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United States soccer league system
USSF Division I and II soccer clubs of the United States and Canada (2023).
Country United States
Sport Soccer
Promotion and relegationNo
National system
Federation United States Soccer Federation
Confederation CONCACAF
Top division
Second division USL Championship (men)
Cup competition
Soccer in the United States

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 are not linked by the system of promotion and relegation typical in soccer elsewhere. Instead, the United States Soccer Federation (USSF or U.S. Soccer) defines professional leagues in three levels, called divisions, with all other leagues sanctioned by the USSF not having an official designated level or division.

For practical and historical reasons, some teams from Bermuda, Canada, and Puerto Rico (considered a separate country by FIFA) can also compete in these leagues. However, these teams are not eligible for the U.S. Open Cup and cannot represent the United States in the CONCACAF Champions Cup because they are not affiliated with U.S. Soccer.


No professional league in any of the major pro sports leagues in the U.S. or Canada uses a system of promotion and relegation. [1] The country's governing body for the sport, the United States Soccer Federation (also known as the USSF or U.S. 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. Automatic promotion and relegation between its leagues, as exists in many other national league systems, was considered by United Soccer League, but was never implemented; although voluntary promotion and relegation has occurred. [2] 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 League Two.

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.

General professional standards

The standards for Division I, II and III leagues are set by the USSF. [3]

Market requirements

  • At least 75% of a league's teams must be based in the United States
  • At least a certain percentage of a league's teams must be based in markets with a certain population

Field and stadium requirements

  • All stadiums must have controllable ingress/egress
  • All outdoor leagues must be playing on FIFA-approved surfaces at least 70 yards (64 m) by 110 yards (100 m) in dimension
  • Minimum required stadium fan capacity, dependent on league level
  • Each team must have a lease to use its stadium for at least one full season no later than a certain date before each season begins

Financial viability

  • Minimum annual bond each team must pay to the league (or Federation), dependent on league level
  • Each ownership group must display the ability to fund their team for a certain number of years
  • At least a certain net worth for each team's principal owner

Standards summary table

Overview of USSF standards
Division Men Women Indoor
Number of teams 12 8 8 6 6
Year 3: 14 Year 3: 10
Year 6: 12
Year 4: 10 Year 3: 8 Year 3: 8
Req. participation All eligible CONCACAF competitions Open Cup All eligible CONCACAF competitions Open Cup
Geographic coverage Eastern, Central,
and Pacific time zones
Two time zones Two time zones
Year 6: Eastern, Central,
and Pacific time zones
Year 6: Eastern, Central,
and Pacific time zones
Market population >75% with >1mil >75% with >750k >75% with >750k >50% with >500k
Stadium capacity 15,000 5,000 1,000 5,000 2,000 1,000 1,000
Lease lead 180 days 120 days 120 days
Bond $1 mil $750 k $250 k $100 k $50 k $20 k $20 k
Time guarantee 5 years 3 years 3 years 3 years
Primary owner worth $40 mil $20 mil $10 mil $15 mil $7.5 mil $5 mil $3 mil

League specifics

Men's Division I

Ownership requirements

  • League must have a minimum of 12 teams to apply. By year three, the league must have a minimum of 14 teams
  • US-based teams must participate in all representative U.S. Soccer and CONCACAF competitions for which they are eligible (ex. U.S. Open Cup, CONCACAF Champions Cup.)
  • The majority owner must have a net worth of US$40 million, and the total ownership group must have a net worth of US$70 million. Both of these net worth requirements must be independent of both the club and the individuals' primary residence. [4]

Market requirements

  • Teams located in at least the Eastern, Central and Pacific time zones in the continental United States. These three time zones are required because the majority of the large population centers are located in these time zones
  • At least 75% of the league's teams must be based in markets with one million population
  • All stadiums must be enclosed
  • All league stadiums must have a minimum seating capacity of 15,000
  • Not later than 180 days prior to the start of each season, each team shall have a lease for at least one full season with its home stadium

