USL Academy League

About USL Academy League

The United Soccer League (USL) is one of the largest professional soccer organizations in North America, with leagues at multiple levels, including the USL Championship, USL League One, and USL League Two. In an effort to further develop youth soccer players in the United States, the USL has established the USL Academy League.

Purpose and Structure

The USL Academy League is designed to provide a pathway for talented young soccer players to progress from youth soccer to the professional ranks. The league aims to bridge the gap between youth and professional soccer, allowing players to train and compete at a high level while maintaining their eligibility to play for their local youth clubs or high school teams.

The USL Academy League is organized regionally, with conferences that align with the geographical footprint of the USL Championship, USL League One, and USL League Two clubs. This structure helps to minimize travel, reduce costs, and facilitate a smooth transition for players moving between the academy and professional levels.


The USL Academy League season typically runs from fall to spring, with teams competing against others within their respective conferences. At the end of the regular season, the top teams from each conference advance to the USL Academy League Playoffs, where they compete for the USL Academy League Championship.

Player Development

The USL Academy League focuses heavily on player development, providing a competitive environment for players to hone their skills, gain valuable experience, and prepare for the challenges of professional soccer. The league also emphasizes coaching education, offering resources and support for coaches to improve their knowledge and skillset.

Notable Clubs

The USL Academy League features clubs affiliated with the USL Championship, USL League One, and USL League Two. Some notable clubs participating in the USL Academy League include:

These clubs and others in the USL Academy League are committed to providing a high-quality soccer experience that fosters the development of elite youth players and prepares them for the professional level.

By establishing the USL Academy League, the United Soccer League has created an important pathway for young soccer players to develop their skills and progress towards a professional soccer career. The league’s focus on player development, coaching education, and competitive opportunities contribute to the growth and success of youth soccer in the United States.

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