USL League One
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|Organising body||United Soccer Leagues|
|Founded||April 2, 2017|
|Other club(s) from||Canada|
(North American Football Union)
|Number of teams||
|Level on pyramid||
3 (US) (proposed)|
3 (CAN) (proposed)
|Domestic cup(s)||U.S. Open Cup|
|2019 USL League One season|
USL League One (USL1) is a professional men's soccer league in the United States that will begin its inaugural season in 2019. United Soccer Leagues 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.
The United Soccer League 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 Leagues operated leagues at the third division under various names, including the USL Second Division, and the second division as USL First Division. 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. It was also announced that branding and other information about the league would be announced during the summer of 2017.
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. 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. 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. 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. 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 Buies Creek Astros that is expected to be completed by March 2019.
The unveiling of the first founding member, South Georgia Tormenta FC, took place on January 25, 2018. This was followed by FC Tucson on February 6, Greenville Triumph SC on March 13, and Madison, Wisconsin on May 17. Toronto FC II of the United Soccer League was announced on July 2, and Chattanooga, Tennessee was announced on August 1.
On August 22, 2018, Rochester Stadium Operations, LLC announced that the Rochester Rhinos will be stepping down from the USL and joining League One in 2020. On September 11, 2018, the league announced that Richmond Kickers would also be dropping down from USL to League One due to financial difficulties competing in the higher league. On October 8, 2018, Penn FC, another long-time USL member, announced they would follow Rochester in stepping down to League One in 2020. On October 10, the Lansing City Council unanimously approved a deal for the new Lansing Ignite team to begin USL League One play at Cooley Law School Stadium in the inaugural 2019 season.
The league is expecting 10 clubs for the inaugural season and is targeting 24 clubs for the 2021 season.
Current clubs Future clubs Club played in different league
- Soccer in the United States
- Professional sports leagues in the United States
- United Soccer League
- USL League Two
- USL Second Division
- "About". USL. April 25, 2017. Retrieved April 25, 2017.
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- 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.
- "USL DIII VP Short reflects on southeast expansion tour". USL D3. May 10, 2017. Retrieved July 23, 2017.
- "Tormenta FC to explore USL DIII possibilities". USL D3. May 5, 2017. Retrieved July 23, 2017.
- "USL DIII Expansion Tour Visits Midwest". USL D3. May 22, 2017. Retrieved July 23, 2017.
- "Homonoff: Menace 'Evaluating' USL's DIII". USL D3. June 16, 2017. Retrieved July 23, 2017.
- "Short Shares Thoughts on North Carolina Visits". August 8, 2017. Retrieved August 11, 2017.
- "Tormenta FC joins USL USL Division III for 2019". January 25, 2018. Retrieved January 25, 2018.
- "FC Tucson Leads USL Division III'S West Coast Expansion". United Soccer League (USL). February 6, 2018.
- "FC Tucson moves to USL Division III, becomes professional team". Arizona Daily Star. February 6, 2018.
- "USL Division III Welcomes Greenville as Founding Member". United Soccer League (USL). February 6, 2018.
- "Greenville's Pro Soccer Team To Be Called Greenville Triumph Soccer Club". Greenville Triumph Soccer Club. August 9, 2018.
- "USL Division III Files Sanctioning Paperwork to U.S. Soccer". United Soccer League (USL). August 14, 2018.
- "USL Division III submits sanctioning request to U.S. Soccer with 10 teams". Paul Kennedy. SoccerAmerica. August 14, 2018.
- "Rochester Approved for USL Division III" (Press release). Rochester Rhinos. August 22, 2018.
- USL DIII Staff (11 September 2018). "Kickers Named a USL Division III Founding Member". usld3.com. United Soccer Leagues. Retrieved 12 September 2018.
- USLsoccer.com Staff (October 8, 2018). "Penn FC to join USL League One in 2020" (Press release).
- Couch, Graham (October 10, 2018). "Pro soccer in downtown Lansing gets go-ahead from City Council". Lansing State Journal. Retrieved October 11, 2018.
- "CHATTANOOGA TO BUILD SOCCER-SPECIFIC STADIUM FOR 2020 SEASON". USLLeagueOne.com. USL League One. Retrieved 18 October 2018.
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