How UPSL Divisions Work

UPSL Soccer is divided into multiple divisions at the open level and also has separate women’s and youth divisions.

About UPSL

The UPSL is a professional development soccer league founded in 2011. It aims to bridge the gap between youth academies, recreational leagues, and professional soccer in the United States. UPSL players include rising youth players, current and former college players, and ex-professional players. The league operates on a promotion and relegation system, which is unusual for American sports leagues.

UPSL Premier Division

Most UPSL teams are in the Premier Division. The Premier Division is one of UPSL’s highest divisions and is one of the top amateur or semi-pro leagues in the country.

The Premier Division has conferences of 5 to 14 teams spread geographically around the country. Most conferences cover a single state, although larger states are divided into multiple conferences. Small Mid-Atlantic and Northeastern states as well as lightly populated Mid Western states have conferences covering multiple states.

The top teams in each conference advance to the playoffs. Teams compete in knockout games against teams in the same or nearby conferences, then regionally, and finally to the national finals.

UPSL First Division

The UPSL First Division is a step below the Premier Division. Despite its name, it actually acts as UPSL’s second division.

The UPSL normally only adds a First Division in areas that are already well-covered by Premier Division teams. Top First Division teams can earn promotion to the Premier Division, while the bottom Premier Division teams may relegate to the First Division.

UPSL Women’s Division

The UPSL also operates a Women’s Division in select markets. The Women’s Division operates under a similar concept as the men’s divisions but is newer and much smaller.

UPSL Academy Division

The UPSL Academy Division is a youth league. It has U13, U15, and U17 age groups.

The Academy Division is open to both UPSL teams and non-UPSL teams. Like the main league, it operates in geographic conferences.

The goal of the Academy Division is to give youth players a chance to compete at a high level without the barriers of traditional club soccer. The Academy Division is slowly expanding due to the support of UPSL clubs and professional clubs that have reserve teams in UPSL. However, it currently doesn’t have the same profile or opportunities as established leagues like the ECNL.

Leave a Comment