Financial viability

  • The league must demonstrate adequate financial viability to ensure continued operation on a season-by-season basis either in the form of a performance bond or similar instrument for each team in the amount of US$1 million or readily available league funds representing US$1 million
  • The maximum amount of readily available league funds for covering teams operations is US$20 million
  • Any team whose performance bond is used during the season will be required to replenish it at least 120 days prior to the next season
  • Each team ownership group must demonstrate the financial capacity to operate the team for five years. As part of the process of demonstrating financial capacity, each ownership group must provide detailed financial history (if applicable) and projections (including a detailed budget) for the team to the Federation in a form satisfactory to the Federation. In addition, each team must have and its governing legal documents must designate one principal owner with a controlling interest who owns at least 35% of the team and has authority to bind the team. Such principal owner must have an individual net worth of at least forty million US dollars (US$40,000,000) exclusive of the value of his/her ownership in the league or team and his/her primary personal residence. The principal owner, together with all other owners, must have a combined individual net worth of at least seventy million US dollars (US$70,000,000) exclusive of the value of ownership interests in the league or team and primary personal residences. Federation shall have the right to require an independent audit to establish that the team meets these net worth requirements; the cost of such audit shall be the responsibility of the team or league. The Federation will take reasonable steps to protect from disclosure and limit access to financial information provided under this section


  • The league must have broadcast or cable television contracts that provide for the telecasting of all regular season games as well as the championship game/series. High-quality internet streaming of regular season games satisfies this requirement

Team organization

  • All required positions must be filled by full-time staff year-round
  • Each US-based team must demonstrate a commitment to a player development program. This requirement may be satisfied by supporting either an amateur or professional reserve team competing in a USSF-sanctioned league or by the league itself
  • Each US-based team must maintain teams and a program to develop players at the youth level. This requirement may be satisfied by fielding teams in a Federation academy program

League operations

In addition to the required positions filled by full-time staff, the league office must have full-time staff performing the functions of a chief operations officer, a chief financial officer and a director of marketing/public relations on a year-round basis

Men's Division II

Ownership requirements

  • Principal owner with at least US$20,000,000 net worth, 35% ownership stake. [4]

Markets and stadia

  • Year 1: Eight teams in at least 2 time zones [4]
  • Year 3: At least 10 teams
  • Year 6: at least 12 teams in Eastern, Central, and Pacific time zones
  • 75% of teams must be in metro areas of at least 750,000 population
  • Stadiums must have 5,000 capacity
Men's Division III

Ownership requirements

  • Principal owner with at least US$10,000,000 net worth, 35% ownership stake. [4]

Markets and stadia

  • Year 1: Eight teams [4]
  • Stadiums must have 1,000 capacity

Men's leagues

Professional leagues

Professional soccer leagues in the United States
Division League Abbreviation Teams First season
I Major League Soccer MLS 29 1996
II USL Championship USLC 24 2011
III MLS Next Pro MLSNP 29 2022
National Independent Soccer Association NISA 9 2019–20
USL League One USL1 12 2019

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 29 teams as of 2023, with a 30th team set to play in 2025.

The USL Championship (USLC) is the only sanctioned Division II men's outdoor soccer league as of 2021. Formed in 2010 as a result of the merger of the former USL First Division and USL Second Division, the USL Championship was sanctioned as Division III league from 2011 to 2016 before becoming provisionally sanctioned as a Division II league for 2017, [5] and receiving full Division II sanctioning in 2018. [6]

The USL Championship expanded almost three-fold since its first season in 2011 to include 35 teams in the 2020 season, with the league divided into two conferences, Eastern and Western. After that season, held amid the backdrop of the COVID-19 pandemic, five teams left the league.

The previously Division II North American Soccer League (NASL) was formed in 2009, but did not debut until 2011 following the controversial 2010 season that 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. NASL was sanctioned as a Division II league from 2011 to 2016; when it fielded 8 teams for the 2017 season, U.S. Soccer only granted the league provisional sanctioning as it fell under the 12-team requirement. [7] The USSF rejected the NASL's application to maintain provisional Division II status for the 2018 season as the NASL did not present a plan [8] on how it would meet the Division II criteria. [9] In response, the NASL filed "a federal antitrust suit against the U.S. Soccer Federation" [10] in an attempt to force USSF to drop all Division designations. Due to the continuing litigation against U.S. Soccer, the NASL then had to postpone its season to August 2018 and lost four more teams in the process.

