 
Semi-professional
1989 Colorado Comets 3–1 Addison Arrows
1990 Colorado Comets
1991 Richardson Rockets 3–0 New Mexico Chiles
1992 Palo Alto Firebirds 1–0 Tucson Amigos
1993 Greensboro Dynamo 2–1 Orlando Lions
1994 Greensboro Dynamo 2–1 (SO) Minnesota Thunder
 Pro League (Division III)Premier League (semi-pro)
Division II 1995 Professional Long Island Rough Riders 2–1 Minnesota Thunder 1995 Premier Richmond Kickers 3–1 Cocoa Expos
1996 Select California Jaguars 2–1 (SO) Richmond Kickers 1996 Professional Charleston Battery 3–2 (SO) Charlotte Eagles 1996 Premier Central Coast Roadrunners 2–1 San Francisco Bay Seals
1997 A-League Milwaukee Rampage 1–1 (3–0) Carolina Dynamo 1997 D-3 Pro Albuquerque Geckos 4–1 Charlotte Eagles 1997 PDSL Central Coast Roadrunners 2–1 Cocoa Expos
1998 A-League Rochester Raging Rhinos 3–1 Minnesota Thunder 1998 D-3 Pro Chicago Stingers 3–2 (OT) New Hampshire Phantoms 1998 PDSL San Gabriel Valley Highlanders 3–2 Jackson Chargers
1999 A-League Minnesota Thunder 2–1 Rochester Raging Rhinos 1999 D-3 Pro Western Mass Pioneers 2–1 South Jersey Barons 1999 PDL Chicago Sockers 3–1 Spokane Shadow
2000 A-League Rochester Raging Rhinos 3–1 Minnesota Thunder 2000 D-3 Pro Charlotte Eagles 5–0 New Jersey Stallions 2000 PDL Chicago Sockers 1–0 Mid-Michigan Bucks
2001 A-League Rochester Raging Rhinos 2–0 Hershey Wildcats 2001 D-3 Pro Utah Blitzz 1–0 Greenville Lions 2001 PDL Westchester Flames 3–1 Calgary Storm
2002 A-League Milwaukee Rampage 2–1 (OT) Richmond Kickers 2002 D-3 Pro Long Island Rough Riders 2–1 Wilmington Hammerheads 2002 PDL Cape Cod Crusaders 2–1 Boulder Rapids Reserves
2003 A-League Charleston Battery 3–0 Minnesota Thunder 2003 Pro Soccer Wilmington Hammerheads 2–1 (OT) Westchester Flames 2003 PDL Cape Cod Crusaders 2–0 Chicago Fire Reserves
2004 A-League Montreal Impact 2–0 Seattle Sounders 2004 Pro Soccer Utah Blitzz 2–2 (5–4 PK) Charlotte Eagles 2004 PDL Central Florida Kraze 1–0 Boulder Rapids Reserves
2005 First Division Seattle Sounders 1–1 (4–3 PK) Richmond Kickers 2005 Second Division Charlotte Eagles 2–2 (5–4 PK) Western Mass Pioneers 2005 PDL Des Moines Menace 0–0 (6–5 PK) El Paso Patriots
2006 First Division Vancouver Whitecaps 3–0 Rochester Raging Rhinos 2006 Second Division Richmond Kickers 2–1 Charlotte Eagles 2006 PDL Michigan Bucks 2–1 Laredo Heat
2007 First Division Seattle Sounders 4–0 Atlanta Silverbacks 2007 Second Division Harrisburg City Islanders 1–1 (8–7 PK) Richmond Kickers 2007 PDL Laredo Heat 0–0 (4–3 PK) Michigan Bucks
2008 First Division Vancouver Whitecaps 2–1 Puerto Rico Islanders 2008 Second Division Cleveland City Stars 2–1 Charlotte Eagles 2008 PDL Thunder Bay Chill 1–1 (4–1 PK) Laredo Heat
2009 First Division Montreal Impact 3–2; 3–1 Vancouver Whitecaps 2009 Second Division Richmond Kickers 3–1 Charlotte Eagles 2009 PDL Ventura County Fusion 2–1 Chicago Fire Premier
2010 D2 Pro League Puerto Rico Islanders 2–0; 1–1 Carolina RailHawks 2010 Second Division Charleston Battery 2–1 Richmond Kickers 2010 PDL Portland Timbers U23s 4–1 Thunder Bay Chill

