TAMPA, Fla. – The United Soccer League today announced the launch of USL YOUTH, a new brand and platform designed to elevate the youth player experience by inspiring, educating, and engaging the American “soccer generation.”
The USL YOUTH brand will replace the Super Y League brand, aligning the USL’s youth soccer initiatives with the full USL ecosystem and completing the youth-to-pro pathway.
“USL YOUTH is an exciting evolution of our youth brand, building on the legacy of one of the longest-running youth competitions in the country and adding new energy to our youth soccer strategy,” said Joel Nash, USL Senior Vice President of Youth & Pre-Professional.
“We want to meet players, coaches, and families where they are in their soccer journey and help them reach whatever level they aspire to. By connecting our youth soccer platform with the full USL ecosystem, we hope to give our members the opportunity to be part of a larger movement and help our professional and pre-professional clubs build their fanbases.”
The USL YOUTH platform focuses on building and engaging a vibrant youth soccer community connected to the USL ecosystem through events, content, and experiences.
As with the Super Y League, the centerpiece of the USL YOUTH platform remains a high-level national competition that complements our country’s existing youth soccer infrastructure and provides clubs with opportunities to face different opponents than they do in their regular leagues.
The competition culminates with the USL Youth Finals, a tentpole event in the youth soccer calendar that gives players a unique “major tournament” experience and a chance to win a national championship.
Nearly 500 teams and more than 8,000 players participated in Super Y League in 2023. With the introduction of USL YOUTH, those numbers will rise in the coming years as the USL executes a strategic expansion plan in targeted areas of the country.
“We have received tremendous interest from clubs asking us to add new geographical regions to our competition, filling in the gaps in their calendar and complementing their existing leagues,” Nash said.
“It will take time, but we are committed to growing the platform over the next few years and providing players, coaches, and clubs with a truly differentiated experience.”
Details of future expansion are expected to be announced in the first half of 2024.
Beyond the on-field competition, additional aspects of the new USL YOUTH platform include exclusive content, consumer products, and digital experiences, including new social media handles (@USL_Youth).
Ahead of the 2024 competition kickoff, USL YOUTH will launch #ThisIsWhy, an original digital content series celebrating the passion of the American soccer generation and the journey from youth to pro.
“We want to inspire, educate, and engage the youth soccer community by telling stories that resonate beyond the competition on the field,” Nash said.
“Through storytelling, like a player’s journey from the youth ranks to the USL Championship, or tips from a coach in the USL Super League, we will have a truly holistic impact on the game and the people involved at all levels.
“This is why we do it: to help players, coaches, and clubs develop talent and make memories that last a lifetime.”