In March 2017, United Soccer League announced following the sanctioning of the USL Championship as a Division II league it would start a new tier in its professional structure. [11] [12] USL League One received sanctioning in December 2018 and conducted its first season in 2019 with 10 teams. The league expanded to include 12 teams for its second season in 2020 and further expansion had been planned prior to the 2021 season, but was delayed until 2022 or later by COVID-19.

A second Division III league, National Independent Soccer Association (NISA) debuted in August 2019 with eight teams. The league initially played a fall-to-spring season spanning two calendar years but switched to the standard U.S. schedule in 2022.

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 million. [13]

In 2018, the National Premier Soccer League (NPSL), a nationwide amateur league announced the intention to set up a professional division, NPSL Pro. As part of the announcement, NPSL initiated a single season competition, the NPSL Founders Cup, involving 11 teams that will form the new professional league in 2020. As of 2022 this has not materialized and NPSL remains an amateur league. [14]

Number of teams in each league

Below is a list of the number of teams [15] sanctioned by the USSF in the so-called "modern era" under the division sanctioning scheme described above.

Pro soccer teams (includes teams outside United States)
Year Total pro teams [a] 1 2 3 Non-sanctioned [b]
1994 7 7 [c] - [d]
1995 61 6 55
1996 65 10 28 [e] 27
1997 73 10 24 [f] 39 [g]
1998 79 12 28 39
1999 68 12 30 26 [h]
2000 59 12 25 22
2001 50 12 21 17
2002 46 10 18 18
MLS A-League Pro League
2003 42 10 19 13 [i]
2004 38 10 16 12
MLS USL-1 [j] USL-2 MLS Reserve
2005 33 12 12 9 12 [k]
2006 33 12 12 9 12
2007 35 13 12 10 13
2008 35 14 11 10 14
2009 35 15 11 9
MLS USSF D2 Pro [l] USL-2
2010 34 16 12 6
MLS NASL [m] USL [n] MLS Reserve
2011 38 18 8 12 18
2012 38 19 8 11 19
2013 40 19 8 13 15
2014 43 19 10 14 8 [o]
2015 55 20 11 24
2016 61 20 12 29
2017 60 22 38 [p] none [q]
2018 56 23 33 none [q]
2019 77 24 36 17 [r]
2020 81 26 35 20 [s]
2021 79 27 31 21 [t]
2022 95 28 27 40 [u]
2023 101 29 24 48 [v]
2024 103 29 24 50 [w]
  1. ^ Only includes those sanctioned by USSF as Professional
  2. ^ Teams with players receiving salary (professional teams) that played in leagues not sanctioned as Division I, II, or III by USSF.
  3. ^ American Professional Soccer League changed their name to A-League and gained official Division II sanctioning this year.
  4. ^ The USISL Professional League included 70 teams of which 36 were Amateur teams. Not included as the league did not yet have Division III sanctioning.
  5. ^ USISL divided into 2 Division. USISL Select League had 21 teams and was shared status of Division II sanctioning together the A-League. The USISL Pro League had 27 teams and was status of Division III.
  6. ^ A-League merged with USISL and teams from USISL Select League became part of the A-League. The merger avoided competing Division II leagues.
  7. ^ USISL renamed Division III league to USISL D3 Pro.
  8. ^ USISL D3 Pro was renamed USL D3 Pro as part of the re-branding of USISL to United Soccer Leagues.
  9. ^ Started season called the USL Pro Select League but was changed to Pro Soccer League for legal reasons.
  10. ^ The A-League was renamed USL First Division commonly called USL-1.
  11. ^ MLS sponsored a Reserve League with players from MLS teams that are not on the active roster from 2005–2008 & 2011–2013.
  12. ^ Due to the conflict resulting from the sale of United Soccer Leagues by Nike, USSF organized this league which had teams from the First Division of United Soccer Leagues and the newly formed North American Soccer League.
  13. ^ NASL gained provisional Division II sanctioning this year.
  14. ^ Was branded as USL Pro until 2015.
  15. ^ Last year of MLS Reserve League – teams now expected to have a USL affiliate instead.
  16. ^ USL had 30 teams and gained provisional Division II sanctioning in 2017. NASL and its 8 teams continued their provisional Division II sanctioning in 2017.
  17. ^ a b No league played at the Division III level in 2017 or 2018.
  18. ^ Includes 10 USL1 clubs and 7 NISA clubs.
  19. ^ Includes 12 USL1 clubs and 8 NISA clubs.
  20. ^ Includes 12 USL1 clubs and the 9 clubs participating in the second half of the 2020–21 NISA season.
  21. ^ Includes 11 USL1 clubs, 21 MLSNP clubs and 8 NISA clubs.
  22. ^ Includes 12 USL1 clubs, 27 MLSNP clubs and 9 NISA clubs.
  23. ^ Includes 12 USL1 clubs, 29 MLSNP clubs, and 9 NISA clubs.

