The U S of A is doing its best to organize itself a soccer pyramid , who knows we may see promotion / relegation some time soon. Changes have been made recently and more are due to be implemented in the near future but anyway this is my take on the current system as it stands today 29/ 05/ 2019 or for my American readers 5/ 29/ 2019 .
At this moment in time the United States Soccer Federation ( USSF) has sanctioned 3 tiers of professional soccer , at the top of the pile at Tier 1 is the ‘Major League Soccer’ , then at Tier 2 is the ‘ United Soccer League’ Championship Division and then finally at the Tier 3 is the ‘USL’ Divison 1.
I’ll run through those divisions shortly but before that I would like to point out that although there are 70 teams represented at these 3 levels, below Tier 1 there are 13 teams that are either Reserve sides or teams owned by MLS / USL Championship clubs with different names to their parent club so only truly 57 clubs. Then there are 5 Canadian clubs at these levels so that then leaves us with 52 U S of A clubs at this Professional level.
These Reserves and Pseudo clubs will be pointed out as we go through the divisions. So where better to start than at Tier 1 and that is the MLS.
Major League Soccer.
24 x clubs ( inc 3 x Canadian).
2 x Conferences.
Eastern Conference ( 12 x clubs inc 2 x Canadian).
Atlanta United FC. Atlanta, GA. Mercedes Benz Stadium.
Chicago Fire . Bridgeview, IL . Toyota Park.
Columbus Crew SC. Columbus, OH. Mapfre Stadium.
FC Cincinnati . Cincinnati, OH. Nippert Stadium.
D.C. United. Washington, D.C. Audi Field.
Montreal Impact. Montreal, QC. Saputo Stadium.
New England Revolution. Foxborough, MA. Gillette Stadium.
New York City FC. Bronx, NY. Yankee Stadium.
New York Red Bulls. Harrison, NJ . Red Bull Arena.
Orlando City SC. Orlando, FL Orlando City Stadium.
Philadelphia Union. Chester, PA. Talen Energy Stadium.
Toronto FC . Toronto, ON. BMO Field.
Western Conference ( 12 x clubs inc 1 x Canadian).
Colorado Rapids. Commerce City, CO . Dick’s Sporting Goods Park.
FC Dallas. Frisco, TX. Toyota Stadium.
Houston Dynamo. Houston, TX. BBVA Compass Stadium.
LA Galaxy. Carson, CA. StubHub Center.
Los Angeles FC. Los Angeles, CA Banc of California Stadium.
Minnesota United FC. Saint Paul, MN. Allianz Field.
Portland Timbers Portland, OR. Providence Park.
Real Salt Lake. Sandy, UT. Rio Tinto Stadium.
San Jose Earthquakes. San Jose, CA. Avaya Stadium.
Seattle Sounders FC, Seattle, WA. Century Link Field.
Sporting Kansas City. Kansas City, KS. Children’s Mercy Park.
Vancouver Whitecaps FC. Vancouver BC . BC Place.
United Soccer League Championship.
36 x teams ( inc 1 Canadian).
2 x Conferences.
Eastern Conference ( 18 teams inc 1 x Canadian).
Atlanta United 2. Lawrenceville, Georgia. Fifth Third Bank Stadium.
Bethlehem Steel FC. Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. Talen Energy Stadium.
Birmingham Legion FC. Birmingham, Alabama. BBVA Compass Field.
Charleston Battery. Charleston, South Carolina. MUSC Health Stadium.
Charlotte Independence. Matthews, North Carolina. Sportsplex at Matthews.
Hartford Athletic. Hartford, Connecticut. Dillon Stadium.
Indy Eleven. Indianapolis, Indiana. Lucas Oil Stadium.
Loudoun United FC. Leesburg, Virginia Audi Field.
Louisville City FC. Louisville, Kentucky. Louisville Slugger Field .
Memphis 901 FC. Memphis, Tennessee. AutoZone Park.
Nashville SC. Nashville, Tennessee. First Tennessee Park.
New York Red Bulls II. Montclair, New Jersey. MSU Soccer Park at Pittser Field.
North Carolina FC. Cary, North Carolina. WakeMed Soccer Park.
