Newly-Established USL Super League to Launch as First Division League Under U.S. Soccer’s Division One Standards
TAMPA/INDIANAPOLIS (Tuesday, May 16, 2023) – Indy Eleven today announced its commitment to the USL Super League, a new professional women’s soccer league kicking off in August 2024. The Eleven will join an initial group of 10-12 markets as pioneering members of this first division league in women’s soccer.
“I could not be more excited to bring the USL Super League to Indiana,” Indy Eleven Founder and Chairman Ersal Ozdemir said. “Our focus and commitment to women’s soccer was part of our vision and mission from day one. To create opportunities for girls and women in soccer is so important and we have been driven to, not only, provide those opportunities but to do so at the highest level. The USL Super League launching as a First Division, Top Tier, Elite major league puts it on par with the top levels of soccer across the globe. Our national team consistently dominates on the world stage, and we are invested in solidifying the foundation of soccer in the United States and in Indiana to make sure we continue to develop next level talent. I’m thrilled to have Indy Eleven play such an important part of this growth.”
Indy Eleven has quickly established itself as a success in developing talent in women’s soccer, as its USL W League team went undefeated with a 10-0-2 record in its inaugural regular season. While continuing to cultivate a pathway to the pros through Academy operations, the W League and now the USL Super League, Indy Eleven has made a commitment to the future of girls’ and women’s soccer.
“This is a total team effort,” stated Greg Stremlaw, Indy Eleven President & CEO. “From the vision of our ownership, the work in our front office and to the incredible support of our fans, we have not wavered in our dedication to growing the women’s game. The USL Super League launching on the doorstep of Eleven Park has all the stars aligning.” Stremlaw, who was also the 2022 W League executive of the year added, “The premiere of an elite level, top tier women’s pro league launching at the same time we are breaking ground on an elite level top tier stadium is more than fate and coincidence. It’s what happens when great ideas and hard work hit the calendar at the same time. We have been a proud partner with the USL at the Academy, W League and Championship level for a number of years and we share a passion and desire to grow the women’s game.”
The USL Super League will be governed by U.S. Soccer’s Division One sanctioning process and launch as a first division league, with the goal of addressing the opportunity gap between men’s and women’s professional soccer in the United States and building on the success of the world class U.S. Women’s National Team to help grow talent and contribute to this success.
The league offers a new pathway from youth to professional soccer, playing on the international calendar, “fall-to-summer”, to best provide the league’s players, coaches, referees, and front office employees with the best opportunities to succeed at the highest level.
“Growing up playing soccer in Indiana was lifechanging for me and my teammates. The dream of playing professionally was a fire that burned inside all of us and the path to get there was a difficult one… But there was a path,” Sporting Director, Academy and W League Operations, Phil Presser said. “For the girls and young women aspiring to chase this same dream there was no clear path to pro. Until now. The commitment from Indy Eleven to join the top level of professional women’s soccer in the country just created the direct path from youth player to pro player.”
The league has plans to announce additional markets that will take part in the inaugural season, as well as markets included for future expansion.
Initial Markets for Inaugural 2024 Season:
Dallas/Fort Worth, Texas
Tampa Bay, Fla.
Initial Markets for Subsequent Seasons (Pending completion of a stadium project):
The league has established partnerships with several leading global agencies to drive media and commercial interests.
As part of its partnership sales initiative, the league has paired with Legends, a leading global premium experiences company which has proven relationships with clubs such as FC Barcelona, Liverpool FC, Manchester City FC, Real Madrid CF and U.S. Soccer, among others.
The USL Super League’s media rights sales process will be managed by Octagon, while sports marketing agency SPORTFIVE will assist in international media distribution for television and digital platforms as well as sports betting streaming and data partnerships on the global level.
USL CEO Alec Papadakis
“Today marks a major milestone for the United Soccer League as we take another step in building an integrated women’s soccer network unlike any other. Our aim is to make the USL Super League globally recognized and admired for its financial stability, operational excellence, community building and high-level competition. We are establishing and growing our national footprint while ensuring that all our teams are owners or primary tenants of a soccer stadium. We are aligning our calendar and roster rules with the global game.”
USL Super League President Amanda Vandervort
“We’re excited to share the initial group of USL Super League markets that will bring professional women’s soccer closer to home for fans and players across America. Our aim is to significantly expand opportunities in women’s soccer through strategic growth, build a pathway that connects talent with opportunity, and engage communities by celebrating a universal passion for the game expressed through local culture.”