|Organizing body||United Soccer League|
|Founded||April 2, 2017|
|Other club(s) from||Canada|
(North American Football Union)
|Number of teams||12|
|Level on pyramid||3|
|Domestic cup(s)||U.S. Open Cup|
|Current champion(s)||Greenville Triumph SC (2020)|
|Greenville Triumph SC (2020)|
|Most championships||Greenville Triumph SC|
North Texas SC (1 title each)
|North Texas SC|
Greenville Triumph SC
(1 title each)
|Current: 2021 USL League One season|
USL League One (USL1) is a professional men's soccer league in the United States and Canada that began its inaugural season in 2019. United Soccer League 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 USL Championship 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 League operated leagues at the lower divisions 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 and markets in which to locate new member teams. 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 Fayetteville Woodpeckers that ultimately opened in 2019 as Segra Stadium.
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 USL 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 Championship and joining League One in 2020. On September 11, 2018, the league announced that Richmond Kickers would also be dropping down from Championship 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 FC team to begin USL League One play at Cooley Law School Stadium in the inaugural 2019 season. On October 2, 2018, the tenth and final founding member was revealed to be the reserve team of FC Dallas. Four days later, the club unveiled its branding as North Texas SC.
The league filed for Division III status with the USSF on August 14, 2018. Ten founding teams were listed in the application. On December 14, 2018, USSF voted to provisionally sanction League One as a Division 3 league for 2019.[better source needed] The league currently shares Division III status with the National Independent Soccer Association.
The first League One game was played on March 29, 2019 when Tormenta FC defeated Greenville Triumph SC 1–0 before a crowd of 3,519 at Eagle Field in Erk Russell Park. Alex Morrell scored the first goal in the 72nd minute.
On May 1, 2019, an Omaha, Nebraska team to start play in 2020 was unveiled. On October 9, 2019 it was announced that both the New England Revolution and Inter Miami CF would be placing reserve teams in the league, bringing the total number of teams for the 2020 season to 12 teams. On October 21, 2019 it was announced that one of its inaugural teams, Lansing Ignite FC, would fold after its first and only season in existence.
The league currently has 12 teams scheduled to participate in the 2021 season.
|Team||City||Stadium||Capacity||Founded||Joining||Head coach||MLS affiliate|
|Planned Expansion Teams|
|Central Valley Fuego FC||Fresno, California||TBD||TBD||2020||2022||vacant|
|Northern Colorado FC||Windsor, Colorado||Future Legends Complex||6,000||2021||2022||vacant|
|Rochester Rhinos||Rochester, New York||Empire United Soccer Complex||TBD||1996||2022||vacant|
|Fort Wayne FC||Fort Wayne, Indiana||Shield's Field||3,200||2019||2023||Mike Avery|
|Spokane USL Team||Spokane, Washington||New downtown stadium||5,000||2021||2023||vacant|
|Club||City||Stadium||Capacity||Joined||Final season||MLS affiliation||Fate|
|Lansing Ignite FC||Lansing, Michigan||Cooley Law School Stadium||7,527||2019||2019||Chicago Fire||Folded|
|Orlando City B||Kissimmee, Florida||Osceola County Stadium||5,400||2019||2020||Orlando City SC||Withdrawn by MLS parent club|
Current clubs Future clubs Former clubs Club played in different league
|Team||USL1 Cup||Year(s) won||Regular season
|Year(s) won||USL1 seasons|
|North Texas SC||1||2019||1||2019||2|
|Greenville Triumph SC||1||2020||1||2020||2|
USL League One Finals
|2019||North Texas SC||1–0||Greenville Triumph SC||Toyota Stadium||3,245||Arturo Rodríguez (NTX)|
|2020||Greenville Triumph SC||Cancelled||Union Omaha||Legacy Early College Field||0||None selected|
- Soccer in the United States
- Professional sports leagues in the United States
- USL Championship
- USL League Two
- USL Second Division
- National Independent Soccer Association
- "About". USL. April 25, 2017. Retrieved April 25, 2017.
- Kennedy, Paul (March 30, 2017). "USL: A new Division III league in works for 2019". Soccer America. Retrieved December 8, 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.
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- USLLeagueOne.com Staff (October 21, 2019). "Lansing Ignite FC Ceases Operations". USL League One. Retrieved October 21, 2019.
- "CHI Memorial Hospital Unveiled as Naming Rights Sponsor for Chattanooga Stadium". USLLeagueOne.com. USL League One. Retrieved March 5, 2020.
- Staff, USL DIII (August 22, 2018). "Rochester Approved for USL Division III". USL League One. Retrieved June 22, 2021.
- Ross, Alexa (June 15, 2021). "Premier League star Jamie Vardy named co-owner of Rochester Rhinos". RochesterFirst. 1:05. Retrieved June 16, 2021.CS1 maint: location (link)
- Hamilton, Tom (June 15, 2021). "Prem star Vardy buys stake in Rochester Rhinos". ESPN.com. Retrieved June 22, 2021.
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- "Spokane Public Schools board votes to build new stadium downtown". krem.com. Retrieved May 23, 2021.
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- "Three MLS Teams Withdraw from USL Competition" (Press release). United Soccer League. October 16, 2020. Retrieved November 4, 2020.
- "USL League One Final Cancelled, Greenville Named 2020 Title-Winners". USLLeagueOne.com Staff. October 29, 2020. Retrieved October 29, 2020.
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