Founded in 2011, the United Premier Soccer League now stands as the largest and most competitive pro-development league in North America. The league was started in Santa Ana, California by Leonel Lopez, with 10 teams. Today the league has nearly 400 clubs competing nationwide, and the Premier Division for Spring 2022 has 255 clubs competing for 32 places in the National Playoff Bracket to become National Champion.
The league occupies the 4th tier of the US Soccer pyramid, just below the three professional tiers in the pyramid. With a participant average age of 22.5 years, the UPSL fills and brings structure to the large gap that exists between the youth game and the professional game, serving thousands of aspiring players and coaches as they strive to further their aspirations and fuel their passions.
Each UPSL club is independently owned and operated. The league operates year-round, comprising two seasons each calendar year, with the Spring season beginning in March and ending with national playoffs the first weekend in August, and a Fall season with play beginning in September with national playoffs the first weekend in February. The league prides itself on openness, inclusion and accessibility. Currently players with origins in 90 different nations are participating, and over 50% of players and coaches are of Hispanic descent.
The mission is to provide a strong and consistent platform which provides opportunity and projects from the grassroots of the game advancing to the highest levels. UPSL clubs are eligible to compete in the U.S. Open Cup Qualifying Rounds through the league’s affiliation with the U.S Soccer Federation (USSF). An organization dedicated to success of its members; the UPSL is focused on raising the minimum standards throughout all levels of the sport. In doing so, the league aspires to bring international exposure to the talent in local communities throughout North America.
As a modern and socially responsible private soccer association, the UPSL continues to evolve by utilizing technology to uplift the sport in every facet of society. In January 2020, it was acquired by ELP Brands. By 2021, the league announced its joint-ventured partnership with the launch of UPSL MX, the commencing of the UPSL Women’s division, and in 2022 direct membership of the US Soccer Federation as a National Affiliate and the establishment of the UPSL Foundation. The United Premier Soccer League is headquartered in Miami, Florida and functions parallel to its satellite office in Los Angeles, California.