CHICAGO (Jan. 16, 2018) – The U.S. Soccer Board of Directors granted Professional League sanctioning to Major League Soccer (MLS), National Women’s Soccer League (NWSL) and the United Soccer League (USL) for 2018. MLS and NWSL as Division I men’s and women’s professional leagues, respectively. USL was sanctioned as a Division II men’s professional league.
The sanctioning was approved this past weekend during a U.S. Soccer Board of Directors meeting in New York.
Sanctioning allows NWSL and USL to operate a Division I and II league, respectively, during the 2018 season and includes a two-year pathway to full compliance with the Professional League Standards. In particular, USL has demonstrated substantial progress toward reaching full compliance since being granted provisional Division II sanctioning in 2017.
Both NWSL and USL will continue to work with the U.S. Soccer Board of Directors ahead of the annual application deadline to demonstrate progress toward full compliance before their respective 2020 season. The leagues must reapply for sanctioning annually.