June 3, 2023

The US could get a new women's soccer league in 2024.  (Gary A. Vasquez-USA TODAY Sports)

The US could get a new women’s soccer league in 2024. (Gary A. Vasquez-USA TODAY Sports)

As women’s soccer grows more in the United States, a new league is planning its emergence.

United Soccer League, which hosts several lower division leagues in the United States and Canada, announced the planned launch of a new women’s league, the USL Super League, in August 2024. Unlike USL’s other organizations, it will play in the top division of professional soccer in the United States alongside the National Women’s Soccer League (NWSL).

“Our goal is to make the USL Super League recognized and admired worldwide for its financial stability, operational excellence, community building and high-level competition,” said USL CEO Alec Papadakis. our teams are owners or primary tenants of a football stadium. We tailor our calendar and roster rules to the global game.

The league is still subject to approval from US Soccer, the sport’s national governing body. A US Soccer-sanctioned professional league must meet a number of standards, such as a minimum of eight teams in its first year (75% of which must be US-based and play in metropolitan markets of at least 1 million people), stadiums that can accommodate at least 15,000 people and one main owner per team with a net worth of at least $40 million.

While the new league would become the second Division I women’s league in the US, it would not compete directly with the NWSL due to scheduling differences. The USL Super League games are played from fall through summer, while the NWSL plays from spring through fall.

USL Super League Team Sites

USL plans to open with 10-12 teams for the league’s inaugural season. Cities that already have teams include Charlotte, North Carolina, Dallas/Fort Worth, Texas, Lexington, Kentucky, Phoenix, Arizona, Spokane, Washington, Tampa Bay, Florida, and Washington, DC

Other potential cities include Chattanooga, Tennessee, Indianapolis, Indiana, Jacksonville, Florida, Madison, Wisconsin, and Oakland, California.

The popularity of women’s football is on the rise

The NWSL has grown rapidly since its inception in 2012. The league doubled from six to twelve teams from 2016-2022, and will add two more teams next season and two more teams by 2026.

Popularity-wise, the league drew a record 915,000 viewers for the 2022 title game on CBS between Portland Thorns FC and Kansas City Current – ​​a 71% increase from the previous season’s championship game. The NWSL is reportedly listening to other offers for its television rights as the league’s current deal with CBS expires. A game between San Diego Wave FC and expansion team Angel City FC also attracted a record 32,000 live fans.

This is the kind of exposure the USL Super League hopes to achieve in its inaugural season.

The league has announced it is working with consulting firm Octagon to manage media rights sales, as well as experience company Legends to manage partnership sales. Legends’ other clients include global soccer brands such as FC Barcelona, ​​Liverpool FC, Manchester City FC, Real Madrid CF and US Soccer.