Talk:USL First Division

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  • What are the players' salaries & how does this compare to the MLS? 17:50, 23 August 2007 (UTC)
  • Does the League advocate making promotion relegation easier? 17:50, 23 August 2007 (UTC)


I believe there should be a section dedicated to how USL is set up

  • number of games
  • promotion/relegation
  • play-offs
  • etc.

metalmurf 11:26, 07 July 2007 (MDT)

First team plays home??[edit]

Hi, I'm not sure, but the best team won't play the home leg 1st. I know the Impact will play their home game on sunday ie the second game. So it is not necessarly true. The thing that is true is that the best team has the oppotunity to play the game they want at home.Soopafred 22:44, 17 September 2006 (UTC)

The team with the superior record chooses which leg they play at home. BobbyAFC 02:26, 18 September 2006 (UTC)

BobbyAFC is right, it's not automatic, the better team gets to choose. Henryong


I removed this line from the intro of this article:

Based on past results in friendly matches vs. Football League clubs, the USL-1 is around the same level as League One in England.

This is pure speculation, not to mention the fact that most English clubs do not field their full team in friendlies and usually play them in the off-season when they are not at their fittest.Largo1965 17:18, 25 May 2007 (UTC)

Fair use rationale for Image:USL First Division.gif[edit]

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Fair use rationale for Image:Puerto Rico Islanders2.jpg[edit]

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Please go to the image description page and edit it to include a fair use rationale. Using one of the templates at Wikipedia:Fair use rationale guideline is an easy way to insure that your image is in compliance with Wikipedia policy, but remember that you must complete the template. Do not simply insert a blank template on an image page.

If there is other other fair use media, consider checking that you have specified the fair use rationale on the other images used on this page. Note that any fair use images uploaded after 4 May, 2006, and lacking such an explanation will be deleted one week after they have been uploaded, as described on criteria for speedy deletion. If you have any questions please ask them at the Media copyright questions page. Thank you.BetacommandBot 04:11, 6 June 2007 (UTC)

First Tier and Second Tier?[edit]

I will be changing the first sentence of this article, stating that the USL is second tier is a false assertion, as there is no such system in North America. Instead based on this reference [1] The article will (somewhat) state that the USL and MSL leagues are independent of one another, and that the two leagues are recognized at the same level of professionalism and very much competitor's for talent. Redskins26 (talk) 23:14, 2 October 2008 (UTC)

