USL Championship

professional soccer league in the USA and Canada

The USL Championship (also known as USLC) is a professional soccer league for men in the United States. It started in 2011 and is is the second-best level of professional soccer in the country, just below Major League Soccer.

USL Championship
Founded2011
CountryUnited States
Level on pyramid2
Most championshipsCups: Louisville City (2)
Shields: Orlando City (2)
WebsiteOfficial Site

The league is managed by the United Soccer League, and their main office is in Tampa, Florida. The USL Championship was created by combining two smaller leagues, USL First Division (USL-1) and USL Second Division (USL-2), after the 2010 season.

This combination happened because neither USL-1 nor the North American Soccer League (NASL) were officially recognized as Division II leagues by the United States Soccer Federation (USSF). They had to play in a temporary league called USSF Division 2 Pro League for a while. The goal of putting these leagues together was to make the overall soccer situation better in the United States. They thought it would make soccer more stable and popular.

Teams change

These teams below played in the USL Championships during the 2023 season.[1]

Team Location Stadium Size Created Joined Head coach
Eastern Conference
Birmingham Legion FC Birmingham, Alabama Protective Stadium[lower-roman 1] 47,100 2017 2019   Tom Soehn
Charleston Battery Mount Pleasant, South Carolina Patriots Point Soccer Complex[lower-roman 2] 3,900 1993 2011   Ben Pirmann
Detroit City FC Hamtramck, Michigan Keyworth Stadium[lower-roman 1] 7,933 2012 2022   Trevor James
Hartford Athletic Hartford, Connecticut Trinity Health Stadium[lower-roman 2] 5,500 2018 2019   Omid Namazi
Indy Eleven Indianapolis, Indiana Carroll Stadium[lower-roman 1] 10,524 2013 2018   Mark Lowry
Loudoun United FC Leesburg, Virginia Segra Field[lower-roman 2] 5,000 2018 2019   Ryan Martin
Louisville City FC Louisville, Kentucky Lynn Family Stadium[lower-roman 2] 11,700 2014 2015   Danny Cruz
Memphis 901 FC Memphis, Tennessee AutoZone Park[lower-roman 3] 10,000 2018 2019   Stephen Glass
Miami FC University Park, Florida Riccardo Silva Stadium[lower-roman 1] 20,000 2015 2020   Lewis Neal (interim)
Pittsburgh Riverhounds SC Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania Highmark Stadium[lower-roman 2] 5,000 1998 2011   Bob Lilley
Tampa Bay Rowdies St. Petersburg, Florida Al Lang Stadium[lower-roman 3] 7,227 2008 2017   Robbie Neilson
FC Tulsa Tulsa, Oklahoma Oneok Field[lower-roman 3] 7,833 2013 2015   Blair Gavin
Western Conference
Colorado Springs Switchbacks FC Colorado Springs, Colorado Weidner Field[lower-roman 2] 8,000 2013 2015   Stephen Hogan
El Paso Locomotive FC El Paso, Texas Southwest University Park[lower-roman 3] 9,500 2018 2019   Brian Clarhaut
Las Vegas Lights FC Las Vegas, Nevada Cashman Field[lower-roman 2] 9,334 2017 2018   Isidro Sanchez
Monterey Bay FC Seaside, California Cardinale Stadium[lower-roman 2] 6,000 2021 2022   Frank Yallop
New Mexico United Albuquerque, New Mexico Rio Grande Credit Union Field[lower-roman 3] 13,500 2018 2019   Eric Quill
Oakland Roots SC Oakland, California Pioneer Stadium[lower-roman 1] 5,000 2018 2021   Noah Delgado
Orange County SC Irvine, California Championship Soccer Stadium[lower-roman 2] 5,000 2010 2011   Morten Karlsen (interim)
Phoenix Rising FC Phoenix, Arizona Phoenix Rising Soccer Stadium[lower-roman 2][2] 10,000 2014   Juan Guerra
Rio Grande Valley FC Edinburg, Texas H-E-B Park[lower-roman 2] 9,400 2015 2016   Wilmer Cabrera
Sacramento Republic FC Sacramento, California Heart Health Park[lower-roman 2] 11,569 2012 2014   Mark Briggs
San Antonio FC San Antonio, Texas Toyota Field[lower-roman 2] 8,296 2016   Alen Marcina

