Part of the rapidly growing soccer scene in the US is the ability to watch USL, the major leagues beneath MLS, on TV. While the United States does not have a pyramid with promotion and relegation, USL is an entertaining league with a growing fanbase. With teams ranging from across the country in different sized cities, USL always has drama.
The umbrella of USL divides into three leagues. Those are the USL Championship, League One and League Two. That makes it easy to remember, as it resembles the English Football League in naming conventions.
Coverage of most of the USL games is on ESPN+. There are also games that air occasionally on ESPN’s family of channels. The USL Championship TV schedule and USL League One TV schedule have full listings of all available games.
USL available on ESPN+
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Watch USL on US TV
ESPN+ has been the home of USL for a number of years. In fact, it is part of the major draw of the platform for soccer fans. With coverage of every USL and USL1 game, there can be as many as 18 games in any given weekend on ESPN+. Even better, the USL Championship’s quality continues to rise over recent years. Sacramento Republic, a USL side, went all the way to the US Open Cup Final in 2022, only to lose to Orlando City. Sacramento was the first non-MLS team to get that far since the Charleston Battery in 2008.
In terms of TV coverage of USL, as part of the 2023 coverage plans, there are nine USL games available on ESPN2. This does include the USL Championship Final in November, something the league had on ESPN2 last season, too.
The lower divisions of US soccer
Although the talent on display may not be the same tier as other leagues, the drama is equal to the top flight of American soccer. Also, for more traditional fans, the teams come from generally smaller population centers. Those crowds, particularly in locations such as Detroit, Sacramento, Tulsa and others, are increasingly passionate. When these teams compete in the playoffs or the US Open Cup, it is a chance to see these teams at their best.
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