The owners of six former USL-1 teams and a seventh club submitted an application for sanctioning of a new men's pro league with U.S. Soccer and the Canadian Soccer Association, confirming their intentions to form a league separate from United Soccer Leagues.
The owners of the Atlanta Silverbacks, Carolina Railhawks, Miami FC, Minnesota Thunder, Montreal Impact and Vancouver Whitecaps, together with St. Louis Soccer United, submitted an application for sanctioning of the new league as a Division II Men's Outdoor Professional League by the United States Soccer Federation. An application for sanctioning as a Division I League will be submitted to the Canadian Soccer Association shortly.
Of the six USL-1 teams, only Atlanta didn't play in the USL-1 in 2009.
"This is not your typical new league," said Joey Saputo, President of the 2009 USL-1 champion Montreal Impact and recently elected Chairman of the Board of Governors of the new league. "Most of our teams have existed for years. We have united some of the best owners, teams and markets around a new vision for a professional soccer league in North America. We look forward to elevating our teams and league in order to give more opportunities to players, coaches, media and sponsors, entertain our fans and play our role in helping soccer truly recognize its potential in the United States and Canada."
The 2010 USL-1 is expected to include teams from Portland, Puerto Rico, Charleston, Rochester, Austin, and Cleveland, as well expansion teams in New York and Tampa Bay.
In a statement, USL said, "While USL does not oppose the right of an entity to affiliate with USSF per the governing organization's bylaws, it does oppose the current application before the Federation on the grounds that there is misrepresentation, interference with USL business operations and substantial debt amongst the membership of the parties applying for certification."