Expansion teams change

Team City Stadium Capacity Founded Joining Head coach
North Carolina FC Cary, North Carolina WakeMed Soccer Park 10,000 2006 2024   John Bradford
Rhode Island FC Smithfield, Rhode Island[lower-roman 4] Beirne Stadium[lower-roman 1][3][lower-roman 4] 5,000 2019 2024[4]   Khano Smith
USL Pro Iowa[5][6] Des Moines, Iowa Pro Iowa Stadium[lower-roman 2] 6,300 2022 2025[7]
JAXUSL Jacksonville, Florida TBD 2022 2025[8]
Milwaukee Pro Soccer Milwaukee, Wisconsin Iron District Stadium[lower-roman 2] 8,000 2022 2025[9]
USL Arkansas[10][11] Rogers, Arkansas TBD 5,000 2023 2026[11]

Notes

  1. 1.0 1.1 1.2 1.3 1.4 1.5 A stadium where sports other than soccer are played
  2. 2.00 2.01 2.02 2.03 2.04 2.05 2.06 2.07 2.08 2.09 2.10 2.11 2.12 2.13 2.14 A stadium that is used mostly for soccer.
  3. 3.0 3.1 3.2 3.3 3.4 Baseball park
  4. 4.0 4.1 Will play at this stadium until a stadium for the team is built in Pawtucket.

Not playing right now change

Club Location Stadium Size Joined Last Played Notes
OKC Energy FC Oklahoma City, Oklahoma Taft Stadium 7,500 2014 2021 Planned 2026 return, pending new stadium completion[12]

