American Soccer Pyramid Grows As Our Country’s Passion Deepens
Understanding the American Soccer Pyramid – looking at how the USL fits in.
America is a huge country with a vast population and soccer is exploding in our country but there is a lot of confusion on whether teams are professional soccer clubs or professionally run amateur soccer clubs. Everyone understands that Major League Soccer (MLS) is the top tier of soccer in America but the clubs outside of the MLS often leave the soccer fan confused.
Looking to help clarify the American soccer pyramid, here is a look at the United Soccer League (USL), the largest North America’s professional soccer organization.
How Does USL Fit into the American Soccer Pyramid?
The USL is a highly professional and sophisticated American soccer organization. Kicked off in 1986, the USL has two professional leagues and one pre-professional, amateur soccer tier and combined, their teams compete in 100 markets across the United States and Canada.
The USL Championship is the second tier of American soccer and the franchise expansion fee is now reportedly $7 million.
The USL Championship league is
The USL also has multiple tiers. The USL League One is the USL’s third division of professional soccer and debut in Spring 2019 with 10 teams competing in a 28-game regular season.
The USL has expanded significantly and in 2019, more than 750 regular season contests across the USL Championship and USL League One will air on ESPN platforms.
The USL League One is the USL’s third division of professional soccer and debut in Spring 2019 with 10 teams competing in a 28-game regular season.
With a new, three-year rights agreement with ESPN that features the USL Championship and League One matches through the 2022 season, the USL is keeping good company with MLS games as well as the Lamar Hunt U.S. Open Cup, Italy’s Serie A, the F.A. Cup, the English Football League, and the qualifiers for the UEFA 2020 European Championship.
The USL also has USL Two, its ‘elite pre-professional tier’ formerly called the PDL. USL Two has 60 club franchises in four conferences playing in the U.S. and Canada.
An interesting fact: Over 70 percent of all selections in the MLS SuperDraft since 2010 have PDL experience.