Yeah, but they're not. I entirely disagree with what you have stated in the new introduction you wrote - it is commonly accepted by pretty much the entire American soccer community that MLS is superior in the hierarchy to USL1. Saying otherwise is just going to confuse people; plus you can't just use the recent Champions League results as support of the claim, as it is obvious that MLS and Mexican League teams are fielding weakened sides, whereas USL1 teams are not. Also, the fact that teams from MLS qualify for the CONCACAF Champions league directly through league play, whereas USL1 teams do not, shows that CONCACAF recognises MLS as the #1 league. Furthermore, FIFA also clearly recognizes MLS as the top tier national league on its website: An article in an online magazine expressing an opinion does not trump the official positions of both FIFA and CONCACAF. --JonBroxton (talk) 00:31, 3 October 2008 (UTC)
I'm sorry, but in America most people don't understand what a league pyramid is, like they have in Europe. Saying either league is part of a pyramid in America, is like saying the National Football Conference is top compared to the American Football Conference, or the World Hockey Association, or Continental Hockey League, is inferior compared to the NHL. Since neither league is at the junior level, they are both competing at the professional level, evidence being, teams from either league can qualify for the CONCACAF Champions League. they are independent and equivalent. Redskins26 (talk) 16:46, 3 October 2008 (UTC)
But they are not. The only way an American USL1 team can qualify for the CONCACAF Champions League is via the US Open Cup - exactly the same way as Europe, where the only way a team from the Coca Cola Championship can qualify for the UEFA Cup is through winning the FA Cup. Both the EPL and the CCC are professional leagues, and there is a mechanism in place where it's possible for CCC team to qualify for Europe, but that does not make them equivalent. The only reason Montreal and Puerto Rico qualified for the CONCACAF Champions League is because neither Canada nor Puerto Rico has a fully professional domestic league, and so they took part in independent competitions in order to qualify. Neither of them qualified as a result of their performances in USL1. This in itself is irreputable proof that both CONCACAF and FIFA consider MLS to be superior in the hierarchy to USL1. It was pure good fortune that Montreal won the Canadian qualifying tournament, and not Toronto. Similarly, if Puerto Rico had been beaten by San Juan Jabloteh, they wouldnt have been in the final stages either. Also, the ignorance of the American public of the way a national soccer hierarchy works is not really relevant. I don't understand how NHL works, but that doesn't make their system wrong. Really, you're making an issue where one does not, and has never, existed before. --JonBroxton (talk) 17:33, 3 October 2008 (UTC)
FYI, Puerto Rico does have a fully professional league santioned by the FFPR, see Puerto Rico Soccer League. Now with that clear, the tournament was organized to fill the vacants created by the expansion brought forth by the new Champion's League format, which allowed room for more Caribbean-based clubs. The Islanders were actually selected to compete in the eliminatory due to their participation in the USL which placed them in a good ranking within the region. - Caribbean~H.Q. 01:10, 4 October 2008 (UTC)
I should have said that, when qualifying for this year's CONCACAF Champions League began, Puerto Rico did not have a fully professional league at that time. You're quite right about the new league, which is in its first season now. My apologies for the mistake. However, I think you're slightly wrong about the Islanders being invited to compete to make up qualifying due to their USL1 performances. At the time, they were the only professional team from Puerto Rico, anywhere, so they were the island's representatives by default, irrespective of what league they played in. My understanding was that they were invited because they and San Juan Jabloteh were the losing 2008 CFU Club Championship semi finalists, as as such were the two "next best" teams who hadn't qualified outright for the previous installment of the CONCACAF Champions Cup; because the Champions LEAGUE had one more spot, then the Islanders and San Juan Jabloteh played off. Right? --JonBroxton (talk) 03:57, 4 October 2008 (UTC)
I think that River Plate had already began preparations with the USL before this PRSL business was announced, as the last champions of the Premier League they could have entered the tournament as well. The Islanders simply had higher standing due to their history in the USL, i.e. better chances of qualifying. - Caribbean~H.Q. 00:48, 6 October 2008 (UTC)
USL as a lower level than the MLS is a stereotype, but tier should be changed to division or level for the time being. I don't see soccer the same in America, as it is in Europe since the nations leagues aren't seperate. FIFA did recognize the MLS as a higher level in an article about the Seattle Sounders FC switching leagues, and I believe the reason the MLS league champion has a berth in the Champions league is due to the fact that the MLS is more stable than the USL [2]. I think it is important to note in this article that the USL is competing as an elite soccer league domestically in North America, as they draw players from the same talent pool and compete against the MLS for supporters.[3] I am suggesting the article be revised to dis include the unneeded information on the promotion/relegation system, as it isn't relevant between independent leagues. Also here are some article references to include in the article, as few recently suggest the USL is definitely competing at a top level, breaking the stereotype as the lower level in North America. These CONCACAF articles stereotype the USL as second division [4] [5] While these articles discuss the same argument we are having. [6] [7] [8] So perhaps include in the article, that there is argument about the superiority of either league as well. Redskins26 (talk) 21:23, 3 October 2008 (UTC)
