USL unveils women’s Super League, set to kick-off in 2024

The USL has officially announced a new women’s Super League, also naming the eight initial markets for the league’s inaugural season in August of 2024.

On Tuesday morning, the United Soccer League, the largest soccer organization in North America, announced the launch of its long-anticipated Super League, a domestic women’s professional league.

As it stands currently, the USL’s only connection with the women’s game is the USL W, a pre-professional league that launched in 2019. Part of the USL’s ‘pathway to pro’ structure, the USL W allows college players to play in a professional-style summer league while maintaining their college eligibility.

The Super League, however, will sit atop the USL youth-to-pro pyramid, one rung above the USL W.

Will the USL Super League be a top-flight league?

In Tuesday’s announcement posted to the USL official site, the league stated, “the USL Super League has committed to U.S. Soccer’s Division One standards.” That nugget is arguably the most significant from the launch. It had been rumored the USL was seeking a Division 2 classification; now, the Super League will serve as direct competition to the US’s only pro women’s league – the NWSL.

In addition, the league also unveiled its initial markets for the inaugural season. Charlotte, Dallas, Lexington, Phoenix, Spokane, Tampa, Tucson and Washington, DC will all compete starting August 2024.

The cities of Chattanooga, Indianapolis, Jacksonville, Madison and Oakland will join “no later than 2025, pending completion of a stadium project,” per the press release.

Could there be further expansion?

The USL also left the door open for further expansion, stating “additional teams set to join in subsequent seasons.”

That could mean teams from the USL W, such as the Minnesota Aurora or Tormenta FC women, could be in line for a move to full-time professional women’s soccer in the near future.

With one professional league established, and another now on the way, it shows the significant strides made to grow the women’s game in the US. However, as Equalize Soccer’s Jeff Kassouf points out, Tuesday’s news does raise a few questions:

Time will tell how today’s announcement impacts the NWSL, but more opportunity is never a bad thing. That just makes women’s soccer players and fans the real winners of Tuesday.

Check out our NWSL hub page for more news, analysis, opinion and unique women’s soccer coverage. And don’t forget to follow FOR(E) on Twitter, FanSided’s home for women’s sports.


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