USL League One

USL League One (USL1) is a professional men's soccer league in the United States and Canada that will begin its inaugural season in 2019. United Soccer League announced the formation of the league on April 2, 2017, with the temporary name USL Division III (USL D3). The league is targeting cities with a population of 150,000 to one million, mostly in cities currently without a professional team.[1]

USL League One
USL League One vert dark logo
Organising bodyUnited Soccer League
FoundedApril 2, 2017
First season2019
CountryUnited States
Other club(s) fromCanada
(North American Football Union)
Number of teams10
Level on pyramid3
Domestic cup(s)U.S. Open Cup
TV partnersESPN+
2019 USL League One season


The USL Championship was granted second division sanctioning by the United States Soccer Federation in January 2017, leaving the third tier of American soccer unoccupied. From 1996 to 2009, the United Soccer League operated leagues at the lower divisions under various names, including the USL Second Division, and the second division as USL First Division.[2] On April 2, 2017, the USL announced that it would launch a new third division league in 2019, with a minimum of eight clubs and lower requirements than the second division USL.[3][4] It was also announced that branding and other information about the league would be announced during the summer of 2017.[3]

In the following months, the league began searching for cities to set up a market in. From April 26 to May 3, 2017, League Vice President Steven Short toured the southeast region of the United States, stopping in the cities of Lexington, Kentucky, Knoxville, Tennessee, Asheville, North Carolina, Greenville, South Carolina, and Columbia, South Carolina.[5] After the closing of the tour, the league announced a possible plan for Tormenta FC, a Premier Development League team from Georgia, to join the league.[6] A few weeks later, league executives announced they would be visiting the midwest area in the United States between May 22 and 26, stopping in Dayton, Ohio, Toledo, Ohio, Fort Wayne, Indiana, Lansing, Michigan, and Grand Rapids, Michigan.[7] After the original tour concluded, Vice President Short visited Des Moines, Iowa to meet with the Des Moines Menace of the Premier Development League to join the league.[8] Preceding the tour of the midwest, Short visited two more cities in North Carolina: High Point and Fayetteville. Following the tour, Short announced potential plans to build a new multi-purpose stadium in High Point and had positive outlooks on potentially sharing a J. P. Riddle Stadium with the Fayetteville SwampDogs, or the ballpark for the Fayetteville Woodpeckers that is expected to be completed by March 2019.[9]

The unveiling of the first founding member, South Georgia Tormenta FC, took place on January 25, 2018.[10] This was followed by FC Tucson on February 6,[11][12] Greenville Triumph SC on March 13,[13][14] and Madison, Wisconsin on May 17.[15] Toronto FC II of the United Soccer League was announced on July 2,[16] and Chattanooga, Tennessee was announced on August 1.[17]

The league filed for Division III status with the USSF on August 14, 2018. Ten founding teams were listed in the application.[18][19]

On August 22, 2018, Rochester Stadium Operations, LLC announced that the Rochester Rhinos will be stepping down from the USL Championship and joining League One in 2020.[20] On September 11, 2018, the league announced that Richmond Kickers would also be dropping down from Championship to League One due to financial difficulties competing in the higher league.[21] On October 8, 2018, Penn FC, another long-time USL member, announced they would follow Rochester in stepping down to League One in 2020.[22] On October 10, the Lansing City Council unanimously approved a deal for the new Lansing Ignite FC team to begin USL League One play at Cooley Law School Stadium in the inaugural 2019 season.[23]

On October 2, 2018, the tenth and final founding member was revealed to be the reserve team of FC Dallas. Four days later, the club unveiled its branding as North Texas SC.