Ottawa Fury FC. Ottawa, Ontario. TD Place Stadium.
Pittsburgh Riverhounds. Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. Highmark Stadium.
Saint Louis FC. Fenton, Missouri. Toyota Stadium.
Swope Park Rangers. Kansas City, Kansas. Children’s Mercy Park.
Tampa Bay Rowdies. St. Petersburg, Florida. Al Lang Stadium.
OK then we have 2 Reserve teams in Atlanta Utd & New York Red Bulls and then 3 Reserve Pseudo teams in Bethlehem Steel (Philadelphia Union) , Loudon United ( D C Utd) & Swope Park Rangers ( Sporting Kansas).
Affiliate is – Ottawa Fury (Montreal).
Western Conference ( 18 x teams).
Austin Bold FC. Elroy, Texas. Bold Stadium.
Colorado Springs Switchbacks FC. Colorado Springs, Colorado. Weidner Field.
El Paso Locomotive FC. El Paso, Texas. Southwest University Park.
Fresno FC. Fresno, California. Chukchansi Park.
Las Vegas Lights FC. Las Vegas, Nevada. Cashman Field.
LA Galaxy II. Carson, California. StubHub Center Track Stadium.
New Mexico United. Albuquerque, New Mexico. Isotopes Park.
OKC Energy FC. Oklahoma City, Oklahoma. Taft Stadium.
Orange County SC. Irvine, California. Champion Stadium.
Phoenix Rising FC. Scottsdale, Arizona. Casino Arizona Field.
Portland Timbers 2. Portland, Oregon. Providence Park.
Real Monarchs SLC. Herriman, Utah. Zions Bank Stadium.
Reno 1868 FC Reno, Nevada. Greater Nevada Field.
Rio Grande Valley FC Toros. Edinburg, Texas. H-E-B Park.
Sacramento Republic FC. Sacramento, California. Papa Murphy’s Park.
San Antonio FC. San Antonio, Texas. Toyota Field.
Tacoma Defiance. Tacoma, Washington. Cheney Stadium.
Tulsa Roughnecks FC . Tulsa, Oklahoma. ONEOK Field.
2 Reserve teams in L A Galaxy & Portland Timbers then 2 Reserve Pseudo teams in Real Monarchs ( Real Salt Lake) & Tacoma Defiance ( Seattle).
Affiliates are – Colorado Springs Switchbacks ( Colorado Rapids) , Reno 1868 ( San Jose Earthquakes) , Rio Grande Valley Toros (Houston Dynamo) , San Antonio F C ( New York City FC) & Tulsa Roughnecks (Chicago Fire).
Tier 3. ( 1 x on going , 1 x August 2019 start & 1 x August 2020 start )
United Soccer League Division 1.(USSF).
1 x Division x 10 teams inc 1 x Canadian.
Chattanooga Red Wolves SC. Chattanooga, Tennessee. David Stanton Field. 5,000.
Forward Madison FC. Madison, Wisconsin. Breese Stevens Field. 5,000.
Greenville Triumph SC. Greenville, South Carolina. Legacy Early College Field . 4,000.
Lansing Ignite FC. Lansing, Michigan. Cooley Law School Stadium. 7,527.
North Texas SC. Frisco, Texas. Toyota Stadium. 20,500.
Orlando City B. Montverde, Florida. Montverde Academy. 3,500.
Richmond Kickers. Richmond, Virginia . City Stadium. 22,611.
South Georgia Tormenta FC. Statesboro, Georgia. Eagle Field at ErIk Russell Park. 3,500.
Toronto FC II . Toronto, Ontario. BMO Training Ground. 1,000.
FC Tucson. Tucson, Arizona. Kino Sports Complex. 3,500.
2 Reserve sides namely Orlando City & Toronto FC with 2 Pseudo teams in North Texas ( Dallas ) & F C Tucson ( Phoenix Rising ).
Affiliates are – Forward Madison ( Minnesota ) & Lansing ( Chicago Fire).
Supposedly starting August 2019 @ Tier 3.
Sanctioned provisionally by the USSF in February 2019 for an August 2019 start.
