Immediate questions after the USL bombshell

The USL announced today that its first and second divisions, beset by defections and dwindling numbers over the past 15 years, would merge into USL PRO.

The league addressed a couple of long-standing concerns in its announcement:

1. The pro league would be governed by team owners, a sticking point for several teams that wanted out.

2. The league would have regional play, saving on the travel costs of those Puerto Rico-to-Vancouver flights.

But several questions leap to mind after a quick reading:

1. What happens to the teams who broke away to form the NASL, which was then shotgunned into a one-year marriage with the USL teams in a federation-run second division this year?

2. Is this league truly second division? If so, how many of these owners can meet the new standards of a $750,000 line of credit and an owner worth $20 million?

3. While regional play sounds good, where will all these teams come from? Will any team be farther west than Austin?

4. Would the USL welcome MLS reserve teams?

So we have an interesting press release. But the future announcements should be even more intriguing.

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One Response to Immediate questions after the USL bombshell

  1. ERic says:

    I’ve said this a number of places, and I’ll say it again. If you merge nothing and something, is it really a merger?

    Seriously, there wasn’t any USL1 to merge. The only team left was the Aztex. OK. Maybe Rochester will come back. Still, it’s hardly a merger if the USL1 didn’t have enough teams to have a league.

    Interesting that the owners have more control. Too bad that it took the mess of last year to get that. But I suspect even if they had offered this up, the NASL owners would still have revolted.

    I’m amused by this line: “The league will focus on aggressive but deliberate growth by adding teams fully capable of meeting USL and USSF standards which are located in markets that further promote regional league play.”

    Other than the general standards for all leagues, there *aren’t* any standards for D3 soccer. Which is what this is.

    I do hope that it manages to become regional. It’s needed. But I’m still not sure that the attendance is there to support it.

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