USL-1 to play 30-game season in 2008

The San Francisco-based California Victory, which debuted in 2007, won't return to USL-1 in 2008 but defending champion Seattle Sounders will return for one more season before Seattle becomes an MLS city in 2009 - setting up an 11-team slate in which each team will play 30 games.

The 2008 USL-1 regular season will kick of April 11 and the final match date will be Sept. 21, making the season two weeks longer than in 2007.

The 30-game season comes after a decade of 28-game seasons.

Each club will play each opponent three times during the regular season. The top seven teams will advance to the playoff tournament.

"Although disappointed the Victory will not be a part of our 2008 competition, we continue to make progress toward bringing USL-1 soccer back to San Francisco with a new ownership group conceivably to be introduced prior to the commencement of the 2008 season," said USL Executive Vice President and COO Tim Holt. "However, as a reflection of our confidence in and respect for the long-term health of the league, the importance of providing adequate preparation time to ensure the success of any new ownership group was prioritized above all else.

"Considering we are also in advanced stage dialogue with prospective franchise ownership groups in several major markets within the states of California, Texas, and Florida, the 2009 season is shaping up to be a key expansion year for USL-1."

USL-1 CLUBS
Seattle Sounders
Portland Timbers
Montreal Impact
Atlanta Silverbacks
Rochester Raging Rhinos
Puerto Rico Islanders
Vancouver Whitecaps
Carolina RailHawks
Miami FC
Charleston Battery
Minnesota Thunder

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