New USL Super League will rival NWSL and announces eight cities that will get teams in 2024

The National Women’s Soccer League could no longer be the sole top tier women’s league in the U.S. starting in August 2024. That’s because the new USL Super League announced on Tuesday its plans to become a Division 1 league on par with NWSL.

Eight cities will get teams for the inaugural season which spans from August 2024 through June 2025 (with a winter break in the middle). If all goes to plan, then five more cities will get teams for the following season.

Here are the cities receiving teams.

USL Super League teams

2024 Season:

  • Spokane, Washington
  • Phoenix, Arizona
  • Tucson, Arizona
  • Dallas/Fort Worth, Texas
  • Lexington, Kentucky
  • Tampa Bay, Florida
  • Charlotte, North Carolina
  • Washington D.C.

Team joining in 2025 Season:

  • Oakland, California
  • Madison, Wisconsin
  • Indianapolis, Indiana
  • Chattanooga, Tennessee
  • Jacksonville, Florida

USL Super League president Amanda Vandervort said that with only 12 professional women’s teams in the country there’s plenty of room for another professional league.

"You've got 12 professional women's teams in this country and amazing cities and fans and players who want to be part of this movement of professional women's sports," Vandervort said in an interview with ESPN. "I think that's created the opportunity that there is now for the Super League. We're ready and we're excited to create that platform for all of those people."

The USL already has its metaphorical feet wet in the women’s soccer game. The W-League, a pre-professional league with 65 teams, has been operating for a year and had seen some great success in teams like Minnesota Aurora FC.

Players from the W-League will help fill the rosters of the new USL Super League.

Obtaining Division 1 status will be one of the key hurdles for the USL Super League. To do so the USSF's Board of Directors will have to give their stamp of approval.

Here’s the checklist in order to get Division 1 status.

  • At least eight teams in the inaugural season
  • Three-fourths of the teams must play in markets with at least 750,000 people
  • Stadiums must have a minimum 5,000 seats
  • The league has to be in at least two time zones
  • Each team’s ownership group must be able to operate for three years
  • The ownership group must have a net worth of at least $25 million
  • Individual net worth of principal owner must be at least $15 million

It will be interesting to see how the NWSL and USL Super League coexist as the two leagues will be competing for sponsors, players, fans, etc. With the existing schedules there will be overlap between the league schedules. The NWSL typically runs from March through November while the USL Super League will start in August and end in June.

This means there would be eight months of the year when the two leagues play at the same time.

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