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USL Announces Central Rebrand Across Three Leagues


The United Soccer League announced today a single focus across the USL, USL D3, and the PDL. The leagues are all now connected under the USL brand as USL Championship, USL League One, and USL League Two respectively.

“Today’s announcement comes at the dawn of an exciting new era for our sport,” said USL CEO Alec Papadakis. “The USL has spent the past eight years transforming our league to meet the evolving needs of our team owners, players, coaches, fans and partners. We have established our place in the U.S. soccer landscape while blazing the trail for professional soccer’s future by introducing a new third division, completing the nation’s professional soccer structure.”

The new looks of each league’s logos share similar features with color schemes that both reflect their past and combine them all under one style.

The new structure and branding will start in the 2019 season alongside a new “modernized” website.

“We are repositioning the competition under MLS with a new strategy, new names and logos,” concluded Papadakis. “As we look to the future, the USL is ready to put its fingerprints on U.S. Soccer’s drive toward becoming the best in the world, and its pursuit of winning a FIFA Men’s World Cup.”


  1. A bold step forward that signals the beginning of the end of the “wildcat” days of lower division soccer. The pieces are being set, the path is clearer. Kudos to the USL. Now let demographics and time bring the revenue and stability. I predict 5-7 years and we see pro/rel between USL Championship and USL One.

  2. USL 2
    USL 3
    USL 4

    There, I fixed it for you.

    “Yeah, I play in the 4th tier – you know, League 2.” – convoluted and horrible. Why did they think this was a good idea? Don’t they know that the nomenclature for those leagues evolved over time and didn’t represent the tiers that they now do represent?


  3. i love the usl. but i worry, because after fc cinci, sac republic and the next few, the attendance really drops off fast. clubs 22-33 have less than 2k attendance, and clubs 31-33 have less than 1k. i hope all the clubs can switch from “surviving to thriving”, as beto said.
    1 FC Cincinnati 25,357
    2 Sacramento Republic FC 11,386
    3 Indy Eleven* 9,917
    4 Nashville SC 9,849
    5 Louisville City FC 7,785
    6 Las Vegas Lights FC 7,184
    7 San Antonio FC 6,981
    8 Phoenix Rising FC 6,332
    9 Tampa Bay Rowdies 5,418
    10 Reno 1868 FC 4,980
    11 Fresno FC 4,869
    12 Ottawa Fury FC 4,662
    13 Rio Grande Valley FC 4,448
    14 OKC Energy FC 4,298
    15 North Carolina FC* 4,239
    16 Saint Louis FC 4,078
    17 Richmond Kickers 4,028
    18 CS Switchbacks FC 3,804
    19 Seattle Sounders FC 2 3,399
    20 Tulsa Roughnecks 3,344
    21 Charleston Battery 3,010
    22 Orange County SC 2,948
    23 Atlanta United 2 2,784
    24 Bethlehem Steel FC 2,505
    25 Pittsburgh Riverhounds 2,353
    26 Penn FC 2,187
    27 Portland Timbers 2 2,127
    28 Charlotte Independence 1,766
    29 Real Monarchs SLC 1,725
    30 LA Galaxy II 1,036
    31 Toronto FC II 992
    32 Swope Park Rangers 869
    33 New York Red Bulls II 730
    i think under the rebrand, the above clubs are part of the usl 1 championship, yes?

    • i love the usl because, to me, it feels more “organic”, meaning clubs “pop up” in the usa in response to changes in the soccer demand in that local area.
      usl expansion fees are on the rise, but are still small compared to mls (150 million):
      Sacramento Republic FC 2012 $250 thousand
      OKC Energy FC 2013 $500 thousand
      San Antonio FC 2016 $3 million
      Nashville FC 2016 $4 million
      2018 $7 million

    • Most, if not all, of the MLS2 teams move down to Div 3 – named League 1 because we can’t and don’t think.
      One of the reasons they are doing this is to split the more ambitious teams out. I think all of the Div 2 teams have mandatory min. stadium capacities (10k?) plus a few more stipulations to prove they are serious. Div 3 and 4 are a little looser.
      In case you missed that, here’s a recap:
      All MLS 2 are now League 1 which is Division 3. Obviously.

      • A ton of people that know about the English pyramid but don’t know about USL, so all of those people now innately know which tier each USL league represents. It also really illuminates how far behind our pyramid is, given that our League Two is amateurs, while England’s is of course professional. Regardless of your feelings on the branding, if you care about US Soccer, you will support whichever team in in your city/town. If you don’t support your local football, you’re like somebody that doesn’t vote but complains about the people running your country

      • I don’t think that’s correct I believe only Toronto II has announced they will drop and Orlando B will re-enter at that level after not fielding a team this season.

    • 8 of the bottom 11 in attendance are MLS reserve teams, why should fans go watch the reserves when they can watch the real players down the street in the beautiful stadium instead of at a minor league baseball field or high school football field. The attendance figures are pretty comparable to other minor league sports leagues.

  4. Good on the USL for the rebrand / restructure. It was needed to tie up the loose ends and really have more of tiered structure under one umbrella to further legitimize itself in the pyramid of US Soccer. I’ll be honest I am way more excited about the expansion and development of the USL than MLS. I think MLS will take care of itself and eventually become a true top division that can compete globally. I believe once the USL has all its ducks in a row – starting with the restructure – it will become the real developer of talent in this country. It will become a major and needed pipeline that can feed players to MLS or just in general become a respectable destination to have a professional career. I love that fact promotion and relegation seems to be in play down the road. I would assume that timetable is within 3-5 years and only between USL Championship and USL League One. I’m curious to see how this all shapes up. With 35 USL Championship clubs there will be some movement like the Richmond Kickers down a division. There is a map on the video that pinpoints the cities and the appropriate league if you’re good at geography.

    • yes, changed the names of three existing divisions.

      this also positions all three leagues under a single league structure, inviting the possibility of promotion/relegation when they decide they are ready to grow on from the static league structure. a small step from surviving towards thriving

      USL doing a lot of things right.

  5. JFC. Are we that bad at soccer that the only idea we can come up with for league (and team) names is to just do everything England does? All we need is a “Wanderers”…Austin seems like a good team for that name.

      • United United, but different. They should further create 3 leagues within USL Championship, with one of those leagues being a continental wide USL league. They would play other USL Championship teams, but the continental one – Puerto Rico, Canada,US- would see the winner placed at the group stage of CCL. This dam^ CCL tournament needs more leagues with proper infrastructure then just Mexico and the US.

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