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.