Semi-professional and amateur leagues

The USSF does not officially recognize distinctions beyond the three professional divisions above. Currently, three other national leagues are sanctioned by the US Soccer Federation and one of those, the National Premier Soccer League (NPSL), is part of USASA which is a national association member of the USSF and the only [16] member of the Adult Council. USL League Two (USL 2) is a national league run by the USL. Both are recognized in practical terms as playing at a higher level and both since 2020 are considered national leagues earning automatic berths to the US Open Cup first round based on their previous season's league results rather than going through local qualifying. [17] The United Premier Soccer League (UPSL) is also recognized by the USSF as a National Affiliate, but does not gain automatic entry to the Open Cup through the National League track, instead going through local qualifiers. Additionally, clubs in USL2, UPSL and NPSL pay some of their players and are more accurately described as semi-professional leagues.[ citation needed]

USL League Two takes place during the summer months, and has age restrictions. [18] Thus, 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 eligibility. [19] The National Premier Soccer League is similar to USL2 and also attracts top amateur talent from around the United States. However, unlike USL2, the NPSL does not have any age limits or restrictions, thus incorporating both college players and former professional players.[ citation needed]. The United Premier Soccer League takes place year round with two seasons, one in spring and one in fall. Unlike USL2 and NPSL, the UPSL does not rely on college players and is the national league with the most diverse participation.

Men's league structure

The table below shows the current structure of the system. For each division, its official name, sponsorship name, number of clubs and conferences/divisions are given. The United States Soccer Federation regulates the standards for a league or division to be recognized as professional, while also determining the level of division for each league. [20]


Professional leagues sanctioned by the United States Soccer Federation


Major League Soccer
29 clubs – 2 conferences [m 1]


USL Championship
24 clubs – 2 conferences [m 1]


MLS Next Pro
29 clubs – 2 conferences [m 1]

National Independent
Soccer Association

9 clubs

USL League One
12 clubs

The system is only defined as far as Division 3. Some semi-professional leagues refer to themselves as fourth division, however any tier or division numbers are not recognized for these leagues as U.S. Soccer does not designate a division number nor directly sanction anything below Division 3. [21] What follows is a list of additional notable leagues.

Amateur leagues [m 2]

Geographic scope USASA Sanctioned Non-USASA Sanctioned
National Leagues [m 3]

National Premier Soccer League
92 clubs – 4 regions with 14 conferences [m 4]

USL League Two
128 clubs – 4 conferences with 18 divisions [m 4]

NISA Nation
21 clubs – 4 regions [m 4]

United Premier Soccer League
Premier Division (Tier 1) [m 5] – 4 conferences with 25 divisions [m 4]

Regional and Local Leagues [m 6]

USASA Regional Elite Amateur and State Premier Leagues [m 7]
Various Multi-State and State Premier Leagues – 4 regions [m 8]

United Premier Soccer League
Division 1 (Tier 2) [m 5] – 4 conferences with 17 divisions [m 8]

