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Hammerheads to return for 2011
by Paul Kennedy, November 9th, 2010 10:28PM

TAGS:  usl


[USL PRO] The Wilmington (N.C.) Hammerheads, winners of the USL Second Division title in 2003, will return after a one-year hiatus in 2011 as part of USL PRO.

Majority owner Bill Rudisill and Head Coach/Director of Soccer David Irving will lead the Hammerheads, who will rejoin many of the former USL-2 teams against whom they played.

Wilmington was founded in 1996 and made the playoffs in 10 of 14 seasons. It pulled off upsets in the U.S. Open Cup, knocking off MLS's Dallas Burn in 2003 and Chicago Fire in 2009.

USL PRO hopes to have as many as 20 teams playing on a regional basis in 2011.

The Rochester Rhinos, the 2010 USSF D-2 Pro League regular-season champions, are leaving the NASL for USL PRO.

The Austin Aztex, who were second in the overall D-2 Pro League standings, will move to Orlando, where they will be known as Orlando City in 2011.

The USL PRO core consists of teams from the USL-2 ranks, including the 2010 champion Charleston Battery, Pittsburgh Riverhounds, Richmond Kickers, Harrisburg City Islanders and Charlotte Eagles. Dayton Dutch Lions, a first-year PDL team in 2010, will also play in the USL PRO.

Three teams are based in the league's Caribbean Division:  Sevilla Puerto Rico, River Plate Puerto Rico and Barracuda FC of Antigua & Barbuda.

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