For faster navigation, this Iframe is preloading the Wikiwand page for United Soccer League (1984–85).

United Soccer League (1984–85)

United Soccer League
United Soccer League (1984).png
CountryUnited States
Number of teams4–9
Last championsFort Lauderdale Sun
Most championshipsFort Lauderdale Sun (1)
Most League CupsSouth Florida Sun (1)

The United Soccer League was a professional soccer league in the United States in the mid-1980s.


As the second incarnation of the American Soccer League was crumbling,[1] five of the eight ASL teams (Carolina Lightnin', renamed the Charlotte Gold, Dallas Americans, Jacksonville Tea Men, Oklahoma City Slickers, renamed Stampede, and Rochester Flash) left to found the USL. They also took the ASL's commissioner, William Burfeind, with them as their first commissioner.[2] Fiscal responsibility, regional rivalries and measured expansion were a few of the cornerstones on which the organization was to be structured. A league rule allowed only four of eighteen roster spots be taken by foreign players. In addition a salary cap was imposed on member clubs. Initially, the league was to have both indoor and outdoor seasons so that clubs could play year round.

In addition to the ASL holdovers were new teams Buffalo Storm, Fort Lauderdale Sun, Houston Dynamos, and New York Nationals. Two North American Soccer League teams, the Tampa Bay Rowdies and Tulsa Roughnecks, also expressed interest in joining the new league.

The USL played its first season in 1984 with nine teams in three divisions. The Fort Lauderdale Sun, whose roster featured former NASL Fort Lauderdale Strikers players Teófilo Cubillas, Keith Weller, Jim Tietjens, and Ernst Jean-Baptiste, won the league title in a three-game series against the Houston Dynamos[3]

Despite its conservative fiscal plan, the league found itself in crisis heading into its second season. While attendance was on par with the ASL in its last season, revenues did not keep up with expenses and team owners could not cope with the losses. Houston left the league to be independent and all but two other clubs, Fort Lauderdale (now called South Florida Sun) and Dallas, folded. The evaporation of teams caused the cancellation of the planned indoor season. The Tulsa Tornados and El Paso/Juarez Gamecocks were added to bring league membership to a paltry four teams in 1985.[4] A short six-game first half of the season was completed, but before a second half could begin the league's creditors foreclosed on the organization. The Sun led the league standings with a 4–2 record when the league collapsed. By virtue of their 1–0 win over Tulsa on June 15, the Sun also won the league's new Invitational Cup. As a harbinger of things to come, no actual cup was presented to them, causing Sun player-coach, Keith Weller, to quip, "There ain't no cup."[5] The Sun played Dallas on June 22 at Lockhart Stadium,[6] and the league folded shortly thereafter as league officials were locked out of their offices and the USL never played another game.

The collapse of the USL and the end of the NASL a year before meant that for the first time in over fifty years there was no professional outdoor soccer league in the U.S. This was a temporary void, however, as the Western Soccer Alliance and third incarnation of the American Soccer League would form and grow in the latter half of the 1980s, eventually to merge into the American Professional Soccer League, precursor to the USL First Division.


Year Champion Runner-up League Cup
1984 Fort Lauderdale Sun Houston Dynamos Not held
1985 Season canceled South Florida Sun



  1. ^ [1] "Fun While It Lasted: United Soccer League"
  2. ^ Cote, Greg (February 1, 1984). "United league brings soccer back to town". Miami Herald. p. 1C. Retrieved January 31, 2021.
  3. ^ [2] "Elsewhere: Lauderdale wins USL title", "Santa Fe New Mexican", September 2, 1984.
  4. ^ "USL quality will be up, says Weller". Sun Sentinel. April 24, 1985. p. 3C. Retrieved January 30, 2021.
  5. ^ "Sun Wins Invitational Cup – Wherever That May Be". Sun Sentinel. Retrieved July 15, 2015.
  6. ^ LaBelle, Frank (June 23, 1985). "Sun Rallies To Get Past Dallas 3-1". Sun Sentinel. Retrieved February 16, 2017.
{{bottomLinkPreText}} {{bottomLinkText}}
United Soccer League (1984–85)
Listen to this article

This browser is not supported by Wikiwand :(
Wikiwand requires a browser with modern capabilities in order to provide you with the best reading experience.
Please download and use one of the following browsers:

This article was just edited, click to reload
This article has been deleted on Wikipedia (Why?)

Back to homepage

Please click Add in the dialog above
Please click Allow in the top-left corner,
then click Install Now in the dialog
Please click Open in the download dialog,
then click Install
Please click the "Downloads" icon in the Safari toolbar, open the first download in the list,
then click Install

Install Wikiwand

Install on Chrome Install on Firefox
Don't forget to rate us

Tell your friends about Wikiwand!

Gmail Facebook Twitter Link

Enjoying Wikiwand?

Tell your friends and spread the love:
Share on Gmail Share on Facebook Share on Twitter Share on Buffer

Our magic isn't perfect

You can help our automatic cover photo selection by reporting an unsuitable photo.

This photo is visually disturbing This photo is not a good choice

Thank you for helping!

Your input will affect cover photo selection, along with input from other users.


Wikiwand 2.0 is here 🎉! We've made some exciting updates - No worries, you can always revert later on