This is a direct quote from the USL page you linked to: "Exceptional competitive soccer lives in the USL First Division, USL’s highest level of professional soccer in the US, Canada, and the Caribbean. The 2008 campaign features a 11-team format playing 30 regular season matches, 15 home and 15 away. The USL First Division schedule is augmented by participation in the Lamar Hunt U.S. Open Cup, and various exhibitions. The development of stadiums and world-class players from over 35 countries provides affordable family entertainment for over one million fans each year." Where in there does it say that USL1 considers itself MLS's equal? Every soccer league in the WORLD has ambitions to compete as an elite soccer league, draws players from the same talent pool, and competes against the rival clubs and leagues for supporters. That doesn't mean that there isn't an established hierarchy.
Your comment about soccer not being the same in America as it is in Europe since the 'nations leagues aren't seperate' is also erroneous. Many other national leagues have clubs from other countries playing in them, for a variety of historical, financial, logistical and geographical reasons. Berwick Rangers, a club from England, plays in the Scottish league system. Cardiff City and Swansea City, clubs from Wales, play in England. FC Vaduz a club from Liechtenstein, plays in the Swiss league. Wellington Phoenix, from New Zealand, plays in the Australian A-League. It's not like MLS and USL1 are unique in this.
Also, I entirely disagree with your suggestion that the article be revised to disinclude the "unneeded" information on the promotion/relegation system. The fact that no established system of pro-rel exists between MLS and USL1, and the closed shop franchise system that BOTH league implement, is hugely relevant in terms of its perception by the rest of the soccer world, as the vast majority of other leagues do not adopt this model. The uniqueness of this distinction needs to be made and explained to those readers who may not understand it.
Also, I disagree with your contention that "lower in the hierarchy" automatically means "inferior" or "minor league". This viewpoint seems to be a wholly American concept which is usually not shared by soccer fans in countries where multiple hierarchical levels are commonplace. USL1 is a top level league in the scope or American soccer; it is not THE top level league - that is MLS, as recognised by FIFA and CONCACAF. It's the same in England. The Championship is a top level league in the scope of English soccer; it is not THE top level league - that is EPL, as recognised by FIFA and UEFA. See where I'm coming from? --JonBroxton (talk) 22:41, 3 October 2008 (UTC)
Oh, and one other thing about those articles you linked to... surely they're just tongue-in-cheek op-ed pieces saying "Wow, look at how well the USL teams are doing compared to the MLS teams! Maybe they should be the top tier, ha ha ha..." Really, the only person having the argument about the superiority of the leagues is you.--JonBroxton (talk) 22:47, 3 October 2008 (UTC)
Can this argument be moved to the American league pyramid discussion bored? Since I found similar arguments on that discussion board
To your first point, you misunderstood what I wrote. To your second point, it may be relevant to the rest of the world, it isn't relevant to America; this concept of promotion and relegation just doesn't exist between separate organizations in America, instead it should be clearly stated that the USL isn't a minor league. Readers of this article aren't only soccer fans, even bringing up the promo/reg system is indirect to the readers, me being one of them. I was wrong to say that the USL isn't second division, I looked at the United States Soccer Federation website and found the MLS to be the primary organization in the overall structure, as required by FIFA regulation to make a distinction between the two leagues. [9] Redskins26 (talk) 00:20, 4 October 2008 (UTC)
Why does it need to explicitly state that USL1 isn't a minor league? As far as I am aware, it's only Americans unfamiliar with the concept of multiple-division soccer hierarchy who would think to refer to it as such. Wikipedia isn't a USA-centric website. It's world-centric. We don't make explicit statements about the Coca Cola Championship, or Serie B, or Ligue 1 not being minor league, because no-one would ever consider them as such anyway. The only distinctions and explanations which needs to made are to do with the lack of pro/rel, and the ownership/franchise system, because in that way USL1 DOES differ greatly from the majority of other leagues in the world.--JonBroxton (talk) 04:04, 4 October 2008 (UTC)
USL is an American league, so it should be put in terms understandable to Americans. Serie B, and Ligue 1 aren't minor league's because it's understandable in those countries, soccer is not that understandable to all Americans. In America, a league belonging in the second division clearly implies they are subject to inferiority to the first division, meaning they would be considered a minor league. The USL isn't a minor league, due to the fact that they compete with other major leagues, such as in the U.S. Open and the CONCACAF Champions League. A situation that would NEVER occur in any other major American sporting league if the teams were in fact apart of a lower division. To Americans it's like saying a minor league AAA baseball team can gain a berth in the MLB Playoff. In the American sense and language, it's contradictory to have a second division competing against a first division, because in America there is thought to be a large gap of talent between Major leagues and Minor leagues, which is not the case in American soccer. There is little, if no gap in talent between the USL and MLS, proof could simply be Crystal Palace Baltimore defeating the New York Red Bull in the U.S. Open. In terms Americans can understand it is important for this article to state that USL is not a minor league, or in anyway affiliated with MLS.Redskins26 (talk) 06:05, 4 October 2008 (UTC)
I think that anyone with even a rudimentary knowledge of American soccer can see that the USL-1 is effectively the second tier, as the MLS is clearly the top division. пﮟოьεԻ 57 10:28, 4 October 2008 (UTC)

