Hartford Athletic will be one of the eight founding members of a newly formed USL W League starting in 2022, the team announced Tuesday.
The W League will include teams from the USL Championship, League One, League Two and an expansion club, and aims to provide an elite pre-professional pathway for women soccer players, according to an announcement from the team.
Managed by the USL’s director of women’s soccer operations Betsy Haugh, the league expects to have as many as 30 clubs for the inaugural season, as well as to provide over 750 opportunities to play, work and coach in the women’s game.
“Our goal for the W League is to use women’s soccer as a source for societal good by creating a national platform to increase opportunity, gender equity, and career development,” said Haugh in a press release. “We’re very excited about what the future holds.”
Kicking off in May, the team will follow the League Two season, ending with the W League Playoffs and Final in late July.
The USL previously ran a similar league from 1995 to 2015 before being disbanded in 2016, which then later formed United Women’s Soccer.