Boasting an impressive 160 squads battling for ultimate supremacy, the UPSL houses 20 divisions and 11 conferences comprised of teams from over 30 states. Initially launched with just a handful of teams, the United Premier Soccer League has expanded dramatically as interest in soccer surges in the U.S.
- Founded in California in 2011 by Leonel Lopez, a former semi-professional soccer player. His ideas helped the UPSL unite what was at that time a disconnected soccer scene. The UPSL is taking the scene by storm, rapidly adding development clubs and adding expansion teams to buttress their already impressive lineups.
- Features a $5000 prize pool for the UPSL Pro Premier Division and an annual All Star matchup featuring the league’s top talents. The United Premier Soccer League also provides marketing and sponsorship services among others, including a $1500 store credit at sportswear supplier Admiral, and 4 complimentary match balls provided by Molten USA.
The league is broken up into two seasons, spring and fall. Spring season kicks off in early March, while the fall season begins around mid August as teams vie for playoff positioning with their eyes on the prize. The UPSL is the only U.S. organization to offer year round competition, which is key for players to continue honing their craft and conditioning.
Providing a platform for soccer players
The UPSL serves as a stepping stone for aspiring semi-professional footballers aiming to reach the pro leagues, such as the MLS or international clubs in Europe. To further intensify competition, they are making waves as the first pro North American soccer league to feature a promotion relegation system to keep players on their toes.
The league features Premier and Championship divisions, with teams competing to enter the ranks of the elite Premier division. This simulates the European system, and it’s clear that the United Premier Soccer League has their sights on cultivating local talent to help bring the US national team’s level closer to the soccer elites of the world.
Qualifying teams can also participate in the annual Lamar Hunt U.S. Open Cup running from May until September, when the last team standing will claim the cup and the $300,000 prize money.
The UPSL is committed to fostering local talent and their ultimate goals is to provide the perfect grounds for players to train and thrive, hopefully making it to the big stage. For example, former member Connor Kass was signed by Lithuanian 1st Division club Utenis Utena after his performances caught the eyes of scouts.
UPSL provides a solid network to maximize exposure to soccer clubs around the world, and this ability to showcase the players is an invaluable service that they provide for budding soccer players.
Impacting the Community
UPSL’s increasing popularity also benefits local communities in many ways. Teams offer tryouts regularly for those who are looking for an opportunity to showcase their skill set, affording these players with the chance to potentially start a career.
In some smaller towns, fans only had college teams to support. As new teams join and are established across the country, UPSL has provided many cities with a sorely needed, yet affordable source of entertainment for the community.
UPSL Commissioner Yan Skwara mentioned geographical location as one of the main keys for success as this allowed for the creation of competitive rivalries and business opportunities. Due to the proximity of divisional play, this was crucial to keeping expenditures down and enabling teams to focus solely on training and competition.
Competitive pricing as well as a high level of competitive play were also key to growing the brand and expanding their reach and influence.
Following the Action
In order to increase brand awareness as well as provide more fan accessibility, UPSL partnered up with mycujoo, a streaming platform based in Zurich. Mycujoo will provide live broadcasts for fans to watch their favorite teams at their convenience and maximize the player-fan experience as teams can upload their own content for their fanbase.
The UPSL media department also hosts an exclusive podcast for further coverage to follow.
Additional media information about the UPSL can be found in the L.A. Soccer press, a free black and white tabloid available at soccer retailers in North America.
Currently, the United Premier Soccer League’s sponsors include: Admiral Sports, Molten USA, Wilson Trophy, Datasource, Rebound, DBS Sports, Greenglobe Pathway, OT Sports, Copa Cabana, Impact Canopies, PotNetwork Holdings, Inc., XPO², Liquid Nitro and Goalnation.com.
Check out the UPSL Project page to learn about how you can support this vibrant community organization!