On December 14, 2018, USSF voted to provisionally sanction League One as a Division 3 league for 2019.[24]


The league will have 10 clubs in its inaugural season and is targeting 24 clubs for the 2021 season.[18]

Club City Stadium Capacity Founded Joined Head coach MLS/USLC affiliate
Current clubs
Chattanooga Red Wolves SC Chattanooga, Tennessee David Stanton Field 5,000[25] 2018 2019 Tim Hankinson
Forward Madison FC Madison, Wisconsin Breese Stevens Field 5,000 2018 2019 Daryl Shore Minnesota United FC
Greenville Triumph SC Greenville, South Carolina Legacy Early College 4,000 2018 2019 John Harkes
Lansing Ignite FC Lansing, Michigan Cooley Law School Stadium 7,527 2018 2019 Nate Miller[26] Chicago Fire[27]
North Texas SC Frisco, Texas Toyota Stadium 20,500 2018 2019 Eric Quill FC Dallas
Orlando City B Montverde, Florida Montverde Academy 3,500 2015 2019 Fernando De Argila Orlando City SC
Richmond Kickers Richmond, Virginia City Stadium 22,611 1993 2019 David Bulow
South Georgia Tormenta FC Statesboro, Georgia Eagle Field at Erk Russell Park 4,000 2015 2019 John Miglarese
Toronto FC II Toronto, Ontario BMO Training Ground 1,000 2014 2019 Michael Rabasca Toronto FC
FC Tucson Tucson, Arizona Kino Sports Complex 2,900 2010 2019 Darren Sawatzky Phoenix Rising FC
Future clubs
Penn FC Harrisburg, Pennsylvania TBA TBA 2003 2020 Raoul Voss
Rochester Rhinos Rochester, New York TBA TBA 1996 2020 TBA


Current clubs   Future clubs   Club played in different league

Possible teams

In 2017, league executives toured the southeast and midwest United States for good soccer markets. Throughout their tour, they explored the cities of Lexington, Kentucky, Knoxville, Tennessee, Asheville, North Carolina, Greenville, North Carolina, and Columbia, South Carolina in the southeast[28] and Dayton, Ohio, Toledo, Ohio, Fort Wayne, Indiana, Lansing, Michigan, and Grand Rapids, Michigan in the midwest.[29] The league executives also met with Premier Development clubs Tormenta FC[30] and Des Moines Menace[31] to discuss joining League One for the inaugural season. The cities of Fayetteville, North Carolina and High Point, North Carolina were visited in August 2017.[32]

Stadium sites

During the tour of the southeast and the midwest, the USL league executives visited the following stadiums in their southeastern tour:

Stadium City Capacity
Regal Soccer Stadium Knoxville, Tennessee 3,000
Wendell & Vickie Bell Soccer Complex[33] Lexington, Kentucky 3,000
Memorial Stadium Asheville, North Carolina 5,000
Fluor Field at the West End* Greenville, South Carolina 5,900
Eugene E. Stone III Stadium Columbia, South Carolina 5,000
Cumberland County Coliseum Fayetteville, North Carolina 10,880
*Baseball specific stadium

No confirmed stadiums have been found for the midwest tour.