National Independent Soccer League (NISL). (USSF)
Despite the start date being only 10 weeks away news is very sketchy about teams / schedules etc. Social media sites hint at an early June meeting to sort things out ! Supposedly a Fall – Spring season with a December / January break.
This league was founded in 2017 with the aim of a 10 team 2018 season start. Things went slowly and as stated only sanctioned in Feb 2019.
The league claims to have 8 cities/areas on board , namely –
Atlanta , Georgia.
Charlotte , Carolina.
Daytona Beach , Central Florida.
Los Angeles ,California.
New England , Connecticut.
Philadelphia Fury , Pennsylvania. ( Allegedly at Franklin Field).
Providence , Rhode Island.
San Diego 1904, California.
(The 1904 comes from S being the 19th letter of the alphabet and for our American readers 04 is for D ). Memories of my favourite team name ever L A Lazers ( Let all zealous earthlings radiate soccer). Only in the U S of A.
There is a lot to do in such a short time I am sceptical as to whether this will happen.
Also planned @ Tier 3 ( Well the USASA consider it to be on a par).
NPSL Pro Premier. (2020). (USASA).
The other major National Association in the USA the United States Amateur Soccer Association (USASA) is looking at forming a National Professional Soccer League by 2020 to stand alongside Tier 3 USL Div 1. The National Premier Soccer League ( NPSL) has it’s precursor the ‘Founders Cup’ already scheduled with 11 teams kicking off in August and finishing in November.
This should lead to a the real thing a Spring start for Season 2020.
Schedule – https://www.npsl.com/founders-cup-schedule
Chattanooga FC. Chattanooga, Tennessee. Finley Stadium.
Detroit City FC. Hamtramck, Michigan. Keyworth Stadium.
Miami FC. Miami, Florida. Riccardo Silva Stadium.
Miami United FC. Hialeah, Florida. Ted Hendricks Stadium at Milander Park.
Milwaukee Torrent. Wauwatosa, Wisconsin. Hart Park.
New York Cosmos. Uniondale, New York. Mitchel Athletic Complex.
FC Arizona. Mesa, Arizona. Mesa High School.
ASC San Diego. San Diego, California. Mission Bay High School.
Cal FC. Agoura Hills, California. Agoura High School.
Napa Valley 1839 FC. Napa, California Dodd Stadium.
Oakland Roots SC. Oakland, California. TBD.
Then below Tier 3 we have no governing body for all so no pyramid system is in place , I will give my take , forever to be called ‘Hods Pyramid at Amateur level for Soccer in the USA”. ( HP@A4SUSA). Let it be known there are other sauces available !
I consider these 2 to be next in the pecking order.
National Premier Soccer League. (USSF ).
91 x teams.
4 x Regions. (Mid-West , North East , South & West).
13 x Conferences.
Venues are very changeable in the NPSL , venues listed are the most common during the season.
FC Buffalo @ Robert E Rich All High Stadium, Bennett High School.
Cleveland SC @ George Finnie Stadium , John Carroll Uni’ , University Heights.
Erie Commadores @ Gannon Uni’ Field , Eerie.
Pittsburgh Hotspurs @ The Ellis School Field ,Pittsburgh.
Syracuse FC @ Lazer Stadium, Onondaga Community College , Syracuse.
Great Lakes Conference.
FC Ann Arbour @ Cardinal Stadium, Concordia Uni’, Ann Arbour.
FC Columbus @ The Wellington School Stadium, Upper Arlington.
Detroit City @ Keyworth Stadium, Hamtramck.
Grand Rapids FC @ Houseman Field, Grand Rapids.
FC Indiana @ Legacy Sports Club, Lafayette.
Kalamazoo FC @ Mayors Riverfront Park, Kalamazoo.
Michigan Stars @ Ultimate Soccer Arenas , Pontiac.
Toledo Villa @ Lyden Field, St Johns Jesuit High School, Toledo.
Dakota Fusion F @ Jim Gotta Stadium, Moorhead.
Duluth FC @ Ordean Field @ Duluth East High School.
La Crosse Aris @ Logan High School Stadium, La Crosse.
Med City @ Rochester Community & Technical College Stadium, Rochester , MN.