May I just add in my two cents here? I think the idea of the American Soccer Pyramid is ridiculous, as to me it implies a system of promotion and relegation, or at the very least a group of interconnected leagues that have a lot of cohesion, which I don't think applies to the American soccer leagues at present. That being said, MLS is quite obviously the top league of American soccer, but it doesn't, in my opinion, invalidate the point made that USL is not a second tier in the same sense that the Football League Championship is. Following on my point about the so-called American Soccer Pyramid, separating these leagues or divisions into tiers is silly since they don't apply to American professional soccer. However, it doesn't change the fact that the USL is simply not on the same level, in any category, be it talent, popularity, etc. as MLS. So I think we need to acknowledge that the USL is not as prominent as MLS, but not necessarily a "second tier" league. The rules and traditions that apply to other national systems, particularly in Europe, simply do not apply to the United States and Canada, and we shouldn't try to shoehorn them into such rules. So I propose that we stop referring to various American leagues as being part of a tier, while still acknowledging the clear separation between them. --iTocapa iChat 01:52, 6 October 2008 (UTC)

Just because there is not currently a system of promotion and relegation doesn't in and of itself invalidate the concept of a league pyramid. Before the mid 1980s in England the Football League operated as a de facto closed shop like American sports leagues do in that while there was promotion and relegation between the League's various divisions, unless there was a collapse of a club or similar situation that caused a club to drop out of the League, clubs that were outside the League were simply unable to be elected into the Football League, and thus after the Third or eventually Fourth Division, there was no promotion and relegation between the Football League and what is now the Football Conference. There was a procedure by which it could happen, and in situations I described before it was used a few times to keep the number of teams in the league the same, but it was not a common thing for a non-League club to become a League club. This does not mean that people in England wouldn't have considered there to be a league pyramid at that time, nor should they have. The leagues clearly had different levels of quality from one another, which came with higher attendances, interest, media coverage, etc., and there were certainly more leagues and clubs at the bottom of that pyramid than at the top. Currently the USL has the USL-1 and the USL-2 and the PDL, the latter of which has roughly 124,073,209 teams, give or take 10,000. There is also a process by which a USL club can join MLS provided they have a proper stadium, ownership (group), and pay a (reduced) franchise fee to the league to join up. While there is a slightly different situation going on in Seattle as we speak, a lot of the provisions like being able to sign any player from the USL Sounders to the MLS Sounders without using the allocation system, are being used by the new franchise because of the clear link between the USL and MLS. Just because this system hasn't ever been fully utilized doesn't mean it doesn't exist, and just because the pyramid doesn't look exactly like those in Europe or elsewhere, doesn't mean it doesn't exist either. Any attempt to say that USL-1 isn't of the same quality of MLS is because of an arbitrary or prejudicial distinction is farcical, and should be treated as such. I can't believe that people in USL cities feel so persecuted that they have to whine on Wiki talk pages about how their league's article is written unfairly. It honestly doesn't matter, and this discussion has already wasted far too much time that could have been devoted to A) improving the quality of the encyclopedia, or B) improving the quality of American soccer, two goals I hope everyone in this discussion is more keen on than this silly argument. -- Grant.Alpaugh 19:35, 8 October 2008 (UTC)
I have to agree with Jon and Grant, just because a pyramid identical to English football isn't implemented here doesn't mean there isn't a pyramid structure involved. And to say that Americans can't understand a pyramid structure is utterly ridiculous, considering most people here understand the pyramid structures for baseball and hockey quite well. Anyone who understands both the English Pyramid system and American sports knows fully well, a structure like that would not work in American sports, so it's modified to where franchises remain static in their leagues until ownership and finances dictate it should either move up or down. However, the pecking order between leagues is understood. While USL-1 teams do beat MLS teams in Open Cup play, it can be arguably safe to say AAA teams in baseball and hockey could beat teams in MLB and the NHL as well, not to mention a USL team has only won the Open Cup once since MLS teams were allowed in in 1996. While obviously there are quality teams and players in USL-1, the fans, football governing bodies, and sports media all recognize MLS as the superior circuit (show me how many USL games are on ESPN and ESPN2 versus soccer-only premium channels, and that should answer the question right there). Mtndrums (talk) 04:44, 23 January 2009 (UTC)
  • I think a case can be made that USL-1 isn't necessarily inferior to MLS.
  1. USL teams regularly were beating MLS teams in the US Open cup. This year 3 of 8 of the quarter-finalists were USL (having already beaten MLS teams), 2 of the semi-finalists were USL, and one of the finalists were USL. And the three strongest USL teams this season didn't qualify for the US Open Cup (because they were from Canada and Puerto Rico). Last season 5 of the quarter-finalists were USL and 2 of the semi-finalists.
  2. USL teams beat the Canadian team in the 2008 Canadian Championship (though the USL teams were second and third in USL-1 this season, while the MLS team is almost last).
  3. USL teams have out-performed MLS teams in the this year's Champions League. Two MLS teams and the 2 USL teams had to play in the preliminary round. MLS team New England Revolution lost 6-1 on aggregate to Joe Public of Trinidad and MLS's Los Angeles Chivas lost 3-1 on aggregate to Tauro of Panama. The two USL teams both advanced in the preliminary round, and then one went on in the group stage to beat Joe Public twice (6-1 on aggregate), while the other beat Tauro (second game pending). Meanwhile #two other MLS teams qualified directly to the group stage of this year's Champions League. Both the USL teams are first in their group, one of the MLS teams is last in their group, and the other is currently second.