See also


  1. ^ "About". USL. April 25, 2017. Retrieved April 25, 2017.
  2. ^ Kennedy, Paul (March 30, 2017). "USL: A new Division III league in works for 2019". Soccer America. Retrieved December 8, 2017.
  3. ^ a b "USL to Launch Third-Division League in 2019" (Press release). United Soccer League. April 2, 2017. Retrieved December 8, 2017.
  4. ^ Straus, Brian (March 30, 2017). "USL will launch second league in 2019 to occupy U.S. Soccer's Division 3". Sports Illustrated. Retrieved December 8, 2017.
  5. ^ "USL DIII VP Short reflects on southeast expansion tour". USL D3. May 10, 2017. Retrieved July 23, 2017.
  6. ^ "Tormenta FC to explore USL DIII possibilities". USL D3. May 5, 2017. Retrieved July 23, 2017.
  7. ^ "USL DIII Expansion Tour Visits Midwest". USL D3. May 22, 2017. Retrieved July 23, 2017.
  8. ^ "Homonoff: Menace 'Evaluating' USL's DIII". USL D3. June 16, 2017. Retrieved July 23, 2017.
  9. ^ "Short Shares Thoughts on North Carolina Visits". August 8, 2017. Retrieved August 11, 2017.
  10. ^ "Tormenta FC joins USL Division III for 2019". January 25, 2018. Retrieved January 25, 2018.
  11. ^ "FC Tucson Leads USL Division III'S West Coast Expansion". United Soccer League (USL). February 6, 2018.
  12. ^ "FC Tucson moves to USL Division III, becomes professional team". Arizona Daily Star. February 6, 2018.
  13. ^ "USL Division III Welcomes Greenville as Founding Member". United Soccer League (USL). February 6, 2018.
  14. ^ "Greenville's Pro Soccer Team To Be Called Greenville Triumph Soccer Club". Greenville Triumph Soccer Club. August 9, 2018.
  15. ^
  16. ^
  17. ^
  18. ^ a b "USL Division III Files Sanctioning Paperwork to U.S. Soccer". United Soccer League (USL). August 14, 2018.
  19. ^ "USL Division III submits sanctioning request to U.S. Soccer with 10 teams". Paul Kennedy. SoccerAmerica. August 14, 2018.
  20. ^ "Rochester Approved for USL Division III" (Press release). Rochester Rhinos. August 22, 2018.
  21. ^ USL DIII Staff (11 September 2018). "Kickers Named a USL Division III Founding Member". United Soccer Leagues. Retrieved 12 September 2018.
  22. ^ Staff (October 8, 2018). "Penn FC to join USL League One in 2020" (Press release).
  23. ^ Couch, Graham (October 10, 2018). "Pro soccer in downtown Lansing gets go-ahead from City Council". Lansing State Journal. Retrieved October 11, 2018.
  24. ^ Goff, Steven (14 December 2018). "U.S. Soccer Federation's board of directors has voted to provisionally sanction @USLLeagueOne as a Division III pro league in 2019. #usl". @soccerinsider. Retrieved December 14, 2018.
  25. ^ "CHATTANOOGA TO BUILD SOCCER-SPECIFIC STADIUM FOR 2020 SEASON". USL League One. Retrieved 18 October 2018.
  26. ^ "Nate Miller names Lansing Ignite head coach",, Lansing Ignite, retrieved 14 November 2018
  27. ^ Friend, Phil (2019-03-19). "Lansing Ignite forms alliance with Chicago Fire, will host MLS team at Cooley Stadium". Lansing State Journal. Retrieved 2019-03-19.
  28. ^ "USL DIII VP Short reflects on southeast expansion tour". USL D3. May 10, 2017. Retrieved July 23, 2017.
  29. ^ "USL DIII expansion tour visits midwest". USL D3. May 22, 2017. Retrieved July 23, 2017.
  30. ^ "Tormenta FC to explore USL DIII possibilities". USL D3. May 5, 2017. Retrieved July 23, 2017.
  31. ^ "Homonoff: Menace 'Evaluation' USL's DIII". USL D3. June 16, 2017. Retrieved July 23, 2017.
  32. ^ "Short Shares Thoughts on North Carolina Visits". USL D3. August 8, 2017. Retrieved August 11, 2017.
  33. ^ "Wendell & Vickie Bell Soccer Complex". University of Kentucky. Retrieved July 23, 2017.

External links

2019 Forward Madison FC season

The 2019 Forward Madison FC season will be the inaugural season in the soccer team's history, where they will compete in the third division of American soccer, USL League One, the first season of the competition. Forward Madison FC also will participate in this season's edition of the domestic cup, the U.S. Open Cup. Forward Madison will play their home games at Breese Stevens Field, located in Madison, Wisconsin, United States.