Minneapolis City @ Edor Nelson Field, Augsburg Uni’, Minneapolis.
Minnesota Twin Stars @ Maple Grove Crimson Stadium, Maple Grove.
Sioux Falls Thunder @ Uni’ of Sioux Falls Stadium , Sioux Falls.
North East Region.
Atlantic City @ Egg Harbour Township High School Field, Egg Harbour.
Electric City Shock @ Quinn Athletic Stadium, Scranton.
Hershey FC @ John Hershey High School, Arlington Heights.
Monmouth @ Count Basie Park, Red Bank Borough.
FC Motown @ Ranger Stadium, Drew Uni’ . Madison.
New Jersey Copa @ Saint John Vianney High School Field , Holmdel.
Philadelphia Lone Star @ South Philadelphia Super Site Athletic Stadium , Philadelphia.
Torch FC @ Pennridge High School Field, Pekrasie.
West Chester Utd @ West Chester Utd Stadium , West Goshen.
Mid Atlantic Conference.
FC Baltimore @ Knights Field, CCBC Essex Community College , Rossville.
Charlottesville Alliance FC @ Charlottesville High School Field.
FC Frederick @ Urbana High School Field, Ijamsville.
Northern Virginia Utd FC @ Evergreen Sports Complex, Leesburg.
Virginia Beach City FC @ Powhatan Field, Norfolk.
North Atlantic Conference.
Boston City FC @ Harry Della Russo Stadium, Revere.
Brooklyn Italians Metropolitan Oval Field, Maspeth, Queens.
Greater Lowell Rough Diamonds @ CHS Simonian Stadium, Chelmsford.
Hartford City FC @ Yousuf Al-Marzook Field, Uni’ of Hartford, West Hartford.
Kingston Stockade FC @ Robert Dietz Memorial Stadium, Kinston.
New York Athletic Club SC @ Travers Island Field , Pelham.
New York Cosmos B @ Mitchel Athletic Complex , Uniondale.
Rhode Island Reds @ Johnston Senior High School, Johnston.
Club Atletico Saint Louis @ St Louis University High School Stadium, St Louis
Demize NPSL @ Lake Country Soccer Cooper Stadium, , Springfield.
Little Rock Rangers @ War Memorial Stadium, Little Rock.
Ozark FC @ Har-ber High School Stadium, Springdale.
Tulsa Athletic @ Veterans Park, Tulsa.
FC Wichita @ Stryker Soccer Complex, Wichita.
Dallas City FC @ McKinney Soccer Complex at Craig Ranch, McKinney.
Denton Diabolos FC @ Uni’ of North Texas Stadium, Denton.
Fort Worth Vanqueros @ FW Farrington Field, Fort Worth.
Katy 1895 FC @ Dutch Lions Stadium , Conroe.
Laredo Heat SC @ Dustdevil Field, Texas A&M International Soccer Complex, Laredo.
Midland-Odessa Sockers FC @ Grande Communications Centre Stadium, Midland.
Tyler FC @ Tyler Junior College Field , Tyler.
South East Conference.
Asheville City SC @ Memorial Stadium, Asheville.
Atlanta SC @ St Francis High School Field, Alpharetta.
Chattanooga FC @ Finley Stadium, Chattanooga.
Georgia Revolution FC @ Warhawk Stadium , Henry County Hugh School, McDonaugh.
Greenville FC @ Sirrine Stadium, Grenville.
Inter Nashville FC @ International Indoor Socccer Complex, Antioch Pike.
Central Florida Panthers SC @ Showalter Field, Winter Park.
Jacksonville Armada U23 @ Patton Park Stadium Field, Jacksonville.
Miami FC @ Barry Uni’ Field, Miami Shores.
Miami United @ Ronald L Book Athletic Stadium, North Miami Beach.
Naples United @ Gulf Coast High School Field, Naples.
Storm FC @ Central Brouward Park & Brouward County Stadium , Lauderhil.
Golden Gate Conference.
Academica SC @ Academica Sportsfield, Turlock.
FC Davis @ B B & T (Aggie) Stadium, Un’ of California (Davis Campus) , Greensboro.
East Bay Stompers FC @ Raimondo Park, Oakland.
