There is quite a bit of confusion among soccer players, soccer parents and soccer coaches in relation to the rank and order of the different soccer leagues operating in the US and particularly in our South Florida area and who is eligible to play in those leagues.
As it is public knowledge soccer in the US is arbitrarily and drastically divided into youth soccer and adult soccer. Youth soccer under United States Youth Soccer Association admits players from 8 to 18 years old. Adult soccer is also separated into professional and amateur levels with no clearly defined limits between them. According to the by-laws of the USYSA Rule 208 any player can play adult soccer without losing his/her youth eligibility. Such rule reads as follows: “A youth player may play an unlimited number of adult games without losing his or her youth eligibility. The youth player must notify his or her youth coach or other authorized team official of the player’s intention to play adult games. The youth player shall request, in writing, (1) eligibility clearance from the Youth State Association through which the player is registered, and (2) permission 9/1/13 - 6 - from the appropriate Adult State Association. When the clearance and permission have been granted, the Adult State Association has sole discretion in permitting a youth player to play adult games and will be responsible for establishing the procedures under which the youth player will be allowed to play. In the event of a conflict between an adult game and a youth game, the youth game shall take precedence”. In Florida players 16 years of age are considered eligible to play adult soccer with approval from the youth organization (Florida Youth Soccer association). In California South the minimum age to play adult soccer is just 14 years.
Adult division approved by USSOCCER in 2017
Division 1 Professional MLS
Division 2 Professional NASL USL
Regional Semipro NPSL
Regional Adult PDLLocal Adult (USASA/FSSA) GOLCO; APSL; CASA