Thu . 20 Apr 2020
TR | RU | UK | KK | BE |

United States soccer league system

united states soccer league system, united states soccer league system 3-4-3
The United States soccer league system is a series of professional and amateur soccer leagues based, in whole or in part, in the United States Sometimes called the American soccer pyramid, teams and leagues in the United States are not linked by the system of promotion and relegation typical in soccer elsewhere Instead, US Soccer USSF officially defines leagues in levels, called divisions, with the top three sanctioned directly by the USSF

For practical and historical reasons, some teams from Antigua and Barbuda, Bermuda, Canada, and Puerto Rico considered a separate country by FIFA also compete in these leagues, although they are not eligible for the Lamar Hunt US Open Cup, which is open only to teams affiliated with US Soccer, and cannot represent the United States in the CONCACAF Champions League; only USSF-affiliated teams can represent the US in the continental tournament


  • 1 Structure
  • 2 Men
    • 21 Professional
    • 22 Amateur
    • 23 Men's national soccer cups
  • 3 Women
    • 31 Women's national soccer cups
  • 4 Indoor soccer
  • 5 See also
  • 6 References
  • 7 External links


In the United States, no professional league in any of the major pro sports leagues in the US or Canada, including the professional soccer leagues, currently uses a system of promotion and relegation1 The country's governing body for the sport, the United States Soccer Federation also known as the USSF or US Soccer, oversees the league system and is responsible for sanctioning professional leagues The leagues themselves are responsible for admitting and administering individual teams Amateur soccer in the United States is regulated by the United States Adult Soccer Association USASA, the only amateur soccer organization sanctioned by the USSF

Limited forms of promotion and relegation have existed in the past; for example, the United Soccer Leagues previously ran multiple sanctioned leagues, between which teams could voluntarily move, although this was largely unused Several franchises had been voluntarily relegated from the First Division to the Second, and occasionally from the professional ranks to the PDL, usually to reduce operating costs or to re-structure the organization of the franchise in question Similarly, some franchises have been given the opportunity to move up to a higher level having found success in the lower divisions—most recently USL2 champions Cleveland City Stars moving to USL1 in 2009—but this was not a regular occurrence Automatic relegation between the two leagues, as exists in many other national league systems, was considered by the USL, but was never implemented2

Some amateur leagues sanctioned by the USASA also use promotion and relegation systems within multiple levels of their leagues However, there has never been a merit-based promotion system offered to the USASA's "national" leagues, the NPSL and the PDL

College soccer in the United States is sanctioned by bodies outside the direct control of the USSF, the most important of which is the National Collegiate Athletic Association NCAA See NCAA Division I women's soccer programs, NCAA Division I men's soccer programs, and NCAA Division II men's soccer programs for a list of college soccer programs in the United States


Pro Soccer Teams includes teams outside US
Year Teams MLS D1 USL-1 D2 USL-2 D3
2005 33 12 12 9
2006 33 12 12 9
2007 35 13 12 10
2008 35 14 11 10
2009 35 15 11 9
MLS D1 D2 Pro D2 USL-2 D3
2010 34 16 12 6
2011 38 18 8 12
2012 38 19 8 11
2013 40 19 8 13
2014 43 19 10 14
2015 55 20 11 24
2016 61 20 12 29
2017 60 22 8

In the United States, professional men's outdoor soccer leagues are ranked by the United States Soccer Federation into one of three divisions: Division I, Division II, and Division III3 Amateur soccer organizations are also recognized by the USSF, but individual amateur leagues are not4 The only adult amateur soccer organization currently recognized by US Soccer is the USASA, although several other leagues operate independently under the USASA umbrella


League Division Teams Attendance Founded
Major League Soccer Division I 22 21,692 1994
North American Soccer League Division II 85 4,684 2009
United Soccer League 30 3,439 2010

The standards for division I, II and III leagues are set by the USSF 6

Since 1996, Major League Soccer MLS has been the only sanctioned USSF Division I men's outdoor soccer league in the United States MLS has grown from 10 teams in 1996 to 22 teams as of the 2017 season

The two sanctioned Division II men's outdoor soccer leagues are the North American Soccer League NASL and the United Soccer League USL NASL was formed in 2009, but did not debut until 2011 following the controversial 2010 season which saw neither the USL First Division nor the NASL receive Division II sanctioning from the USSF, resulting in the temporary USSF Division 2 Pro League The USL, formed as a result of the merger of the former USL First Division and USL Second Division, was sanctioned as Division III prior to 2017

