TAMPA, Fla. (Nov. 2, 2023) - The USL W League today announced four expansion clubs – AC Houston Sur, AHFC Royals, Challenge Soccer Club and Lonestar SC – will form the Lone Star Division. The new division will take the field in the 2024 season.
“We’re excited to establish the Lone Star Division as Texas is a hotbed of women’s soccer talent,” said USL Super League and W League President, Amanda Vandervort. “Adding another division with such great teams with admirable missions truly captures what this league is all about.”
Additional teams will be announced for this division at a later date.
Founded in 2021, AC Houston Sur was established to provide quality soccer programming for elite athletes in the greater Houston community. The club, which also competes in USL League Two, prides itself on its holistic player development model and will use its programming to create growth pathways for athletes in and around the Pearland community south of Houston.
“The recent Women’s World Cup has shown us that the rest of the world is producing world class female players, and this is due to the investment into the Women’s game,” said AC Houston Sur coach Archie Wright. “It is vital that we continue high level training of our female players here to bring the game to even higher heights. AC Houston Sur will be one of the leaders in this advancement, and we take pride in our holistic training approach allowing players to be the best they can be, on and off the field.”
AHFC Royals was established in 2017 with both Men’s (USL League Two) and Women’s (WPSL) teams, kicking off their inaugural seasons the following year in 2018. During that time, the Women’s franchise has achieved Conference Champion status in 2021, 2022 and 2023. The AHFC Royals sits atop the Albion Hurricanes FC youth club’s player pathway pyramid.
“AHFC Royals is delighted to join the W League for the upcoming 2024 season”, said Mark Horton, AHFC Royals General Manager. “It was important for the club to provide consistent USL programming opportunities across both genders moving forward. Joining the league will allow for this in addition to USL Academy options for its youth players.”
Challenge Soccer Club was founded in 1987 and continues to lead the way for player development in South Texas and is recognized nationally as a leader in developing players who have moved on to all levels of the college game and beyond. Challenge Red Devils were formed in 2022 to assist current and former players in their development for their college and professional teams.
Challenge United Soccer Club provides motivated athletes the opportunity to fully develop their soccer skills by providing topflight professional instruction in a positive yet challenging environment. The club believes soccer should be fun, and it strives to provide an enjoyable environment for everyone involved.
“Challenge Soccer Club is excited to have the Red Devils join the USL W League and improve the standard of the pre-professional platform we can offer our youth players and returning college players,” said Pat O’Toole, Challenger SC’s Executive Director. “Since 1987 our goal has always been to provide the very best training and game environments for our players. The USL W League continues to grow and expand around the country with clubs who we feel align with our goals and objectives.”
Lonestar Soccer Club is a locally grown youth soccer organization in Austin/Central Texas established in 2004. They’re proud to represent Austin and Central Texas at the national levels - but development starts at home. The club promotes a love for the beautiful game and develop players who exhibit key core skills, abilities, values, and life lessons that allow for the best opportunity to succeed as they grow older both on and off the field.
"Lonestar Soccer Club are thrilled to join the USL W League for the upcoming 2024 season,” Allen Fincher, Executive Director of Business. “We believe in the importance of offering progressive programming in the USL for our elite women's players. By joining the USL W League, we can now provide continuity in our pathways for our female players from youth, to college and pre-professional."