Outdoor seasons 2011–2018

United Soccer League (Division II)
(USL Pro 2011–14) (Division III 2011–2016)
Premier Development League (PDL)(Semi-Pro)
SeasonWinnerFinal scoreRunner-upSeasonWinnerFinal scoreRunner-up
2011 USL Pro Orlando City 2–2 (3–2 PK) Harrisburg City Islanders 2011 PDL Kitsap Pumas 1–0 Laredo Heat
2012 USL Pro Charleston Battery 1–0 Wilmington Hammerheads 2012 PDL Forest City London 2–1 Carolina Dynamo
2013 USL Pro Orlando City 7–4 Charlotte Eagles 2013 PDL Austin Aztex 3–1 Thunder Bay Chill
2014 USL Pro Sacramento Republic 2–0 Harrisburg City Islanders 2014 PDL Michigan Bucks 1–0 Kitsap Pumas
2015 USL Rochester Rhinos 2–1 (AET) LA Galaxy II 2015 PDL K-W United FC 4–3 New York Red Bulls U-23
2016 USL New York Red Bulls II 5–1 Swope Park Rangers 2016 PDL Michigan Bucks 3–2 Calgary Foothills FC
2017 USL Louisville City FC 1–0 Swope Park Rangers 2017 PDL Charlotte Eagles 2–1 Thunder Bay Chill
2018 USL Louisville City FC 1–0 Phoenix Rising FC 2018 PDL Calgary Foothills FC 4–2 (AET) Reading United AC

United Soccer League 2019–present

USL Championship (Division II) USL League One (Division III) USL League Two (Semi-Pro)
SeasonWinnerFinal scoreRunner-upSeasonWinnerFinal scoreRunner-upSeasonWinnerFinal scoreRunner-up
2019 TBD0–0TBD 2019 TBD0–0TBD 2019 TBD0–0TBD

W-League seasons 1995–2015

SeasonWinnerFinal scoreRunner-up
1995 W-League Long Island Lady Riders 3–0Southern California Nitemares
1996 W-League Maryland Pride 3–0 Dallas Lightning
1997 W-League Long Island Lady Riders 2–1 (OT) Chicago Cobras
1998 W-League W-1 Raleigh Wings 4–3 Boston Renegades
1998 W-League W-2 Fort Collins Force 3–1 Hampton Roads Piranhas
1999 W-League W-1 Raleigh Wings 3–2 (OT) Chicago Cobras
1999 W-League W-2North Texas FC5–1 Springfield Sirens
2000 W-League W-1 Chicago Cobras 1–1 (4–2 PSO) Raleigh Wings
2000 W-League W-2 Springfield Sirens 2–1 Charlotte Lady Eagles
2001 W-League W-1 Boston Renegades 5–1 Vancouver Whitecaps Women
2001 W-League W-2 Charlotte Lady Eagles 3–1Memphis Mercury
2002 W-League Boston Renegades 3–0 Charlotte Lady Eagles
2003 W-League Hampton Roads Piranhas 1–0 Chicago Cobras
2004 W-League Vancouver Whitecaps Women 0–0 (4–2 PSO) New Jersey Wildcats
2005 W-League New Jersey Wildcats 3–0 Ottawa Fury Women
2006 W-League Vancouver Whitecaps Women 3–0 Ottawa Fury Women
2007 W-League Washington Freedom 3–1 Atlanta Silverbacks Women
2008 W-League Pali Blues 2–1 F.C. Indiana
2009 W-League Pali Blues 2–1 Washington Freedom Reserves
2010 W-League Buffalo Flash 3–1 Vancouver Whitecaps Women
2011 W-League Atlanta Silverbacks Women 6–1 Ottawa Fury Women
2012 W-League Ottawa Fury Women 1–1 (4–3 PSO) Pali Blues
2013 W-League Pali Blues 1–0 Laval Comets
2014 W-League Los Angeles Blues 6–1 Washington Spirit Reserves
2015 W-League Washington Spirit Reserves 2–1 Colorado Pride
The W-League ceased operations after the 2015 season.

Staff

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