There are currently no sanctioned Division III leagues

In September 2015, it was reported that the USSF was proposing the addition of eligibility requirements for sanctioned Division I soccer leagues, including that they must have at least 16 teams, stadiums with a capacity of at least 15,000, and at least 75% of the teams must be in cities that have a population of at least 2 million7



Sanctioned by USSF as professional leagues

USSF Division I

Major League Soccer MLS
19 US clubs and 3 Canadian clubs


Western Conference
10 US clubs and 1 Canadian club


Eastern Conference
9 US clubs and 2 Canadian clubs


USSF Division II

North American Soccer League NASL

United Soccer Leaguem 1 USL
27 US clubs and 3 Canadian clubs

    6 US clubs, 1 Canadian club and 1 Puerto Rican club        

Western Conference USL
14 US clubs and 1 Canadian club


Eastern Conference USL
13 US clubs and 2 Canadian clubs


USSF Division III

National Independent Soccer Association NISA
starts in 2018

USL Division III USL D3
tentative name - starts in 2019


The USSF does not officially recognize distinctions between amateur soccer leagues in the United States However, the USASA sanctions affiliated, but separately run, national leagues that are recognized in practical terms as playing at a higher level than the USASA state association leagues; for example, as of 2014 they receive automatic berths to the US Open Cupcitation needed

The Premier Development League takes place during the summer months, and the player pool is drawn mainly from NCAA college soccer players seeking to continue playing high level soccer during their summer break, while still maintaining their college eligibility8 The National Premier Soccer League is similar to the Premier Development League and also attracts top amateur talent from around the United States NPSL does not have any age limits or restrictions, thus incorporating both college players and former professional playerscitation needed

Leaguesm 2 sanctioned through United States Adult Soccer Association USASA9
an Organization Member of USSF and only member of the Adult Council10

United Soccer Leagues
Premier Development League
72 clubs in 4 conferences and 10 divisions
plus 6 Canadian clubs
Central Conference
Eastern Conference
Southern Conference
Western Conference

National Premier Soccer League NPSL
96 clubs in 4 regions and 14 conferences
Northeast Region
South Region
Midwest Region
West Region

USASA Elite Amateur Leagues
13 State & Regional Leagues11

Other Regional Leagues
American Soccer League
Premier League of America

United States Adult Soccer Association state leagues
55 state associations in 4 regions
See List of USASA affiliated leagues for complete list
Region I
Region II
Region III
Region IV

US Club Soccer USCS
39 leagues in 4 regions
East Region
Midwest Region
South Region
West Region

  1. ^ USL is now divided into 2 conferences with minimal inter-conference league games, separate tables, and league champion determined between the two conference champions
  2. ^ Tier/Division numbers are omitted for these leagues as US Soccer does not designate a Division number or directly sanction them The leagues are generally ordered by quality of play from top to bottomcitation needed Currently there is no relegation/promotion among any of these leagues

Men's national soccer cupsedit

  • Lamar Hunt US Open Cup — open to all USSF-sanctioned amateur and professional leagues
  • USASA National Amateur Cup — amateur-only cup tournament
  • Hank Steinbrecher Cup — contested between the league winners of NPSL, PDL, USASA Open Cup and USASA Amateur Cup


The Women's United Soccer Association started playing in 2001, but suspended operations in 2003 It was replaced in 2009 with Women's Professional Soccer WPS closed after the 2011 season due to a dispute with owners, and the WPSL Elite League was the de facto top tier of women's soccer in 2012 In November 2012 the National Women's Soccer League, sponsored by the United States Soccer Federation, the Canadian Soccer Association and the Mexican Football Federation was announced12 The league started play in April 2013

There were two leagues that acted as an unofficial lower division The United Soccer Leagues ran the W-League from 1995 to 20151314 The Women's Premier Soccer League WPSL was founded in 199815 Almost immediately following the demise of the W-League, United Women's Soccer was founded with orphan W-League teams and WPSL breakaways16

While there was never official distinction between the national amateur leagues, it was commonly assumed that the W-League was a higher quality than WPSL Two W-League teams had effectively promoted into the first division - the Buffalo Flash becoming the Western New York Flash in 2011 and DC United Women becoming the Washington Spirit in 2013 - while no WPSL teams have ever done so UWS, as W-League's spiritual successor, has strengthened this image of being the higher-quality amateur league by attracting four teams that had been associated with WPSL Elite



USSF Division 1w 1

National Women's Soccer League
10 clubs

w 2 Affiliated through United States Adult Soccer Association USASA919

United Women's Soccer
20 clubs in 3 conferences
plus 1 Canadian club

Women's Premier Soccer League
112 clubs in 16 divisions
plus 2 Canadian clubs

w 2

United States Adult Soccer Association USASA
55 state associations in 4 regions
See List of USASA affiliated leagues for complete list
Region I
Region II
Region III
Region IV

