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Datebook: USL will kick off seventh season March 24
by Paul Kennedy, January 10th, 2017 2:30AM
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The United Soccer League will feature 30 teams divided into two conferences with an expanded 32-game schedule.

The Tampa Bay Rowdies and Ottawa Fury, who have moved over from the NASL, will play in the Eastern Conference while expansion Reno 1868 FC will play in the Western Conference. Saint Louis FC will rejoin the Eastern Conference.

The regular season will start March 24-26 and end the weekend of October 13-15. Teams will play two games (one home, one away) against each conference rival. The remaining four games will be played against regional foes. Teams will not face each other more than three times during the 2017 regular season.

SENIORITY:
EASTERN CONFERENCE
Richmond Kickers (25th season)
Charleston Battery (24th season)
Pittsburgh Riverhounds (17th season)
Harrisburg City Islanders (14th season)
Rochester Rhinos (10th season)
Charlotte Independence (3rd season)
Louisville City (3rd season)
*New York Red Bulls II (3rd season)
Saint Louis FC (3rd season)
*Toronto FC II (3rd season)
*Bethlehem Steel (2nd season)
FC Cincinnati (2nd season)
*Orlando City B (2nd season)
Ottawa Fury (1st season)
Tampa Bay Rowdies (1st season)

WESTERN CONFERENCE
Orange County Blues (7th season)
*LA Galaxy II (4th season)
OKC Energy FC (4th season)
Phoenix Rising (4th season)
Sac Republic FC (4th season)
Colorado Springs Switchbacks (3rd season)
*Timbers 2 (3rd season)
*Real Monarchs SLC (3rd season)
*Sounders FC 2 (3rd season)
Tulsa Roughnecks (3rd season)
*Whitecaps FC 2 (3rd season)
**Rio Grande Valley FC (2nd season)
San Antonio FC (2nd season)
*Swope Park Rangers (2nd season)
**Reno 1868 FC (1st season)
*MLS owned and operated.
*Independently owned and MLS soccer-operated.

PLAYOFF:
Sixteen teams -- eight in each conference -- will qualify for the postseason:
-- Conference quarterfinals (Oct. 20-22)
-- Conference semifinals (Oct. 27-29)
-- Conference finals (Nov. 3-5)
-- USL Cup (Nov. 10-12)



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