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The United Soccer Leagues (USL) is the parent organization for the men's lower division leagues of U.S.marker and Canadianmarker soccer: USL First Division (second tier), USL Second Division (third tier), and Premier Development League (fourth tier). The top tier for U.S. and Canadian men's soccer is Major League Soccer , with Women's Professional Soccer being the top tier U.S. women's league. The USL also includes the second-highest women's league, the W-League, and youth league the Super Y-League. It is directly affiliated with U.S. Soccer, the United States Adult Soccer Association and the Canadian Soccer Association.

The USL structure allows for the Second Division champion to be promoted to the First Division, provided that the team to be promoted meets criteria set by USL and U.S. Soccer, and space exists. A formal relegation process may also be added at a future date. There is no promotion or relegation between MLS and USL.

USL rosters may consist of a maximum of 26 players, with 18 designated for each game. Each team is permitted a maximum of five foreign players on its active game-day roster and a maximum of seven foreign players on its master roster. In the PDL and W-League, at least three players in a full 26-player roster must be under 19, in accordance with guidelines set by the USASA and U.S. Soccer. In the PDL, a maximum of eight players may be over the age of 23, and can retain their NCAA eligibility.

The organization was sold by Nike on August 27, 2009 to NuRock Soccer Holdings of Atlanta, Georgia. As a result, several teams in the professional First Division have explored creating a new league and at least some have chosen not to compete in the USL in 2010, including the current champions, Montreal.

USL First Division

A premier soccer league for men over eighteen years old, the USL First Division stretches from the U.S. to Canada to the Caribbean. In 2008, each team had a schedule of thirty regular season games: fifteen home and fifteen away. Players have come from more than thirty-five countries, including England, Scotland, Ireland, Germany, Panama and New Zealand. The league has around one million fans viewing matches each season.

First Division Teams:

Club Founded Colors Stadium Territory
Austin Aztex FC 2008 Red, White, Blue Nelson Fieldmarker Austin, Texasmarker
Cleveland City Stars 2007 Green, White, Black Middlefield Cheese Stadiummarker Cleveland, Ohiomarker
F.C. New York 2010 black, blue, yellow Hofstra Universitymarker, Columbia University New York Metropolitan Areamarker
Portland Timbers 2001 Green, White, Yellow PGE Parkmarker Oregonmarker (whole)
Puerto Rico Islanders 2003 Orange, White, Green Estadio Juan Ramón Loubrielmarker Puerto Rico (whole)

Note: The Portland Timbers will leave USL in 2011 due to replacement by the MLS expansion franchise.

USL Second Division

Club Founded Colors Stadium Territory
Bermuda Hogges 2007 Green, Red Bermuda National Stadiummarker Bermudamarker (whole)
Charleston Battery 1993 Yellow, Black Blackbaud Stadiummarker Charleston, South Carolinamarker
Charlotte Eagles 1993 Orange, Blue, White Restart Fieldmarker Charlottemarker, North Carolinamarker
Harrisburg City Islanders 2004 Navy, Sky Skyline Sports Complexmarker Harrisburgmarker, Pennsylvaniamarker
Pittsburgh Riverhounds 1999 Black, Blue, White Chartiers Valley High School Stadiummarker Pittsburghmarker, Pennsylvaniamarker
Real Maryland Monarchs 2008 White, Gold Maryland SoccerPlexmarker Rockvillemarker, Marylandmarker
Richmond Kickers 1993 Red, White University of Richmond Stadiummarker Richmondmarker, Virginiamarker
Western Mass Pioneers 1998 Red, Black, White Lusitano Stadiummarker Ludlowmarker, Massachusettsmarker


  • 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
  • 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. As a result, 6 clubs left the First Division to form the North American Soccer League: Atlanta Silverbacks, Carolina RailHawks FC, Miami FC, Minnesota Thunder, Montreal Impact, Vancouver Whitecaps, and the St. Louismarker expansion group.

Complete historical team list





- Champions determined by best-of-five-game series, except for 1986/87, 1989 & 1991 seasons which were determined by one-game final.


- Champions determined by one-game final, except for 1996/97 which was determined by best-of-three game series.


External links

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