Welcome to a new dawn in North American soccer.

The rising tide of soccer across North America is unstoppable. The world’s game will also be the No. 1 sport here, in time. Never before has the time been more right for the USL to rise to the occasion and be recognized as the new-generation professional league it has become. Now is our time. Soccer is rising, and so is the USL.


 


OUR CLUBS RISING


Soccer is the fastest-growing sport in America and our ever-growing league stands as evidence.
This season, we will boast 24 competing clubs, a number that has doubled since 2011.

 

 

The 2015 season featured the debuts of 13 new USL clubs, and five more have been announced for 2016 with FC Cincinnati, Rio Grande Valley FC, Bethlehem Steel FC, Orlando City B and Swope Park Rangers KC set to join next season. Additionally, a new club in Reno, Nevada has been announced for the 2017 season.

 

 

 

 

 

FANS RISING

Our beautiful game is nothing without the fans, and you keep coming in droves:

 

  • The USL single-game attendance record: 20,886 fans in the 2013 championship game.
  • Regular-season attendance record: 2014, Sacramento Republic FC: 158,107 fans.
  • 2014 USL regular season attendance: 609,500 fans.


Since 2011, more than 1.7 million committed soccer fans have passed through the turnstiles in support of their local clubs. The USL is rising.


A SPORT BRAND RISING

In order to realize our potential, we are reorganizing. Starting today USL PRO will compete simply as the USL. We have reached a point in our evolution where we can confidently call ourselves United.

 

For the 2015 season we will stand united behind a new brand:  

USL: WE ARE UNITED

UNITED CLUBS - The continued expansion of the league will lead to the development of more regional competition, reducing travel costs and further strengthening local and regional rivalries, the lifeblood of a strong soccer league. We are United.

UNITED FANS - Our digital evolution continues. We have created an improved fan experience with a new online home that will serve as THE destination for in-depth coverage of the league. Increased interactive content will include video, live games in HD on YouTube, in-game statistics, and the league’s all-new social media hub. We are United.

UNITED ACROSS NORTH AMERICA - All aspects of our league have been elevated, both on and off the field, to the extent that the time is right for USL to re-establish its Division 2 status. This year the League will apply for USSF Division 2 sanctioning to accurately reflect the quality of our league, our ownership groups, our stadiums and our fans.  We are United.

A UNITED BUSINESS - Our sustainable business model continues to attract dynamic and experienced ownership groups that work together to support and enhance what we do every day. We are also a proud partner of Nike Soccer, the official apparel and equipment provider for USL, with the iconic worldwide brand standing as the league’s oldest and most loyal partner. This year, the USL will also make the first of a number of exciting announcements about new commercial partnerships that will add value to the league, our clubs, and the fan experience.





A NEW-LOOK LEAGUE

As you can see, the league is growing, and fast. As we continue to pioneer a pathway into the future game across North America, we recognized that it was time to reevaluate how we looked. Starting with our league logo, we have overhauled our identity to step forward as a league brand that is fit for our partners, our clubs and their fans as the dawn of a new era rises for the USL.


The new logo

The new USL mark is the central pillar in a new design philosophy for our league. Inspired by the geometry of the field, its design cues are more akin to a 21st century startup than those of a monolithic sports league.




The simple shapes of the USL lettering appear as a stencil and hint at its flexible use. The new logo is not a corporate logo: it is a tribal mark, something to be taken to the heart of each club’s community, personalized and worn with pride. This new design system will be explored and developed by our clubs and their fans from this season on.

 





 

 

Q&A

Q: Why change now?
Soccer is the new sport for America. Our soccer is not just a game, it is a personal identification worn next to your heart, on your sleeve. Worn with passion and with pride. Soccer is rising. So is the USL. Now is our time.

The USL is a very different league now from the inception of USL PRO five years ago. The experience and quality of our clubs, our players and coaches, our front office executives and ownership groups has consistently increased each year.

Putting the right structure in place and creating a sustainable economic model has enabled the league to create a solid foundation from which to drive forward in line with the explosive growth of our sport in North America.

Q:  Why did you change the league name?
From our research we believed that we had achieved enough equity in the USL brand that we we could remove ‘PRO’ from the name in addition to any descriptor or lockup referencing men’s professional soccer. USL or United Soccer League, spells out our story of a UNITED league of professional soccer clubs.

Q:  What is unique about the new design?
As the principles of marketing change, our design is agile and iterative. Our new logo is not a corporate logo but a tribal mark to be worn with passion. We encourage everyone to take part in developing the new expression of our league - to celebrate their clubs and to unite as one tribe beneath the banner. We have posted our logo elements here for all to download, make their own and wear with pride.

Q: How can I join in and share?
As our digital evolution continues, we have joined with innovative technology company NeuLion to create an improved fan experience with new online services. Our new home portal will continue to evolve as our clubs, partners and fans demand. Talk to us! Why not start now by telling us what you think the 2015 season will bring.

USL is rising and the conversation has already started on #uslrising

Q:  What is the USL game experience like?
Our game-day experience continues to impress with more fans attending and more investment improving the quality of the stadiums our clubs call home. The building of soccer-specific stadiums is a key initiative for the USL, with the goal to have all teams as the owners or primary tenants of soccer-specific venues by 2020.

Working with selected clubs, we are in the process of creating a series of “Fan Fests” that will tour USL stadiums throughout the U.S. and Canada to continue developing our venues as cultural hubs for their communities.
 
Q: Where can I watch USL games?
Through our partnership with YouTube, all USL matches will be broadcast live and in HD exclusively on our Youtube Sports channel. The accessibility of live video will showcase our league and its players, coaches, and fans, while connecting our clubs and partners to a global audience, and present them with opportunities to reach additional fans from throughout North America and the world.

Q: How has the partnership with MLS been successful so far?
During the past three years, the partnership between Major League Soccer and the USL has gone from strength to strength, on and off the field. This season, the number of affiliations between MLS and USL clubs has grown to 12 and the number of MLS clubs owning and operating their own USL club has grown from 1 to 8.

Last season, USL clubs fielded 134 current and former MLS players, and since 2012, 19 USL-grown players have signed for MLS clubs. We are also proud to note that four MLS loan players with USL experience in 2014 were selected for the January 2015 U.S. Men’s National Team camp (Steve Birnbaum, Jon Kempin, Oscar Sorto, Gyasi Zardes). The partnership has proved extremely beneficial to clubs in both leagues and to the development of professional players aspiring to reach the highest level.




Download the new USL logo

 

The USL would like to thank Good Omen Partners, Red Antler and Steve Haslip for their creative direction on this project.



The 2015 season featured the debuts of 13 new USL clubs, and four more have been announced for 2015 with FC Cincinnati, Rio Grande Valley FC, Lehigh Valley (Penn.) and Orlando City B set to join next season. Additionally, a new club in Reno, Nevada has been announced for the 2017 season.

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