There are two reasons that MLS teams often seem inferior to USL teams. MLS teams are restricted to a senior roster of only 18 players while ULS-1 teams have a senior roster of 26 (I believe). And secondly USL teams have a salary cap, that isn't growing very fast (I must confess though, I don't know what the top USL teams payroll is).

A well-rested MLS team is probably better than a well-rested USL teams, but when these teams meet under pressure, the deeper benches on the USL squads seems to make a lot of difference. The USL teams have been winning in recent weeks in the Champions League despite playing 3 games a week, while the MLS teams have only been playing 2 games a week.

However, the bottom line however, is that we have a policy - Wikipedia:No original research. It doesn't matter what we think. If USL-1 is truly becoming the equal of MLS, then there should be references to this out there, and this is what should be in articles. If a soccer pyramid does exist in Canada and the USA, then it should be referenced somewhere. Nfitz (talk) 04:21, 10 October 2008 (UTC)

  • Just to throw my 2 cents in. While there is no interconnection between any of the independent leagues in America, the leagues do get sanctions from the USSF and FIFA as a certain level on the "pyramid". For instance the new TOA league has applied for USSF sanction as a Division 2 league. MLS has its sanction as a Division 1 league. So while there is very little interconnection officially, they do have their national and international sanctions at various levels on the pyramid. Gateman1997 (talk) 18:13, 21 November 2009 (UTC)