2019 Orlando City B season

The 2019 Orlando City B season is scheduled to be the club's third year of existence and their first returning from hiatus for the 2018 season. It will be their first season as a founding member of USL League One, the third tier of the United States soccer pyramid, after moving from the second tier now rebranded as USL Championship in the restructuring. The team moved from Orlando City Stadium where they spent the 2017 season, to Montverde Academy which already houses Orlando City's Development Academy.On October 3, 2018, Fernando Jose De Argila Irurita was announced as head coach. He had previously been head coach and director of methodology at the Soccer Institute at Montverde Academy (S.I.M.A).Speaking in October, OCB General Manager Mike Potempa highlighted that the change of division would help shift the team's focus to providing a one-way stepping stone between the Development Academy and senior MLS side. Whereas the previous OCB incarnation had had a mix of youth and older veteran players with others also being loaned down from the MLS team, the new roster would contain "young players that need to play between the ages of 16 and 24" and that international players "need to be high, high-level players because you have seven spaces and you can’t get those wrong. We really have to be careful on our choices for the international spots.”

2019 Richmond Kickers season

The 2019 Richmond Kickers season is the club's 28th season of existence, their 15th season in the third tier of American soccer, and their first season in the newly-created USL League One. It is the Kickers' first season playing in the third tier of American soccer since 2016, when they were in the United Soccer League. The season covers the period from October 14, 2018 to the beginning of the 2020 USL League One season.

2019 U.S. Open Cup

The 2019 Lamar Hunt U.S. Open Cup is the 106th edition of the U.S. Open Cup, a knockout cup competition in American soccer. It is the oldest ongoing competition in the United States and was contested by 84 teams from leagues in the U.S. system.The 84 entrants included the 21 American clubs from Major League Soccer and 25 non-affiliated American clubs in the USL Championship. The new USL League One entered its 6 non-affiliated clubs. The qualification tournament, held in 2018 and early 2019, determined 7 teams from local amateur leagues. The 10 entrants from the USL League Two and the 14 from the National Premier Soccer League were determined based on results achieved in those leagues in 2018. Finally, beginning this year, the reigning champion of the National Amateur Cup, Milwaukee Bavarian SC, was invited to the tournament. Houston Dynamo is the defending champion.

2019 USL League One season

The 2019 USL League One season will be the inaugural season of USL League One. The regular season will consist of a 28–game schedule, beginning March 29 and concluding October 5. The playoffs will begin the weekend of October 11–13 with the final match of the postseason set to take place October 17–21.

Chattanooga Red Wolves SC

Chattanooga Red Wolves Soccer Club is an upcoming American professional soccer club based in Chattanooga, Tennessee. They will be a founding member of USL League One, the third division of American soccer. The club was announced as a member of League One on August 1, 2018.

City Stadium (Richmond)

City Stadium is a sports stadium in Richmond, Virginia. It is owned by the City of Richmond and is located south of the Carytown district off the Downtown Expressway. The stadium was built in 1929 and seats approximately 22,000 people. It has been used by the Richmond Kickers of the United Soccer League since 1995.The stadium was used by the University of Richmond for American football from 1929 to 2009. The University of Richmond's final home football game at the stadium was played on December 5, 2009 against Appalachian State University in the quarterfinals of the Football Championship Subdivision playoffs.

From 1964 through 1967, the stadium was home to the Richmond Rebels of the Atlantic Coast Football League and the Continental Football League. The Rebels left the Continental Football League in 1967 to become the Richmond Mustangs of the United American Football League.University of Richmond Stadium served as the site of the NCAA Division I Men's Soccer Championship from 1995 to 1998, in which it broke an attendance record when 22,512 visited a soccer match at the venue, between the St. Louis Billikens and SIU Edwardsville. For a time in the mid-2000s, the stadium also hosted Virginia's high school football state championship games.

FC Tucson

FC Tucson is an American soccer club based in Tucson, Arizona that will play in USL League One starting in 2019. Organized in 2010, the club first fielded a team in March 2011, then joined the Premier Development League (PDL; now known as USL League Two) Western Conference in 2012.Tucson plays their home games at the 2,900-seat Kino Sports Complex North Stadium constructed in 2013.