Former teams change

Club Location Stadium Size Joined Last season MLS partner Where are they now
Antigua Barracuda FC St. John's, Antigua Stanford Cricket Ground 5,000 2011 2013 None Folded
Atlanta United 2 Kennesaw, Georgia Fifth Third Bank Stadium 8,318 2018 2022 Atlanta United Moved to MLS Next Pro
Austin Bold FC Austin, Texas Circuit of the Americas 5,000 2017 2021 None Folded
Austin Aztex Austin, Texas House Park 6,500 2015 Columbus Crew SC Folded
Charlotte Eagles Charlotte, North Carolina Dickson Field 5,006 2011 2014 None Moved to Premier Development League[lower-roman 1]
Charlotte Independence Charlotte, North Carolina Memorial Stadium 10,500 2014 2021 None Moved to USL League One[13]
FC Cincinnati Cincinnati, Ohio Nippert Stadium 33,800 2015 2018 None Moved to Major League Soccer
Dayton Dutch Lions West Carrollton, Ohio DOC Stadium 3,000 2011 2014 Columbus Crew SC Moved to Premier Development League[lower-roman 1]
FC Montreal Montreal, Quebec Complexe sportif Claude-Robillard 3,500 2015 2016 Montreal Impact Folded by MLS parent club
F.C. New York Queens, New York Belson Stadium 2,168 2011 None Moved to National Premier Soccer League
Fresno FC Fresno, California Chukchansi Park 12,500 2017 2019 None Relocated to Monterey County, California, became Monterey Bay FC
LA Galaxy II Carson, California Dignity Health Sports Park 10,000 2014 2022 LA Galaxy Moved to MLS Next Pro
Nashville SC Nashville, Tennessee First Tennessee Park 10,000 2016 2019 None Moved to Major League Soccer
New York Red Bulls II Montclair, New Jersey MSU Soccer Park 5,000 2015 2022 New York Red Bulls Moved to MLS Next Pro
North Carolina FC Cary, North Carolina Sahlen's Stadium 10,000 2018 2020 None Moved to USL League One;[14] slated to return to USL Championship in 2024[15]
Orlando City B Orlando, Florida Orlando City Stadium 3,500 2016 2017 Orlando City SC Moved to USL League One[16]
Orlando City SC Bay Lake, Florida ESPN Wide World of Sports Complex 5,500 2011 2014 Sporting Kansas City Moved to Major League Soccer; USL rights transferred to Louisville
Ottawa Fury FC Ottawa, Ontario TD Place Stadium 24,000 2017 2019 Montreal Impact Folded; USL rights transferred to Miami[17]
Penn FC Harrisburg, Pennsylvania FNB Field 6,187 2011 2018 None Folded
Philadelphia Union II Chester, Pennsylvania Subaru Park 18,500 2015 2020 Philadelphia Union Moved to MLS Next Pro
Phoenix FC Tempe, Arizona Sun Devil Soccer Stadium 3,400 2013 None Folded; replaced by Arizona United SC[lower-roman 2]
Portland Timbers 2 Hillsboro, Oregon Hillsboro Stadium 7,600 2015 2020 Portland Timbers Moved to MLS Next Pro
Puerto Rico United[lower-roman 3] Aguada, Puerto Rico Aguada Stadium 4,000 2011 None Moved to Liga Nacional (PR)
Real Monarchs Herriman, Utah Zions Bank Stadium[lower-roman 4] 5,000 2015 2021 Real Salt Lake Moved to MLS Next Pro
Reno 1868 FC Reno, Nevada Greater Nevada Field[lower-roman 5] 9,013 2017 2020 San Jose Earthquakes Folded
River Plate Puerto Rico[lower-roman 3] Fajardo, Puerto Rico Roberto Clemente Stadium 12,500 2011 None Moved to Puerto Rico Soccer League
Richmond Kickers Richmond, Virginia City Stadium 22,000 2011 2018 D.C. United Moved to USL League One
Rochester Rhinos Rochester, New York Marina Auto Stadium 13,768 2011 2017 New England Revolution Moved to MLS Next Pro[18]
Saint Louis FC Fenton, Missouri West Community Stadium[lower-roman 4] 5,500 2014 2020 None Folded
San Diego Loyal SC San Diego, California Torero Stadium 6,000 2020 2023 None Folded
Sevilla Puerto Rico[lower-roman 3] Juncos, Puerto Rico Josué Elevadito González Stadium 2,500 2011 None Moved to Liga Nacional (PR)
Sporting Kansas City II Kansas City, Kansas Children's Mercy Park[lower-roman 4] 18,467 2016 2021 Sporting Kansas City Moved to MLS Next Pro
Tacoma Defiance Tacoma, Washington Cheney Stadium[lower-roman 5] 6,500 2015 2021 Seattle Sounders FC Moved to MLS Next Pro
Toronto FC II Toronto, Ontario Lamport Stadium 9,600 2014 2018 Toronto FC Moved to USL League One
Vancouver Whitecaps FC 2 Vancouver, British Columbia Thunderbird Stadium 3,500 2015 2017 Vancouver Whitecaps FC Moved to MLS Next Pro
VSI Tampa Bay FC Plant City, Florida Plant City Stadium 6,700 2013 2013 None Folded
Wilmington Hammerheads FC Wilmington, North Carolina Legion Stadium 6,000 2011 2016 Toronto FC & New York City FC Moved to PDL[lower-roman 1]
  1. 1.0 1.1 1.2 Known as USL League Two (USL2) since the 2019 season
  2. Renamed as Phoenix Rising FC in 2016.
  3. 3.0 3.1 3.2 Puerto Rico United, River Plate Puerto Rico, and Sevilla Puerto Rico tried to play in the USL's first season but had money problems after joining the league had to leave the league.
  4. 4.0 4.1 4.2 Soccer specific stadium
  5. 5.0 5.1 Baseball park

