Lancaster Inferno FC joins the USL Academy League

A new opportunity for elite soccer players in the region

Lancaster, PA –  Lancaster Inferno FC is pleased to announce its acceptance into the USL Academy League. The club will be launching its U19 USL Girls Academy team this Fall featuring the area’s top U15-U19 players. After announcing last December that Lancaster Inferno has joined the USL W League for its pre-professional women’s team, getting accepted into the USL Academy is another major milestone for the club. Read how Lancaster Inferno is taking pre-professional women’s soccer to new heights in 2024.

“We are thrilled to have Lancaster Inferno FC compete in the Girls side of the USL Academy Cup this year. This will be the first step in Lancaster Inferno FC building out a broader women’s pathway that will be able to provide more opportunities for players and coaches in a very intentional way,”  said Carrie Taylor, USL Technical Director – Women’s Pathway

Geared towards top players within the U15 to U19 age range (2010-2006 birth years), the USL Academy model is unique in the player development landscape with a direct path to Inferno’s senior team.

This model allows identification and integration of elite youth players into a pre-professional environment at a younger age, giving them exposure to a higher level of play than they would normally experience, and access to the resources of the senior team. The development of players is enhanced by providing regionalized meaningful competition.

By moving forward with this model, the Inferno can deliver a new player development platform that collectively bridges the gap between its senior teams and youth teams. In doing so, the club will be able to integrate the top local players in the area into a pre-professional development environment, allowing players to chase their dream of playing at the professional level.

As the landscape of youth soccer continues to evolve, the USL Academy is a first-of-its-kind model designed to create the clearest path possible to professional soccer, with a direct & immediate connection to the local USL senior team.

“The USL has a long history of being innovators in the game and we’re proud to be a part of their Academy program,” said Executive Director Stephanie Cleaves. “This is a natural next step for our club to help players reach their goals.”

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Lancaster Inferno will be holding two tryouts for players ages U15-U19 (2010-2006 birth years) to identify local talent for its U19 Academy team. The tryouts will be held on Friday, March 8th from 6:30 PM-8:00 PM and Thursday, March 28th from 6:00-7:30 PM at Manheim Township Athletic Complex (Weaver Fields).


Check out the club’s USL Academy FAQs page for more information.

About Lancaster Inferno

Founded in 2008, Lancaster Inferno fields a women’s pre-professional soccer team that competes in the USL W League. The First Team roster is composed of players who want to pursue their professional aspirations and features current/post college players and former professionals.

Headquartered in Rock Lititz (Lititz, PA) the Inferno is committed to providing a complete pathway from youth soccer to pre-professional. In addition to the pre-professional team, Inferno fields U20/U23 women’s teams during the summer months, and youth travel teams from the U9-U19 age groups year-round (Lancaster Inferno FC). Lancaster Inferno FC is the only all-girls travel soccer club in Pennsylvania that provides a player pathway from youth to pre-professional.

About the United Soccer League (USL)

The United Soccer League (USL) is the heartbeat of American soccer. Impacting more than 200 communities across the United States, the USL is the first and only soccer organization in the United States to build a youth-to-professional pathway for both men and women within one ecosystem. That structure includes three professional leagues: USL Super League (women), USL Championship (men), and USL League One (men); two pre-professional leagues: USL League Two (men) and the USL W League (women); and two youth platforms: USL Academy and USL Youth.

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