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New league to debut with 15 teams
by Paul Kennedy, January 17th, 2011 10:36PM

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TAGS:  usl

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[USL PRO] United Soccer Leagues' new USL PRO will debut on April 2 with 15 teams. Plans call for the pro league to emphasize regional play and eventually expand to as many as 32 teams, but the league will include a lone team -- Los Angeles Blues -- from west of the Mississippi River playing in a division with three teams from Puerto Rico and one from Antigua & Barbuda.

The 2011 season will open on April 2 with a match between Orlando City (formerly the Austin Aztex) and the Richmond Kickers (formerly of USL-2) and a Puerto Rico derby between Sevilla FC Puerto Rico and River Plate Puerto Rico at Sevilla FC Stadium.

Teams will play 24 games in the 2011 season, facing each team in their division at least once at home and once on the road.

The trickiest part of the schedule involves arranging matches for the Los Angeles Blues, who will play at three locations, including Cal State Fullerton's Titan Stadium.

Barracuda FC of Antigua & Barbuda will make two trips to California and the three Puerto Rican teams will play two games in three days, as will the Harrisburg City Islanders and Charlotte Eagles.

The Blues will make a four-game road swing through the Caribbean in April, a six-game trip to Dayton, Pittsburgh and the Caribbean in late May and early June and a two-game trip to Richmond and Harrisburg to close out their road schedule.

The final weekend of the regular season is set for Aug. 12-13.

(Click here for 2011 USL PRO schedule.)

USL PRO 2011
International
Barracuda FC
Los Angeles Blues
Puerto Rico United
Sevilla Puerto Rico
River Plate Puerto Rico

National
Dayton Dutch Lions
Harrisburg City Islanders
FC New York
Pittsburgh Riverhounds
Rochester Rhinos

American
Charleston Battery
Charlotte Eagles
Orlando City
Richmond Kickers
Wilmington Hammerheads



0 comments
  1. Paul Bryant
    commented on: January 18, 2011 at 11:40 a.m.
    Does anyone know where FC New York is playing their home games?

  1. Glenn Maddock
    commented on: January 18, 2011 at 2:09 p.m.
    This looks like a disaster. Is this a minor league for MLS or the NASL? How can an LA club with no home stadium and no fans afford to fly back & forth to Puerto Rico? So Rochester, which wanted to be in MLS, and gets about 11,000 fans a match, is now in a league with Dayton, an amateur club that gets about 500 fans a match. What am I missing in this USL insanity?

  1. Ric Fonseca
    commented on: January 18, 2011 at 3:28 p.m.
    Holy mackarel Robin, it sure does sound like more of insane insanity proposed by the USL! I agree with Glenn Maddock and immediately wondered just where is the LA Club getting its funding, and can they afford to pay the player's meager salaries, travel, meals, and lodging expenses? And then there's Puerto Rico, La Isla del Encanto fielding three teams, to me this says more about that tiny little islands desire to get more and more futboleros. So to them it's "saludos y buena suerte," and for the others good luck! One last question: "who are these guys," anyway, those who purport to put the "USL" league??? What's their background???

  1. Zhani Joanidhi
    commented on: January 18, 2011 at 8:16 p.m.
    They play at James M. Shuart Stadium, formerly known as Hofstra Stadium in Hempstead.

  1. Gus Keri
    commented on: January 18, 2011 at 9:33 p.m.
    Last year, both USL and NASL applied for devision 2 status but the USSF denied them both due to limited numbers of teams and other reasons and created a unified devision 2 by combing the two. This year, even fewer teams stayed with the USL-2, so, they decided to combine them with the devision 3 teams and form the new USL Pro. I don't know if they will get the devision 2 status this year. For the coming season, I think we might have this classification: devision 1 (MLS), devision 2 (NASL) and devision 3(USL Pro)


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