El Farolito @ Boxer Stadium , San Francisco.
Napa Valley 1839 @ Dodd Stadium, Justin Siena High School, Napa.
Sacramentro Gold FC @ Capital Christian School Stadium, East Sacramento.
San Ramon FC @ Dougherty Valley High School, San Ramon.
Sonoma County Sol @ Case Grande High School, Pelatuma.
North West Conference.
Crossfire Redmond FC @ Keeney Stadium, Bothell.
FC Mulhouse Portland @ Rob Strasser Memorial Field, Delta Park, Portland .(Most games in Vancouver, McKenzie Stadim / Keggins Bowl).
Olympic Soccer Academy Seattle FC @ Starfire Sports Complex, Tukluila.
Portland DX FC @ Rob Strasser Memorial Field, Delta Park, Portland.
Spokane SC Shadow @ Community College Stadium, Spokane Falls.
South West Conference.
FC Arizona @ John D Riggs Stadium, Mesa Community College, Mesa.
City of Angels @ Chaminade High School Field, West Hills.
FC Golden Gate @ Rio Hondo College Field. Whittier.
High Desert Elite FC @ Adelante Stadium, Adelanto.
AS Los Angeles @ St Matthias Stadium, Downey.
Orange County FC @ Portola High School Field, Irvin or Championship Stadium, Irvine..
Oxnard Guerreros FC @ Del Sol Stadium , Oxnard.
Riverside Coras @ J W North Stadium, Riverside.
ASC San Diego @ Mission Bay High School Stadium.
Temecula FC @ Chaparral High School Stadium, Temecula,
United Soccer League Div 2 . ( USASA). ( Formerly the Premier Development Soccer League).
72 x teams. ( 5 x Canada).
4 x Confererences. ( Central , Eastern, South & West).
11 x Divisions.
Although its a league and its clubs I won’t touch as it is the original PDSL which is / was an U23 League with many stipulations regarding age.
From the 2019 USL League Div 2 Media Guide = ”USL League Two is the leader in pre-professional soccer in the U.S. and Canada. The League holds a vital role as it continues to provide the elite platform for those pursuing professional careers domestically and internationally. Throughout the United States and Canada, League Two franchises continue to provide the elite amateur player the opportunity to train and compete at the highest level while maintaining their collegiate eligibility. With ownership of teams coming from the likes of MLS and USL franchises as well as leading business and sports individuals, League Two serves as the leading development platform for the game both on and off the field. League Two is more than just the leading national U23 league…League Two is the defined and proven pathway for players to progress to the professional ranks of soccer while becoming a staple within the community in which the team operates.”
Great Lakes Div.
Chicago FC Utd @ Hoyne Field, Loyola Uni’..
Cincinnati Dutch Lions @ Northern Kentucky Uni’ Field, Highland Heights.
Dayton Dutch Lions @ Dayton Outpatients Centre Stadium, West Carrolton.
Flint City Bucks @ Attwood Stadium @ Kettering Uni’.
West Virginia Alliance @ Shawnee Park Sports Complex, Cape Gerardeau.
Des Moines Menace @ Drake Stratton Stadium , Drake Uni’.
Green Bay Voyageurs @ Capitol Credit Union Park, Ashwauberon.
Kaw Valley @ Rock Chalk Park, Uni’ of Kansas, Lawrence.
St Louis Lions @ Tony Glavin Complex , Cottlevilles.
Thunder Bay Chill @ Fort William Stadium , Royal Canadian Legion Sports Complex.
WSA Winnipeg @ John Scouras Field, Ralph Cantafio Sports Complex.
Mid Atlantic Div.
Cedar Stars Rush @ Fairleigh Dickinson Uni’ , Teaneck .
Evergreen Hammers @ Evergreen Sportsplex, Leesburg.
FA Euro New York @ Poly Prep County Day School Field, Leesburg.
Lehigh Valley Utd @ Cedar Christ College, Allentown.
Long Island Rough Riders @ Hofstra Uni’ Soccer Stadium, Hempstead.
New York Red Bulls U23 @ Red Bull Training Center, Hempstead.
Ocean City Nor’easters @ Carey Stadium, Ocean City.
