USSF President Sunil Gulati said the national soccer group, along with its Mexican and Canadian counterparts, would initially fund the salaries of players in the eight-team league.
The circuit would fill a void left by the folding of Women's Professional Soccer this year and would use the backing to figure out a business model that could make women's professional soccer sustainable.
Gulati said the new league would begin play in early to mid-April with clubs in Boston, New Jersey, Western New York, Washington D.C., Chicago, Kansas City, Seattle and Portland.
"We need a sustainable model. Less hype and better performance," Gulati said of the WPS. "True hype will come if we have performance."
Merritt Paulson, owner of the Portland Timbers of the MLS, said his team would operate the new women's franchise in that city, welcoming the squad to "Soccer City, USA."