Women’s professional soccer is coming to Charlotte next year.
Driving the news: United Soccer League Super League Carolina, as the team is currently called, is one of about 10 teams that’ll kick off the United Soccer League Super League, a new professional women’s league, in August 2024.
- The league will operate on a fall-to-summer calendar.
Why it matters: Super League Carolina will be the region’s first top-tier professional women’s soccer team.
By the numbers: There are 101 professional men’s soccer teams nationwide and only 12 professional women’s teams, per the league.
The intrigue: The new league will rival the National Women’s Soccer League, which has been mired in controversy.
- North Carolina Courage, which plays in the NSWL and is based in Cary, fired head coach Paul Riley in 2021 amid allegations of sexual coercion, as Axios’ Kendall Baker reported.
Details: Super League Carolina will play at American Legion Memorial Stadium in Elizabeth, which recently underwent a $40.5 million renovation.
- You can place a $50 2024 season ticket deposit for VIP First Priority access to seat selection, per the club.
Jim McPhilliamy “will lead the formation of the club’s ownership group,” with Dan DiMicco as principle owner, a press release from the league said.
- McPhilliamy is the CEO and managing partner of the Charlotte Independence, a USL League One team. DiMicco, a retired Nucor CEO, is the primary owner of the Independence as well.
- McPhilliamy could not be reached for comment.
Flashback: McPhilliamy acquired the USL rights for the Charlotte market in 2014, and the Charlotte Independence kicked off their first season in 2015. The club calls Memorial Stadium home.
- The Independence umbrella also extends to youth soccer, a USL League Two team (pre-professional summer soccer for men, typically college players) and a USL W League (women’s pre-professional team, also typically college players).
- USL League Two and USL W League take place during the summer.
Zoom out: Other markets tapped for the USL Super League’s inaugural season include:
- Dallas/Fort Worth, Texas
- Lexington, Kentucky
- Phoenix, Arizona
- Spokane, Washington
- Tampa Bay, Florida
- Tucson, Arizona
- Washington, D.C.
What’s next: More details will be announced in the coming months regarding team names, rosters, uniforms, etc. Possible future markets include:
- Chattanooga, Tennessee
- Indianapolis, Indiana
- Jacksonville, Florida
- Madison, Wisconsin
- Oakland, California
Bonus: The FIFA Women’s World Cup kicks off on July 20. Australia and New Zealand will cohost the month-long tournament.