U.S. Club Soccer has announced a sanctioning agreement with the Northern Illinois Soccer League, which currently serves over 12,000 players in 86 Chicago-area communities.
The affiliation switch from U.S. Youth Soccer is one of the largest by a youth league.
"Clubs have become the foundation of youth player development in the United States, and this affiliation with U.S. Club Soccer will enhance growth in a strong Chicago market," said NISL President Peter Richardson. "It is the right decision at the right time, and good for the game and the players."
Plans are being developed to expand the NISL into southern Wisconsin and northwestern Indiana.
Clubs will need to register separately with the Illinois Youth Soccer Association league if they wish to continue to play in U.S. Youth Soccer events.