USASA State Leagues
Various, many with multiple tiers
54 state associations

  1. ^ a b c Note: Teams do play cross-conference opponents during the regular season
  2. ^ In the below table the leagues are ordered, from top to bottom, in a general sense based on quality of play -recognized through USSF National Open Cup qualification route and on relationships between some leagues, as well as on national footprint, however there is no official "rankings" between all these leagues. Currently promotion/relegation is only found internally within the two tiers of the UPSL and between some of the USASA leagues, and not among any others of these leagues, nor with leagues at the professional levels - though teams may rarely voluntarily promote or relegate between the USL1 & USL2 or between NISA & NISA-Nation. NISA (Div 3) has the stated goal of creating a pro/rel system with some of the USASA leagues (as a Div 5 and below) via the NISA Nation as an intermediary Div 4 level.
  3. ^ The tiers or levels here are approximate and not specifically so designated by the USSF.
  4. ^ a b c d Official cross region/conference/division play only occurs in the playoff stage
  5. ^ a b between the 2 tiers UPSL has 250+ clubs
  6. ^ The tiers or levels here are approximate and not specifically so designated by the USSF.
  7. ^ Some of these leagues are affiliated with NISA Nation. The amount of tiers vary within the individual leagues.
  8. ^ a b no official cross conference/region competition

Men's national soccer cups

  • U.S. Open Cup – open to all US Soccer sanctioned amateur and professional leagues, though professional teams that are owned by, or whose playing staffs are managed by, higher-level outdoor professional teams are barred from entry.
  • USASA National Amateur Cup – USASA cup tournament open to amateur-only teams from USASA sanctioned leagues. Winner gains entry to the U.S. Open Cup.
  • Hank Steinbrecher Cup – contested between the defending champion, the league winners of the NPSL and USL League Two, and the defending champion of the USASA Amateur Cup.

Women's leagues

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 announced. [22] The league started play in April 2013. Mexico withdrew from sponsorship of the NWSL once it established its own women's league in 2017.

For many years, there were two leagues that acted as an unofficial lower division. The United Soccer Leagues ran the W-League from 1995 to 2015. [23] [24] The Women's Premier Soccer League (WPSL) was founded in 1998. [25] Almost immediately following the demise of the W-League, United Women's Soccer was founded with orphan W-League teams and WPSL breakaways. [26] UWS then formed a U23 reserve league, UWS2, in early 2020. [27]

After the 2019 FIFA Women's World Cup, USL began exploring the idea of creating a professional league to directly compete with NWSL. [28] This effort was scaled back to running an amateur revival of the W-League, which would operate beneath the DII Women's Independent Soccer League (WISL) (operated by NISA) and a planned DIII league run by UWS. [29] The amateur USL W League was officially revived in June 2021, called by USL as "pre-professional", [30] and three months later, plans for a new USL Super League were announced, initially at Division II status in direct competition to WISL, both of which aimed to launch in 2023. [31] [32] USL later announced it would instead pursue Division I sanctioning for the USL Super League, launching with eight teams in 2024 and an additional five teams in 2025. [33]

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.[ citation needed] Two W-League teams had effectively promoted into the first division – the Buffalo Flash becoming the Western New York Flash in 2011 and D.C. 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.

Division Professional leagues by the United States Soccer Federation

National Women's Soccer League
14 clubs

USL Super League
8 clubs

WPSL Pro (sanctioning pending)
10 clubs (planned, 2025) [34]

Amateur leagues not directly sanctioned by USSF
[w 1] Affiliated through United States Adult Soccer Association (USASA) [35] [36] Affiliation TBA

United Women's Soccer
40 clubs – 3 conferences

Women's Premier Soccer League
142 clubs – 4 regions with 16 conferences

USL W League
81 clubs – 4 conferences with 12 divisions

United Women's Soccer 2
19 clubs – 2 conferences

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. ^ The tiers or levels here are approximate and not specifically so designated by the USSF.

