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United Soccer Leagues
Abbreviation USL
Formation 1986
Headquarters Tampa, Florida
Region served USA, Canada, Puerto Rico, Antigua and Barbuda, Bermuda

The United Soccer Leagues (USL) is the organizer of several soccer leagues with teams in the United States, Canada and the Caribbean. It includes men's and women's leagues, both professional and amateur. Leagues currently organized are the USL Pro, Major Indoor Soccer League, the USL Premier Development League, the women's W-League and W-20 League and youth Super Y-League and Super-20 League. It is directly affiliated with the United States Soccer Federation, the United States Adult Soccer Association and the Canadian Soccer Association.


Year by year

  • 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, nine clubs left the First Division to form the North American Soccer League: Atlanta Silverbacks, Carolina RailHawks FC, Miami FC, Minnesota Thunder, Montreal Impact, Rochester Rhinos, Tampa Bay Rowdies, Vancouver Whitecaps, and the AC St. Louis expansion group.[1][2] United Soccer League was a division in the temporary USSF Division 2 league.[3]
  • 2010 USL announced the formation of USL Pro, which merged the USL First Division and USL Second Division.[4]
  • 2011 Inaugural season of USL Pro.
  • 2011 USL takes over operation of the Major Indoor Soccer League.
  • 2013 USL Pro and Major League Soccer announce a multi-year agreement, beginning that season, to integrate MLS Reserve League play with USL Pro teams, first through team affiliations and "interleague" play, eventually fully merging MLS Reserves into the USL Pro structure.
  • 2013 The W-20 League is launched, a youth league that is operationally aligned with the W-League.[5]


Founded in 1985 by Francisco Marcos, the Southwest Indoor Soccer League was first intended as a minor indoor league association with Major Indoor Soccer League.[6] 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."[7]

Complete historical team list




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 in 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.

Season Winner Final score Runner-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 an indoor league in 1998. In 2011, the USL took over the MISL.
2011/12 Milwaukee Wave 14-2; 12-10 Baltimore Blast
2012/13 Baltimore Blast 21-12; 8-6 Missouri Comets


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.

Season Winner Final score Runner-up Season Winner Final score Runner-up Season Winner Final score Runner-up
1989 Colorado Comets 3-1 Addison Arrows
1990 Colorado Comets
1991 New Mexico Chiles 3–0 Richardson Rockets
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 Rhinos 4-1 Charlotte Eagles 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 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 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 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 Select 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 Select Utah Blitzz 2-2 (5-4 PK) Charlotte Eagles 2004 PDL Central Florida Kraze 1-0 Boulder Rapids Reserves
2004 First Division Seattle Sounders 1-1 (4-3 PK) Richmond Kickers 2004 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

Current Champions

League Champions Year
USL Pro Orlando City 2013
USL Premier Development League Austin Aztex 2013
W-League Pali Blues 2013
Major Indoor Soccer League Baltimore Blast 2012-2013


External links


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