Timeline change

USL ArkansasUSL MilwaukeeUSL Pro IowaRhode Island FCDetroit City FCOakland Roots SCSan Diego Loyal SCMiami FCNew Mexico UnitedMemphis 901 FCLoudoun United FCHartford AthleticEl Paso Locomotive FCBirmingham Legion FCAustin Bold FCNorth Carolina FCNashville SC (2018–19)Las Vegas Lights FCIndy ElevenMonterey Bay FCFresno FCAtlanta United 2Tampa Bay RowdiesReno 1868 FCOttawa Fury FCSporting Kansas City IISwope Park RangersSan Antonio FCRio Grande Valley FCOrlando City BFC Cincinnati (2016–18)Philadelphia Union IIBethlehem Steel FCWhitecaps FC 2FC TulsaTulsa Roughnecks FCToronto FC IITacoma DefianceSeattle Sounders FC 2Saint Louis FCReal MonarchsPortland Timbers 2New York Red Bulls IILouisville City FCFC MontrealColorado Springs Switchbacks FCCharlotte IndependenceAustin AztexSacramento Republic FCOklahoma City Energy FCLA Galaxy IIPhoenix Rising FCArizona United SCVSI Tampa Bay FCPhoenix FCWilmington Hammerheads FCRochester New York FCRichmond KickersPittsburgh Riverhounds SCOrlando City SC (2010–2014)Orange County SCOrange County SCOrange County SCPenn FCHarrisburg City IslandersF.C. New YorkDayton Dutch LionsCharlotte EaglesCharleston BatteryAntigua Barracuda FC

‡ Puerto Rico clubs Puerto Rico United, River Plate Puerto Rico, and Sevilla Puerto Rico began play in the league, but in May 2011 United Soccer Leagues announced that the teams would not finish the season due to financial difficulties.[19]

References change

  1. "USL Championship announces 2023 alignment, season format". uslchampionship.com. December 20, 2022.
  2. "Phoenix Rising FC stadium to be moved to east side of Phoenix". Soccer Stadium Digest. November 16, 2022.
  3. "Rhode Island FC Announces Partnership with Bryant University for 2024 USL Championship Season". Rhode Island FC. June 9, 2023. Retrieved June 26, 2023.
  4. "Stadium groundbreaking moves Rhode Island toward 2024 debut in USL Championship". USL. August 12, 2022. Retrieved October 25, 2022.
  5. "United Soccer League Welcomes Pro Iowa to USL Championship". USLChampionship.com Staff. January 27, 2022. Retrieved January 27, 2022.
  6. Jett, Tyler (January 27, 2022). "USL Championship awards long-sought pro soccer franchise to Des Moines' Krause Group". Des Moines Register. Retrieved January 27, 2022.
  7. "Pro Iowa Stadium, Global Plaza completion and first kick confirmed for 2025". Pro Iowa. June 6, 2022. Retrieved September 17, 2022.
  8. "United Soccer League announces expansion plans for Jacksonville". USL Championship. August 30, 2022. Retrieved October 4, 2023.
  9. "Milwaukee's Iron District stadium to be home to USL Championship soccer club". TMJ4. October 19, 2022. Retrieved October 19, 2022.
  10. USLChampionship com Staff (2023-07-12). "Professional Soccer Landing in Northwest Arkansas". USL Championship. Retrieved 2023-07-12.
  11. 11.0 11.1 "Pro soccer teams coming to Northwest Arkansas | What to know". 5newsonline.com. July 12, 2023. Retrieved 2023-07-12.
  12. "Club Statement From Energy FC". OKC Energy FC. November 18, 2022. Retrieved November 18, 2022.
  13. "Charlotte Independence to Compete in USL League One Starting in 2022". USLLeagueOne.com Staff. December 2, 2021. Retrieved December 2, 2021.
  14. "North Carolina FC to Join USL League One". USLLeagueOne.com Staff. January 11, 2021. Retrieved January 11, 2021.
  15. "North Carolina FC to rejoin USL Championship in 2024". USLChampionship.com Staff. August 7, 2023. Retrieved August 7, 2023.
  16. Staff, USL DIII (September 6, 2018). "Orlando City B Becomes USL Division III Founding Member". Retrieved October 1, 2018.
  17. "The Miami FC Joins the USL Championship". miamifc.com. December 11, 2019. Archived from the original on February 24, 2020. Retrieved November 18, 2023.
  18. "Jamie Vardy: Leicester City striker becomes co-owner of American football club Rochester Rhinos". Sky Sports. June 15, 2021. Retrieved August 26, 2021.
  19. "USL reforms Agreement with PRSL". United Soccer Leagues. May 10, 2011. Archived from the original on May 14, 2011. Retrieved May 10, 2011.

Other websites change