TAMPA, Fla. - The United Soccer League (USL) confirmed on Thursday the founding members of the USL Academy League’s Southwest Division. The inaugural season of Academy League play is due to kick off in spring 2021, and will provide clubs in all three of the USL's senior divisions with an elite youth development and competition platform.
The structure of the USL Academy League provides USL clubs a progressive model to develop local players for their Senior Team, at a lessened cost of traditional pre-professional academies. Doing so will also enable far more clubs and communities to participate, allowing for the regional division format which limits travel demand to teams and families.
The eight clubs set to compete in the Southwest Division of the inaugural USL Academy League are as follows:
• Colorado Rush: Denver, CO (USL League Two)
• El Paso Locomotive FC: El Paso, TX (USL Championship)
• FC Tucson: Tucson, AZ (USL League One)
• New Mexico United: Albuquerque, NM (USL Championship)
• Orange County SC: Irvine, CA (USL Championship)
• Phoenix Rising FC: Phoenix, AZ (USL Championship)
• San Francisco Glens SC: San Francisco, CA (USL League Two)
• Ventura County Fusion: Ventura, CA (USL League Two)
All seven regional divisions for the inaugural USL Academy League have now been announced. For more information on the USL Academy League, visit usl-academy.com/academy-league.