  1. ^ US Soccer has been heavily involved in the creation and operation of the NWSL; however, it did not initially refer to the new league as a sanctioned Division 1 league17 US Soccer has now officially labeled NWSL as a Division 1 Professional league, and has added the league to its Professional Council18
  2. ^ a b The tiers or levels here are approximate and not specifically so designated by USSF

Women's national soccer cupsedit

  • USASA National Women's Open — open to WPSL and UWS teams
  • USASA National Women's Amateur — open to all USASA-affiliated women's teams

Indoor socceredit

Indoor soccer in North America is governed by the Confederación Panamericana de Minifutbol CPM, a member of the World Minifootball Federation WMF


Major Arena Soccer League
15 US clubs and 2 Mexican clubs

Premier Arena Soccer League
30 US clubs

See alsoedit

  • Soccer in the United States portal
  • Soccer in the United States
  • Record attendances in United States club soccer
  • Canadian soccer league system


  1. ^ Galarcep, Ives October 9, 2014 "Jurgen Klinsmann backs promotion-relegation system for American soccer" Sporting News Retrieved January 27, 2015 
  2. ^ "Q & A with USL Vice President Tim Holt" United Soccer Leagues April 21, 2006 Retrieved July 15, 2007 
  3. ^ USSF Policy 202H1 PDF
  4. ^ USSF Bylaws 10913 to 10917 PDF
  5. ^ "Eight clubs will take the field in April" NASL January 6, 2017 
  6. ^ Kenn, Larry "USSF Professional Standards" Retrieved February 26, 2016 
  7. ^ "NASL accuses US Soccer and MLS of violating antitrust laws" ESPN FC Retrieved September 3, 2015 
  8. ^ "United Soccer Leagues" wwwuslpdlcom Retrieved September 22, 2015 
  9. ^ a b "Premier Leagues" wwwusadultsoccercom Retrieved May 17, 2014 
  10. ^ "Affiliates: Adult Council" United States Soccer Federation 
  11. ^ "USASA Elite Amateur Leagues" wwwusadultsoccercom Retrieved May 17, 2014 
  12. ^ "Equalizer Soccer – Eight teams to start new women’s pro soccer league in 2013" Equalizersoccercom 2012-11-21 Retrieved 2013-10-01 
  13. ^ "W-League Statement" United Soccer Leagues USL November 6, 2015 Retrieved November 6, 2015 
  14. ^ "USL W-League, once top flight, folds after 21 seasons" Equalizersoccercom November 6, 2015 Retrieved November 18, 2015 
  15. ^ WPSL Website
  16. ^ Conor, Ryan 15 December 2015 "After struggles with former league, New England Mutiny helping form new United Women's Soccer league" MassLive Retrieved 15 December 2015 
  17. ^ See NWSL Announces Allocation of 55 National Team Players to Eight Clubs where US Soccer confirms it will subsidize salary for US National Team players
  18. ^ "Professional Council" United States Soccer Federation Retrieved November 7, 2013 
  19. ^ http://uwssoccercom/2015/12/16/uws-to-form-national-pro-am-womens-soccer-league-in-2016/

External linksedit

  • United States Soccer Federation
  • Major League Soccer
  • North American Soccer League
  • United Soccer Leagues
  • National Premier Soccer League
  • National Women's Soccer League
  • Women's Premier Soccer League
  • Major Arena Soccer League
  • Premier Arena Soccer League
  • United States Futsal Federation

united states soccer league system, united states soccer league system 3-4-3

United States soccer league system Information about

United States soccer league system

  • user icon

    United States soccer league system beatiful post thanks!


United States soccer league system
United States soccer league system
United States soccer league system viewing the topic.
United States soccer league system what, United States soccer league system who, United States soccer league system explanation

There are excerpts from wikipedia on this article and video

Random Posts

IP address blocking

IP address blocking

IP address blocking prevents connection between a server or website and certain IP addresses or rang...
Gisele Bündchen

Gisele Bündchen

Gisele Caroline Bündchen1 Portuguese pronunciation: ʒiˈzɛli kaɾoˈlini ˈbĩtʃẽj, German pronuncia...
Sheldon, West Midlands

Sheldon, West Midlands

Sheldon is an area of east Birmingham, England Historically part of Warwickshire, it is close to the...
Beverly, Chicago

Beverly, Chicago

Beverly is one of the 77 community areas of Chicago, Illinois It is located on the South Side on the...