- Posted by Drew Epperley
- On December 15, 2014
- 0 Comments
So many changes are coming to the USL PRO. So many.
First of all, big hat tip to the Reckless Challenge for unearthing all of this material. First of all, the third division is looking to make the jump to D2 status by 2017. Yes, basically meaning the US pyramid would have two second divisions with the NASL being the other.
The second bit of news revolves around the schedule and conference format that the league is going to next year. With 24 teams, spread out across four time zones, the third division is finally moving to a conference format of the East and West variety.
Six of the Eastern Conference clubs are expansion sides in 2015 (Louisville, Charlotte, St Louis, Montreal, Toronto and New York), and three of those are reserve squads for MLS franchises. The Western Conference is almost entirely new clubs with Orange County being the oldest club in that conference. There are a lot of MLS reserve teams in the west. Each team will play a total of 28 matches. There will be 14 home games and 14 on the road.
According to the report the schedule will look something like this:
Twenty-two of those games will come in the form of a home-and-away series against each of the other clubs within the conference. Three additional home-and-away series will be played against teams from a close region. The additional three home-and-away series could come from within or outside of a team’s conference.
Naturally the conference shift means no more single table. But with this many clubs, you really can’t expect a single table format anymore. MLS runs into this as well as they hit 20 clubs in 2015.
Think about that for a quick second. There are 20 clubs in MLS next year, 24 in the USL PRO. That is a lot of soccer being played across the country. I’m not even counting those in the NASL, PDL, etc.