Women's national soccer cups

Indoor soccer

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
13 clubs

Major Arena Soccer League 2
13 clubs

Premier Arena Soccer League
17 men's clubs
15 women's clubs

Major Arena Soccer League 3
7 men's clubs

See also


  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. Archived from the original on April 23, 2006. Retrieved July 15, 2007.
  3. ^ "Pro League Standards". Retrieved December 15, 2023.
  4. ^ a b c d e "Archived copy" (PDF). Archived from the original (PDF) on November 11, 2020. Retrieved September 23, 2019.{{ cite web}}: CS1 maint: archived copy as title ( link)
  5. ^ Straus, Brian (January 6, 2017). "U.S. Soccer grants provisional division two sanctioning to both NASL, USL". Sports Illustrated.
  6. ^ "US Soccer grants USL 2nd-division status". Chicago Tribune. January 17, 2018.
  7. ^ "Eight clubs will take the field in April". NASL. January 6, 2017.
  8. ^ Kennedy, Paul (October 17, 2017). "NASL vs. USSF: Court filings show settlement discussions were ongoing". SoccerAmericaDaily.
  9. ^ "US Soccer Federation Rejects NASL's Division II application". September 5, 2017.
  10. ^ Straus, Brian. "NASL files lawsuit vs. USSF over division sanction". Retrieved October 3, 2017.
  11. ^ Straus, Brian (March 30, 2017). "USL to launch new Division 3 competition in 2019". Sports Illustrated. Retrieved May 3, 2021.
  12. ^ "USL to Launch Third-Division League in 2019". United Soccer Leagues. April 2, 2013.
  13. ^ "NASL accuses U.S. Soccer and MLS of violating antitrust laws". ESPN FC. September 2015. Retrieved September 3, 2015.
  14. ^ "NPSL Announces Pro League and Founders Cup". E Pluribus Loonum. November 15, 2018.
  15. ^ See All-Time Division II Standings for Division II list of teams and records. and All-Time Division III Standings for Division III teams
  16. ^ Soccer Organizations: Adult Council, archived from the original on October 24, 2018, retrieved October 24, 2018
  17. ^ "Lamar Hunt U.S. Open Cup 2022 Open Division Handbook" (PDF). Retrieved April 11, 2023.
  18. ^ PDL rules dictate that a maximum of eight players on each team's 26-man roster can be over 23 years old, while at least three players on each team's roster must be 18 or younger.
  19. ^ "United Soccer Leagues". Archived from the original on September 15, 2015. Retrieved September 22, 2015.
  20. ^ Russo, Kenneth. "USSF Professional Standards". Retrieved July 2, 2021.
  21. ^ USASA Leagues & Affiliates
  22. ^ Lauletta, Dan (November 21, 2012). "Equalizer Soccer – Eight teams to start new women's pro soccer league in 2013". Retrieved October 1, 2013.
  23. ^ "W-League Statement". United Soccer Leagues (USL). November 6, 2015. Archived from the original on November 19, 2015. Retrieved November 6, 2015.
  24. ^ Kassouf, Jeff (November 6, 2015). "USL W-League, once top flight, folds after 21 seasons". Retrieved November 18, 2015.
  25. ^ "WPSL Website". Archived from the original on November 5, 2017.
  26. ^ Conor, Ryan (December 15, 2015). "After struggles with former league, New England Mutiny helping form new United Women's Soccer league". MassLive. Retrieved December 15, 2015.
  27. ^ "United Women's Soccer Launches League Two – United Women's Soccer". February 7, 2020. Archived from the original on September 22, 2023.
  28. ^ "USL Serious in Launching Women's Professional League to Rival NWSL (Sources)". November 15, 2019.
  29. ^ Kassouf, Jeff (April 14, 2021). "WISL aims to fill the Division 2 women's pro league void in the US". Equalizer Soccer.
  30. ^ "United Soccer League To Launch W League in 2022". USL W League. United Soccer League. June 8, 2021.
  31. ^ Yang, Steph (September 21, 2021). "USL launching women's Division II league with 'commitment to gender equity'". The Athletic.
  32. ^ Kassouf, Jeff (September 23, 2021). "Lower-division development is the next frontier in U.S. women's pro soccer – Equalizer Soccer".
  33. ^ USL Staff (May 16, 2023). "USL Super League Announces Initial Markets". USL Soccer. Retrieved July 22, 2023.
  34. ^ "The WPSL Announces New Professional Division III Women's Soccer League". WPSL. February 8, 2023. Retrieved March 2, 2023.
  35. ^ "Premier Leagues". Retrieved May 17, 2014.
  36. ^ "UWS To Form National Pro-Am Women's Soccer League In 2016". United Women's Soccer. June 16, 2015.