Join Now  | 
Home About Contact Us Privacy & Security Advertise
Soccer America Daily Soccer World Daily Special Edition Around The Net Soccer Business Insider College Soccer Reporter Youth Soccer Reporter Soccer on TV Soccer America Classifieds Game Report
Paul Gardner: SoccerTalk Soccer America Confidential Youth Soccer Insider World Cup Watch
RSS Feeds Archives Manage Subscriptions Subscribe
Order Current Issue Subscribe Manage My Subscription Renew My Subscription Gift Subscription
My Account Join Now
Tournament Calendar Camps & Academies Soccer Glossary Classifieds
Pro divisions are merged
by Paul Kennedy, September 9th, 2010 12:40AM
Subscribe to Soccer America Daily

MOST READ
TAGS:  usl, ussf division 2

MOST COMMENTED

[USL]United Soccer Leagues, which has operated second- and third-division leagues since its move into pro soccer in the mid-1990s, has merged its First and Second Divisions into USL PRO, a single league property for 2011, signaling a ceasefire in the battle for control of Division 2 soccer.

Team owners and league officials met in Tampa on Wednesday to lay the groundwork for the 2011 debut of USL PRO.

2010 AVG. ATT.
D-2 Pro League
12,332 Montreal
9,017 Portland
6,978 Rochester
5,177 Vancouver
3,884 Tampa Bay
3,620 Austin
2,737 St. Louis
2,286 Puerto Rico
2,158 Carolina
1,390 Minnesota
1,286 Miami
1,042 Baltimore
4,603 Average
 
USL-2
3,641 Charleston
2,044 Richmond
1,666 Harrisburg
887 Pittsburgh
880 Charlotte
560 Maryland
1,689 Average

Source: kenn.com


USL operated a six-team USL-2 (third division) in 2010. USL-1 lost many of its members in a dispute between USL's ownership group and club owners, who formed the North American Soccer League. Ultimately, U.S. Soccer did not sanction the NASL. Instead, it is operating the D-2 Pro League with 12 teams while new guidelines for Division 2 soccer were formulated.

Those guidelines include minimum standards for the wealth of owners and the size of the markets and stadiums.

It remains to be seen if a league will be formed to meet these Division  standards.

The Portland Timbers and Vancouver Whitecaps will move to MLS in 2011 and the Montreal Impact will join MLS in 2012.

On the other end of the scale, several D-2 Pro League clubs are believed to be struggling to stay afloat. AC St. Louis's sister team, WPS's St. Louis Athletica, folded in mid-season.

Besides the three MLS-bound teams, only one minor-league team -- the Rochester Rhinos -- average more than 4,000 fans a game.

USL CEO Alec Papadakis says the new USL PRO will solve many of the problems that have plagued minor-league soccer, whose ranks have shrunk in recent years.

“After much analysis of the current landscape we’ve chosen to combine our synergies into a single professional league that will operate within financial and competitive models that make sense,” Papadakis said.  “The USL PRO business plan is the first below the MLS level to give team owners a realistic roadmap to profitability.  We need to focus on the future health of soccer in North America, and the USL PRO model addresses many of the issues that have led to the instability of men’s professional soccer below the MLS level.”

USL PRO hopes to emphasize regional competition, though the challenge will be able to build regional divisions outside the USL-2's base on the Atlantic coast.



0 comments
  1. sheldon grizzle
    commented on: September 9, 2010 at 10:17 p.m.
    This is good news for the USL, I hope. It sounds like a prudent decision...hopefully the numbers work out! On another note...I don't know if anyone has heard about what's going on here in Chattanooga, but this town has really embraced the arrival of Chattanooga FC. In fact, our NPSL side, in only their second season, averaged 4400 fans a game, and lost in the national championship game! Kind of mind-blowing to see how Chattanooga FC's attendance compares to these more established teams in bigger cities. Check out their site if you haven't had a chance yet.

Sign in to leave a comment. Don't have an account? Join Now




AUTHORS

ARCHIVES
FOLLOW SOCCERAMERICA

Recent Soccer America Daily
Copa Centenario: U.S. leagues heavily represented    
The USA's roster for the Copa Centenario includes 10 current MLS players, but 17 other MLS ...
USA-Ecuador: Kellyn Acosta called in, Chandler OK    
U.S. national team coach Jurgen Klinsmann added Kellyn Acosta to the U.S. roster for Wednesday's friendly ...
What They're Saying: Carli Lloyd    
"I have scored some big-time goals. I've done well in Algarve Cups. I've done well in ...
NWSL Rewind: Olympic hopefuls stand out in goal    
Chicago Red Stars keeper Alyssa Naeher, who is battling for one of two spots in goal ...
USL Rewind: Wheeler and Warshaw lead Isles to victory    
The Harrisburg City Islanders and Bethlehem Steel squared off for the first time Sunday, and Aaron ...
NASL Rewind: Cosmos back in first place    
The defending NASL champion New York Cosmos returned to first-place in the spring standings thanks to ...
What They're Saying: Earnie Stewart    
"He [Freddy Adu] was 14 years old, very talented but only practiced once a day. That ...
Copa Centenario: Final rosters released    
The final 23-player rosters for the 16 competing teams in the Copa Centenario were unveiled on ...
Video Pick: Wright-Phillip' strikes with overhead kick    
Two of the Red Bulls' goals from their 7-0 win over NYCFC feature among the eight ...
What They're Saying: Andrea Pirlo    
"It's a very hard league to play in. It's very physical, there's a lot of running. ...
>> Soccer America Daily Archives