USL Academy League to feature girls’ divisions beginning in 2023
TAMPA, Fla. – The United Soccer League (USL) today announced a new phase in the evolution of the USL Academy program and competitions. As the USL establishes its youth-to-professional pathway for women, the USL Academy League will include girls’ divisions beginning in 2023.
In addition, new roster rules for all USL Academy programs will foster integration of younger and older players – including senior team members – in matchday squads.
The USL Academy system is built around the core philosophy of “If You’re Good Enough, You’re Old Enough,” and features one Academy team for players aged 15-20 per club that connects elite youth soccer organizations to local senior teams in USL Championship, USL Super League, USL League One, USL League Two and USL W League. Players who sign USL Academy contracts at any level of the USL system can experience the senior team level of play at a young age, while maintaining college eligibility.
“The addition of girls’ divisions to the USL Academy Cup and USL Academy League demonstrates USL’s commitment to providing more and clearer youth-to-professional pathways for talented individuals across our ecosystem,” said USL Academy Women’s Soccer Director Sarah Brady. “Our standards, in collaboration with our member clubs, drive our decision making and ensure that all individuals are best positioned to fulfill their full potential.”
The USL Academy Cup next spring will feature boys’ and girls’ teams in all three age groups and select girls’ teams will compete in next summer’s USL Academy League.
The USL Academy League Finals take place this week in Tampa, Fla. featuring 30 teams and more than 600 of the country’s top young players, at least 40 of whom have already appeared for their club’s senior team.
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