Soccer Writer's Style Guide

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North America's first and only soccer-specific style guide

Domestic leagues

Do not capitalize league except as part of an official league name.

  • Example: Major League Soccer, United Soccer Leagues

Major League Soccer, MLS

  • The acronym MLS (no periods) is acceptable on first reference.
  • Never write or say the MLS when writing MLS as a stand-alone noun.
  • MLS is divided into two regional conferences: the Western Conference and the Eastern Conference.
    • Always capitalize Western, West, Eastern and East when referring to the conferences.
      • Example: New York face Philadelphia in an East tilt.

    USSF Division 2, USSF D2, D2

    • This is a temporary second-tier league run by the United States Soccer Federation for the 2010 season. It consists of two conferences: the USL Conference and the NASL Conference. Each conference has six teams.
    • All acronyms and abbreviations are acceptable on first reference.

    North American Soccer League, NASL

    • The acronym NASL (no periods) is acceptable on first reference.
    • Writing the NASL is acceptable.

    United Soccer Leagues, USL

    • Note the plural Leagues in the official name.
    • Divisions within USL include United Soccer Leagues First Division (USL-1), United Soccer Leagues Second Division (USL-2) Premier Development League (PDL), W-League, Super-20 League, Super Y-League.
    • All acronyms may be used on first reference and are written without periods.
    • The definitive article the may be used in front of all USL names and acronyms.

    See also: Domestic championships, Foreign leagues, International tournaments, MLS tournaments and awards

    Filed under: Domestic leagues