Forward Madison FC

Forward Madison FC is an American professional soccer team based in Madison, Wisconsin. The team was founded in 2018, and will play its inaugural season in 2019, competing in the third division of the US soccer league system, USL League One. The team will play their home matches at Breese Stevens Field.

Greenville Triumph SC

Greenville Triumph SC is a professional soccer team based in Greenville, South Carolina, United States. The club is to begin play in USL League One in 2019.

Lansing Ignite FC

Lansing Ignite FC is a planned professional soccer team based in Lansing, Michigan, United States. The club is expected to begin play in the newly-formed USL League One in 2019.

List of soccer clubs in the United States

This is a list of soccer clubs in the United States. For clarity, teams based outside the United States that play in USSF-recognized leagues are also listed below, with their home country noted.

Lucas Mendes (soccer)

Lucas Mendes (born December 29, 1997) is an American professional soccer player who plays for USL League One club Richmond Kickers. Mendes is usually employed as a winger, but can be used as a striker or a central midfielder.

Mendes won Gatorade Player of the Year award for boys' soccer in 2016. The award is a national-recognized award given to the best high school athlete in the nation. Mendes won the award while playing for Washington-Lee High School in Arlington, Virginia. Outside of playing for the Washington-Lee Generals boys' soccer team, Mendes also played for the D.C. United Academy system.

North Texas SC

North Texas Soccer Club is the reserve team of the Major League Soccer club FC Dallas based in Frisco, Texas. They will be a founding member of USL League One, the third division of American soccer. The team was announced as a member of League One on November 2, 2018.

Orlando City B

Orlando City B (or OCB for short) is a USL League One club that began play in 2016. Owned by Orlando City SC and based at the Orlando City Development Academy in Montverde, Florida, the club plays its home games at Montverde Academy. The club played in the United Soccer League, the second tier of the US soccer pyramid in 2016 and 2017, and will play in the newly launched third division, branded USL League One, beginning in 2019.

Richmond Kickers

The Richmond Kickers are an American professional soccer club based in Richmond, Virginia. Founded in 1993, the Kickers are one of the oldest continuously run professional soccer clubs in the United States, tied with the Charleston Battery. After following USL Pro into the second division for 2017 and 2018, the Kickers will return to the third tier of American soccer in 2019 as a founding member of USL League One.The team's home field is City Stadium, where the club has played since 1995. The team's chairman is Robert Ukrop, a Richmond native and former Kickers player. The team is coached by former player David Bulow, who replaced Leigh Cowlishaw in 2018.

Rochester Rhinos

The Rochester Rhinos are an American professional soccer team based in Rochester, New York, United States. Founded in 1996, as the Rochester Raging Rhinos, the team formerly played in the United Soccer League in the second tier of the United States soccer league system, and is currently on hiatus. They changed their name to Rochester Rhinos to start the 2008 season. The club is the only non-MLS team to have won the U.S. Open Cup since the league's formation.

On November 30, 2017, the team announced that they would not play in 2018 while additional funding was sought.On August 22, 2018, it was announced that the club will pursue a new stadium location and join USL League One by the 2020 season.

Tormenta FC

South Georgia Tormenta FC is an American soccer organization based in Statesboro, Georgia, United States. Founded in 2015, the club fields a professional team in USL League One, the third tier of the American Soccer Pyramid, as well as the pre-professional USL League Two. The team colors are Midnight Navy, Sky Blue, Silver and Magenta. The team's crest shows an Ibis bird.

Toronto FC II

Toronto FC II is a Canadian professional soccer team based in Toronto, Ontario, who play in the USL League One, the third tier of the American & Canadian soccer league system. It is the reserve team and minor league affiliate of Toronto FC as well as in partnership with Toronto FC Academy.

On July 2, 2018, Toronto FC II announced they would move down from the United Soccer League (now called USL Championship) to the USL League One for the league's first season in 2019.

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