Created in 2007, the US Soccer Development Academy (USSDA) was established to primarily focus on youth player development in the United States. The league consisted of 64 elite youth soccer clubs from around the country in its inaugural season. Each team was comprised by geographic proximity, with two age groups (U15/16 and U17/18). These 64 teams were divided into eight conferences with each team playing approximately 30 home and away matches during an eight-month season.

Today, the program includes a U13/14 division and has expanded to 78 clubs competing in ten geographically-based divisions during a ten-month season.

Although some attributes of the league have changed, the basic mission and principles remain the same: Increased focus on training, meaningful competition and a direct connection to U.S. National Team programming.