What is USL League Two?

United Soccer League 2 (USL 2), formerly known as the Premier Development League (PDL), is a semi-professional developmental soccer league sponsored by United Soccer Leagues in the United States and Canada, forming part of the United States soccer league system. USL League Two is divided into 4 conferences (Eastern, Central, Southern, and Western), comprising 16 divisions. The league season runs from May through July, with the playoffs decided through July and August. All teams play a regular season schedule of 14 games, seven home and seven away, within their division. It provides an excellent platform for college players to hone their skills during the off-season and beyond. All of our athletes that have gone onto become professional soccer players have played in the USL 2.

What is USL W League?

The USL W League (USLW) is a pre-professional women’s soccer league in the United States which began play in May 2022. The inaugural season began in 2022 with 44 teams across 20 states. By 2023 the league had grown to 65 teams. The growth of the league, resulted in the development of a four conference system, which is broken down into 10 divisions. Each team plays it divisional opponents to qualify for regional play-offs. The same as with the male equivalent it provides an excellent platform for college players to hone their skills during the off-season and beyond.

What is the NPSL?

The National Premier Soccer League (NPSL) is an American men’s soccer summer league. The NPSL is a semi-professional league, comprising some teams that have paid players and some that are entirely amateur. It is the successor of the Men’s Premier Soccer League, a regional league originally based in Western America which has now expanded nationwide to encompass teams from 29 states.

If you’re interested in learning more about how you would go about potentially playing in the USL 2, USL W or NPSL do get in touch.

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US Men’s Soccer Pyramid

See below information on how the men’s soccer leagues are organised from the top flight league of Major League Soccer down to semi-professional USL League Two.

US Women’s Soccer Pyramid

See below information on how the women’s soccer leagues are organised from the top flight league of NWSL down to USL A.

League Abbreviation Teams First Season
Major League Soccer MLS 29 1996
USL Championship USLC 24 2011
USL League One USL1 12 2019
National Independent Soccer Association NISA 9 2019
MLS Next Pro MLSNP 27 2022
USL League Two USL2 122 1995
National Premier Soccer League NPSL 92 2033
United Premier Soccer League UPSL 400 2011
National Independent Soccer Association NISA 9 2019

What are the benefits of playing in USL 2 to college players

Firstly, playing in USL 2 offers college players the opportunity to play at a high level of competition. College soccer is a great starting point for many young players, but the level of competition is often not as high as that in professional leagues. Playing in USL 2 offers college players the chance to compete against more experienced and skilled players who have aspirations of playing professionally.

USL 2 teams are also typically made up of a mix of college players, as well as non-college players. This means that college players will be exposed to different styles of play and tactics than they may be used to in their college environment. This experience can help players develop their game intelligence and awareness, which is essential at higher levels of play.

Secondly, playing in USL 2 provides college players with the opportunity to train and play with players from different colleges and universities. This can help players develop their communication and teamwork skills, as they learn to work with new teammates and adapt to different playing styles. This is particularly important as players move up to higher levels of play, where they will need to be able to work effectively with teammates from different backgrounds.

Thirdly, playing in USL 2 can help college players to develop their physical and mental resilience. The schedule for USL 2 teams can be grueling, with games and travel taking place over a short period. This can be physically demanding for players, who will need to be in top physical condition to compete at this level. Playing in USL 2 can help players build their stamina and resilience, which will be essential as they move up to higher levels of play.

In addition to physical resilience, playing in USL 2 can also help players to develop their mental toughness. This is because players will be faced with different challenges, such as being away from home for long periods of time, playing in unfamiliar environments, and dealing with the pressure of playing at a high level of competition. These challenges can help players to develop their mental toughness, which is essential for success at higher levels of play.

Finally, playing in USL 2 can help college players to gain exposure to professional scouts and coaches. Many USL 2 teams are affiliated with professional teams, which means that scouts and coaches from these teams may attend games to scout potential talent. This exposure can be invaluable for college players who are looking to take their game to the next level and play professionally. It can also help players to develop their professional networks, which can be important in securing future opportunities in the sport.

In conclusion, playing in USL 2 offers many benefits for college players looking to develop their skills and prepare for higher levels of play. It provides a high level of competition, exposure to different styles of play, the opportunity to work with new teammates, and the chance to develop physical and mental resilience. Additionally, it can help players to gain exposure to professional scouts and coaches, which can be instrumental in launching a career in professional soccer. As such, USL 2 is an excellent option for college players looking to take their game to the next level. See below some examples of some of our talented student-athletes who played in the USL League Two during their time playing college soccer.

CALLUM WATSON
SOUTHERN SOCCER ACADEMY KINGS
(USL 2)

MATT BENTLEY
GPS PORTLAND PHOENIX
(USL 2)

OLLIE PETERS
VIRGINIA BEACH UNITED
(USL 2)

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What are the chances of getting a soccer scholarship?

If you are aged between 15-22, in education or have been in the last 2 years and have a clean criminal record whilst playing soccer / football at a competitive level, you are well positioned to become a successful U.S Sports Scholarships applicant. However, only the best young players will be considered for a soccer scholarship by coaches so ideally you will have played at an Academy, Centre of Excellence or have represented your County side.

Only the top soccer players make it to the college level. About 7.9% of U.S. high school men’s soccer players ended up competing in college across the Division 1, Division 2, Division 3, NAIA and junior college levels. Only about 1.1% of high school men’s soccer players went on to compete at the NCAA Division 1 level.

During the 2016–2017 school year, there were about 450,000 US high school men’s soccer players and about 39,888 college men’s soccer players across all divisions. Of these college athletes, a total of 12,500 soccer players were on D1 and D2 rosters. About 2,600 of them were international athletes, accounting for 21% of men’s college soccer roster spots at the D1 and D2 level.

Colleges that can offer soccer scholarships

Colleges at the NCAA D1, NCAA D2, NAIA and Junior College levels can all offer scholarships. How many scholarships are available at any given school depends on how many scholarships the coach has committed, whether they are a fully funded program, how the program likes to use their scholarship money and several other factors. Check out out information section for more information about each collegiate conference and our University Database for more information about specific schools.

A football scholarship (soccer) in America gives student-athletes the opportunity to play football whilst simultaneously working towards an internationally recognised university degree. By earning a football scholarship, you will receive a financial package that goes towards tuition fees, room and board and other relevant living costs. In return for this financial support, you will be expected to maintain the academic and athletic standards set by the University throughout your University career in order to retain your football scholarship. Along with top-level academics, American Universities can offer world-class match day stadia, state of the art training facilities and the best collegiate coaches in the world. To read some of the most FAQs we get regarding football scholarships in America please scroll to the bottom of this page. Most scholarships are one-year agreements that must be renewed each year. For most NCAA schools, a scholarship offer does not become official until a student-athlete signs the National Letter of Intent. Of course, student-athletes must first go through the recruiting process in order to secure a roster spot and get an athletic scholarship.

Why use a recruitment consultancy like U.S Sports Scholarships

U.S Sports Scholarships is like no other service provider in the world in that we only offer 50 places on our recruitment programme each year to ensure that every single player receives the necessary time and personal attention to take them through the complex process of finding a suitable school in America; helping them secure the best possible financial package. To help achieve this, each player is assigned their own designated representative who is with them every step of the way. If you think you have what it takes to play and study in the USA on a soccer / football scholarship, please complete our free online application now.

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