Then there were three...[edit]

Well, it's looking worse and worse. rumors have it that the Cleveland City Stars have folded, and there is some talk that F.C New York isn't going to form up, either. That leaves only the veterans in Puerto Rico and Portland, and the newcomers in Austin. All three teams are strong teams, with good financials; but is three teams enough for a league? Will the USL just fold USL-2 in with USL-1, and be left with three massively dominant teams overpowering the rest? (Then again, Austin wasn't really 'dominating' in play, only in fan base.) The articles I link to are only rumors, so I'm not putting these on the main page yet, just a talk. Ehurtley (talk) 22:49, 3 December 2009 (UTC)

Merger proposal[edit]

A-League (1995–2004) should be merged into USL First Division. These are the same league with the only difference being a simple name change. The 1995 and 1996 stats are from the previous A-League and are already included at American Professional Soccer League which was known as the A-League from 1995-1996 Cmjc80 (talk) 02:37, 16 December 2009 (UTC)

It's a bit more complicated than that. The A-League was a rebranded American Professional Soccer League in 1995 and 1996. It then merged with the USISL to become the USISL A-League in 1997. I recommend that this article be split. The 1995 and 1996 season information should be merged with the APSL article and the 1997 and on information merged with the USL First Division article. Mohrflies (talk) 14:33, 26 December 2009 (UTC)
  • Agree with Mohrflies, should be kept seperate, not just a simple name more complicated, also a merger. Also the decision to merge the teams into a single category was a poor one and should be reversed immediately. A-League was briefly top league in US and Canada and thus deserves article of it's own. Djln--Djln (talk) 21:34, 30 December 2009 (UTC)
    • Mohrflies was suggesting that the information be split between both articles so there are only two articles for two leagues. the 95-96 A- League was completely seperate from the 1997+ League that was renamed the First Division. Also listing the APSL stats on the USL First Division page is just incorrect in every way possible. The new articles and categories are unnecessary, confusing and most importantly INACCURATE. Cmjc80 (talk) 23:33, 2 January 2010 (UTC)
  • I agree APSL stats should not be included here. It has it's own article. However I'm not sure A-League stats should be either. The APSL A-League and USISL/USL A-League were not completely seperate. The USISL tookover/merged with APSL and retained A-League name. A-League should have an article of it's own for reasons I've mentioned above and below. Djln--Djln (talk) 00:19, 3 January 2010 (UTC)
  • I definitely think A-League article should be kept. APSL name only used for five seasons and USL 1 name has only being around since 2005 and could soon disappear, A-League name was used for 10 seasons. Djln--Djln (talk) 21:34, 4 January 2010 (UTC)

Major Tidy Up Needed[edit]

In my opinion this article needs a major tidy up on two fronts. Firstly in light of the defections to the new NASL which is ongoing and difficult to keep up with. Secondly I thing the article should concentrate on the seasons when it was known as the USL First Division and not be cluttered with excessive info on the various predecessor names/leagues, all of which have their own articles anyway. Mention them by all means but don’t get bogged down. It is a bit ridiculous to try and merge all this info into one article, as one editor is trying to do, especially when US soccer leagues have a history of name changes, mergers and collapses, etc. Any thoughts here Djln --Djln (talk) 00:08, 3 January 2010 (UTC)

Well, once there are official announcements and the dust settles with the new USSF-sanctioned league for 2010, this will be fixed up, however I'm unsure whether the season info will end up in the USL First Division page or elsewhere. There is also an argument that the A-League and USISL Pro League be included, since they are linear with USL-1 and USL-2, respectively. A possible compromise could be adding A-League and USISL Pro seasons to the list of USL seasons at the bottom of the page. Mtndrums (talk) 20:06, 25 January 2010 (UTC)