USL Second Division
|Number of teams||6|
|Levels on pyramid||3|
|Domestic cup(s)||Lamar Hunt U.S. Open Cup|
|Last champions||Charleston Battery
|Most championships||Charleston Battery
Long Island Rough Riders
(2 titles each)
|TV partners||Fox Soccer Channel|
|Website||Official site in English|
The United Soccer Leagues Second Division (commonly referred to as USL-2) was a professional men's soccer league in the United States, part of the United Soccer Leagues (USL) league pyramid. It was at the third tier of soccer in the United States, behind Major League Soccer (top division) and the USL First Division (second division), and one step up from the USL Premier Development League and the other leagues at Level 4.
In 1995 the United States Interregional Soccer League (USISL), the de facto second tier of American soccer at the time, changed its name to the United States International Soccer League, and split into two leagues, one professional and one amateur. The professional league, initially called the USISL Pro League, was a FIFA-sanctioned Division 3 league, while the amateur league, (the 'Premier League'), was given Division 4 status and would later go on to become the USL Premier Development League. The first champions of the new USISL Pro League were the Long Island Rough Riders, who beat Minnesota Thunder 2-1 in the championship game.
In 1996, the USISL established a new USISL Select League. The strongest USISL Pro League teams joined this new league, which was given Division 2 status alongside the existing A-League, while the remainder of the teams (plus expansion teams) remained at Division 3 level. Charleston Battery became the league's second champions in this year, beating the Charlotte Eagles in a penalty shootout in the 1996 USISL Pro League championship game.
In 1997 the league changed its name to the USISL D-3 Pro League to further distinguish itself from the A-League, and then in 1999 the umbrella USISL changed its name to the United Soccer Leagues (USL), and as such the Pro League officially became known as the USL D3 Pro League. In 2003 the name was changed again to the USL Pro Select League, but during the season had to be changed to the USL Pro Soccer League for to legal reasons. In 2005 the league took its current name as the USL Second Division, which it has retained ever since.
For 2011, USL has announced that the two divisions of USL professional play, the First Division and Second Division, would merge into a single USL Pro division. As of September 2010, it is not clear if this new division will seek sanctioning for Division II status from the United States Soccer Federation.
List of current and former member clubs
A total of 102 clubs have competed in USL-2.
Below is a list of clubs in the USL Second Division between 2005 and 2010 along with their current league affiliation (if any)
†The Austin Aztex have been awarded a USL Pro franchise and will begin play in 2015 in that league.
Years active in USL 2nd Division Clubs moving to USL First Division Clubs moving to USL PDL Clubs moving to USL Pro USSF D2 Season (2010) Club on hiatus
Championships by Team
|Long Island Rough Riders||2||1995, 2002|
|Charleston Battery||2||1996, 2010|
|Charlotte Eagles||2||2000, 2005|
|Utah Blitzz||2||2001, 2004|
|Richmond Kickers||2||2006, 2009|
|Western Mass Pioneers||1||1999|
|Harrisburg City Islanders||1||2007|
|Cleveland City Stars||1||2008|
- "USL Restructures Professional Division". www.uslsoccer.com. 2010-09-08. Retrieved 2010-09-10.
- The Year in American Soccer, 1995
- The Year in American Soccer, 1996
- "USL Restructures Professional Division". www.uslsoccer.com. 2010-09-08. Retrieved 2010-09-08.
- USL Merges D-2 and D-3 Leagues to Create ‘USL Pro’ for 2011