USL Championship

The USL Championship is a professional soccer league in the United States and Canada. It is sanctioned by the United States Soccer Federation (USSF) as the second division of professional soccer in the country, below Major League Soccer (MLS). The league was founded in 2010 as the USL Pro and later rebranded as the USL Championship in 2015.

The USL Championship consists of teams from both the United States and Canada, providing a platform for professional soccer players to showcase their skills and develop their careers. The league follows a franchise-based model, with teams located in cities across North America.


The USL Championship operates a regular season and a playoff system to determine the league champion. The regular season typically runs from March to October, with each team playing a balanced schedule against other teams in their conference. The playoffs involve the top teams from each conference competing in a knockout format, culminating in the USL Championship Final to determine the league champion.


The USL Championship has seen significant growth and expansion since its inception. Numerous MLS-affiliated teams have established USL Championship franchises to provide opportunities for young players to gain professional experience. Additionally, independent clubs have joined the league, contributing to the growth of soccer in their respective communities.

The league has also been active in promoting soccer-related initiatives and community engagement. Many USL Championship teams are involved in youth development programs, community outreach, and partnerships with local organizations, fostering the growth of soccer at various levels.

In recent years, the USL Championship has gained recognition as a highly competitive league with a dedicated fan base. Its matches are broadcasted on various media platforms, allowing fans to follow their favorite teams and players. The league has also witnessed an increase in attendance and stadium infrastructure improvements, enhancing the overall fan experience.

Notable Teams

The USL Championship features numerous notable teams that have made an impact on the league and the soccer landscape in their respective regions. While it is difficult to list all of them, here are some notable teams that have achieved success or have a significant presence within the league:

  • Louisville City FC: Louisville City FC has been one of the most successful teams in the USL Championship, winning the league title in 2017, 2018, and 2020. The team has a passionate fan base and plays its home matches at Lynn Family Stadium in Louisville, Kentucky.
  • Sacramento Republic FC: Sacramento Republic FC is another prominent team in the USL Championship. The club has enjoyed strong support from its fans and has been successful on the field, winning the USL Championship title in 2014. Sacramento Republic FC is known for its ambition to join Major League Soccer and is in the process of building a new stadium.
  • Phoenix Rising FC: Based in Phoenix, Arizona, Phoenix Rising FC has established itself as a top team in the USL Championship. The club boasts talented players and has consistently been a contender in the league. Phoenix Rising FC plays its home games at the expansive and modern Phoenix Rising FC Soccer Complex.
  • Tampa Bay Rowdies: The Tampa Bay Rowdies have a rich history in American soccer, dating back to the original North American Soccer League (NASL) in the 1970s. The team has experienced success in the USL Championship, winning the league title in 2020. The Rowdies play their home matches at Al Lang Stadium in St. Petersburg, Florida.
  • New Mexico United: New Mexico United is a relatively new team that quickly gained popularity and a devoted fan base. The club plays its home games at Isotopes Park in Albuquerque, New Mexico. New Mexico United has become known for its vibrant atmosphere and community engagement initiatives.
  • Indy Eleven: Indy Eleven is based in Indianapolis, Indiana, and has been a prominent team in the USL Championship. The club has a dedicated fan base and plays its home matches at Lucas Oil Stadium. Indy Eleven has consistently been among the top teams in the league and has aspirations of joining Major League Soccer.
  • Charleston Battery: Charleston Battery is one of the oldest professional soccer clubs in the United States, founded in 1993. The team has a strong history and has enjoyed success in the USL Championship, including winning the league title in 2010. Charleston Battery plays its home games at Patriots Point Soccer Complex in Charleston, South Carolina.

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