USL Rebrands, seeks D2 sanctioning

Image, USL

What was once the USL Pro will now simply be known as the USL, following a rebrand made official this morning. Beyond the name change, the USL is also seeking to be sanctioned as a Division 2 league by the USSF. The USL held D2 status under different names from 1996-2009, before the arrival of the more ambitious NASL.

It has been a very busy offseason for the USL, which currently holds D3 status. The league has expanded from 14 teams to 24, with the help of seven new MLS reserve sides. The expansion and MLS partnership have forced the creation of Eastern and Western conferences to cut down on travel.

The NASL is now stuck in a difficult position, as the existing D2 league. The USSF requires a D2 league to have a team in the Eastern, Central, and Pacific time zones by the sixth year of their existence. For the NASL, that sixth year is coming up in 2016, and the league does not yet have a west coast presence. There were significant rumors of an LA expansion team in the NASL, but these have not yet come to fruition.

The USL, meanwhile, has six teams playing in the Pacifc time zone, four of which are MLS reserve sides. In just this offseason, weak ownership groups in Charlotte and Dayton have left the league, making it easier to meet the stricter requirements for D2 sanctioning.

The battle lines have been drawn, and it will be interesting to see how this plays out in the coming months.


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  • The Don

    I LOVE TO CRUSH THE NASL & THE FREE MARKET SYSTEM!

    I AM THE JOSEF STALIN OF US SOCCER!

    BWWWWWAAAAHAAAAHAAAAA!

  • The Nose

    M-m-m-m-merger?


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