Are UPSL Soccer Players Professional?

Whether and how much UPSL players get paid depends on the team.

How much do UPSL players get paid?

The United Premier Soccer League or UPSL is an amateur or semi-pro soccer league.

Many teams are pay-to-play. Players pay registration fees, uniform costs, referee fees, and other team expenses. The teams don’t pay the players anything. For the players, it’s just like joining a Sunday league team with better competition.

Some clubs don’t charge their players but also don’t pay them.

For the teams that do pay, it’s usually just to reimburse expenses rather than actual wages. This is often gas money or rental cars to away games or money for meals while traveling.

Very few owners pay for lodging during the season. If they do, it’s usually something like a house rented for a group of players.

How much will you spend to play in UPSL?

If you find a UPSL team that doesn’t pay players, you should know that starting a UPSL team costs at least $20,000 to $30,000 per year on average. If your team has no sources of income, divide that by 20 players to expect to pay at least $1,000 to $1,500 per year.

If you compete in the qualifying rounds of the Lamar Hunt U.S. Open Cup, expect additional travel expenses especially if you manage to advance.

Many teams do have sources of revenue such as ticket sales or sponsorships. That’s how some clubs are able to bring down players’ costs or even pay them a little bit.

How do UPSL players afford to play in the league?

Even though UPSL operates as a national league, it’s still primarily a hobby for the majority of its players. Unlike USL League One or USL Championship, most players don’t treat UPSL as a job.

Many players have full-time professional jobs and may need to request time off to make a far away away game. Students and aspiring professional players will usually work at least a part-time job to cover their personal and soccer expenses.

If your main focus is soccer, you may want to work more during the summer and winter breaks to save money so you can work less during the spring and fall seasons.

Does playing in the UPSL affect NCAA eligibility?

Playing in the UPSL generally shouldn’t affect your NCAA eligibility. This will typically include if you receive reimbursements for expenses but not if you’re paid more than that.

Player payment practices vary by region, NCAA rules vary by division, and the new rules on NIL deals may also come into play. To make sure you stay eligible, talk to your college coach or other appropriate representative at your school before you play for a UPSL team or any team in a league where players may be paid.

Do UPSL players have a chance at making a professional team?

UPSL doesn’t have age limits, but the league targets players in the age 17 to 23 range. The typical path to pro soccer for players in this age range is either playing at a Division 1 college or being part of a pro team’s academy.

UPSL does announce several professional signings per year. These are typically in lower-tier leagues such as USL or foreign second and third divisions.

Leave a Comment