Reading Utd @ Gurski Stadium, Wilson High School, West Lawn.
North East Div.
Connecticut @ Westside Athletics Complex,Western Connecticut State Uni’ Danbury .
Black Rock @ Mens Collegiate Lacrosse Association Shewcroft Field, North Adams.
Boston Bolt @ Alumni Field, Mount Ida College, Watson .
GPS Portland Phoenix @ Memorial Stadium, Deering High School.
Manhattan SC @ Galic Park, Manhattan College, Riverdale Bronx.
Seacoast Utd Phantoms @ Amesbury Sports Park.
Westchester Flames @ City Park Stadium, New Rochelle .
Western Mass Pioneers @ Lusitano Stadium, Ludlow.
South Atlantic Div.
Lionsbridge @ Pomoco Stadium, Christopher Newport Uni’, Newport News.
North Carolina FC U23 @ Wake Med Soccer Park, Cary.
North Carolina Fusion U23 @ McPherson Stadium, Brown Summit.
Tobacco Road @ Durham County Stadium.
Tri Cities Otters @ Kermit Tipton Stadium, Science Hill High School, Johnson City.
Virginia Beach United @ Virginia Beach Sportsplex.
Wake FC @ Ting Park, Holly Springs.
Deep South Div.
Charlotte Eagles @ Sportsplex @ Matthews.
Dalton Red Wolves @ Christian Heritage School, Dalton.
Discoveries FC @ Nation Ford High School , Fort Mill.
Peachtree City MOBA. @ Mobile Automation Soccer Stadium, Peachtree City
SC United Bantams @ SCU Complex , Coombia.
South Georgia Tormenta 2 @ Eagle Field, Erk Powell Athletics Track, Statesboro.
Mid South Div.
AHFC Royals @ British International School of Houston Stadium.
Brazos Valley Cavalry @ Nutrabolt Stadium, Bryan – College Station.
Corpus Christi FC @ Dr. Jack Duggan Soccer Stadium , Texas Agricultural & Mechanical Uni’.
Houston FC @ Sorrets Field, Houston Baptist Uni’.
Mississippi Brilla @ Clinton Arrow Stadium, Clinton.
Texas United @ Airhogs Stadium , Grand Prairie.
South East Div.
Daytona FC @ Daytona Stadium, Daytona Beach.
Florida Elite @ Creekside High School, St Johns.
Lakeland Tropics @ Bryant Stadium, Lakeland.
Miami City @ Tropical Park Stadium , Miami.
Sarasota Metropolis @ IMG Academy Stadium, Bradenton.
The Villages @ The Villages Sports Complex Stadium, Summerfield.
Tritans (Treasure Coast) @ South County Stadium, Port St Lucie.
Weston F C @ Brouward College , Weston.
Albuquerque Sol @ Ben Rios Field , St Pius X High School.
Colorado Pride Switchbacks U 23 @ Weidner Field, Colorado Springs.
Ogden City @ Spence Eccles , Ogden Community Sports Complex.
Park City Red Wolves @ Dozier Field, Park City.
North Wesr Div.
Calgary Foothills @ Mount Royal Uni’ Stadium, Glamorgan, Calgary.
Lane Utd @ Marist Catholic High School, Eugene.
Portland Timbers U23 @ McCulloch Stadium, Salem.
Sounders U23 @ Sunset Stadium, Sumner High School, Sumner.
Vancouver TSS FC Rovers @ Swangard Stadium, Burnaby.
Victoria Highlanders @ Centennial Stadium Saanich.
South West Div.
Golden State Force @ Rio Hondo College , Whittier.
Orange County SC U23 @ Grt Parks Complex , Irvne.
San Diego Zest @ Madison High School, San Diego.
San Francisco City @ Kezar Stadium , San Francisco.
San Francisco Glens @ Boxer Stadium, San Francisco.
Santa Cruz Breakers @ Santa Cruz High School , Santa Cruz.
Southern California Seahorses @ Whittier College , Whittier.
Ventura County Fusion @ Ventura College Sportsplex , Ventura.
Below this is a jigsaw with missing pieces. ( If I have the time / energy , maybe ).