TAMPA, Fla. — Come next year, Tampa Bay United will be playing in its first game in the W League.
Tuesday, the United Soccer League announced Tampa Bay United will join the USL W ahead of the league's inaugural season in 2022. It's the first soccer club in Florida to join the league.
USL W is a pre-professional women's soccer league that will debut in May 2022.
"The USL W League strives to use women’s soccer as a force for societal good by creating a national platform to increase opportunity, gender equity, and career development," the women's soccer organization says on its website.
Tampa Bay United Sporting Director Anthony Latronica says the team is committed to putting forth the effort to bring women's sports to the Tampa Bay area.
"It is an honor for Tampa Bay United to invest in the women's game by bringing the nation's premier pre-professional platform to the greater Tampa Bay soccer community," Latronica said.
By entering the league, Tampa Bay United will also benefit from the many playing and coaching opportunities for women at all levels.
Tampa Bay United is the 25th team to join the league. The USL W League incorporates clubs from across the USL Championship, League One, League Two and new expansion clubs. Tampa Bay United is a part of League 2.
The 2022 season schedule has not been released yet. The league plans to add more teams throughout the fall ahead of the inaugural season opener.