Soccer in the United States of America has desperately been trying to legitimize its professional leagues and gain fans. The USA USL Championship has been able to do so despite being a second-tier league. Many countries in Europe have lower-level tear leagues for teams to rise up the tiers and it allows youth players to get first team reps without sacrificing the success of a top team.
The United States is trying to expand that model within the country, and the USL Championship is playing a role in that.
USA USL Championship history
The USL Championship initially set out to be its own league founded in 2011. The league wanted to incorporate teams outside the 50 states, forming teams in Puerto Rico. The first season held 12 teams, but after the teams in Puerto Rico left the league, the USL Championship second season only featured 11 teams.
The league stalled until 2015 when the number of teams jumped from 14 to 24 in just one season.
A big reason was the expansion of the MLS, the top league in the United States. The MLS teams were forming partnerships with USL Championship teams to bring up their youth players on loans.
In 2014, LA Galaxy created its first official affiliate team, forming LA Galaxy II, playing in the USL Championship since then, and other teams have followed.
While also providing a league for MLS teams to groom young talent, it was a pathway for USL Championship teams to join the MLS. FC Cincinnati, Nashville SC, Orlando City SC, and Ottawa Fury FC (which became Miami FC) have all made the promotion from the USL Championship to the MLS.
How USA USL Championship Odds Work
Like most soccer leagues, the USA USL Championship allows bettors to bet on soccer. The league is broken up into two conferences, similar to the MLS and most sports in the United States of America. Each conference plays each team within its conference once away and at home, along with extra games for regional rival games. The top six teams in each conference make a single elimination playoff.
These games give bettors many options to bet on soccer spreads throughout the season. BetUS makes that easy, providing lines and over-under for each game.
USA USL Championship Betting Strategy
Betting on the USA USL Championship can be a challenging soccer bet to make. Because the league is a second-tier league in the United States, it does not get as much media coverage as the MLS.
However, this presents an opportunity for bettors if they study the league to make money on the USL Championship soccer lines. The league is featured on ESPN+ after a recent contract agreement, which does help with some media coverage. If you study the league hard enough, you can easily bet against a favorite or pick out a team or player who could have a great year.
USA USL Championship Prop Bets
Prop, USA USL Championship bets can be rare, but a league fan can take advantage of some favorable soccer odds. Due to the league’s many teams affiliated with the MLS, some youth players get their first starts in the USL Championship. That allows players that have the potential to succeed in the MLS to get first-team starts in a competitive situation, rather than riding the bench for a season in the MLS.
Finding the players with the upside to make it to the next level of experience in top-tier soccer or Europe can help predict who might score in any game.
USA USL Championship Most Important Teams
The USL Championship, as of 2022, features five MLS affiliate teams after the MLS started its own affiliate MLS league called MLS Next Pro.
The last remaining teams are Atlanta United 2, Loudoun United FC, New York Red Bulls II, LA Galaxy II, and Las Vegas Lights FC.
In just four seasons in the USL Championship, the Orlando City SC won five major trophies, which led to it leaving the league to join the MLS. No other franchise comes close to that many trophies, with four teams tied with two.