USL Roundup: Holt is back, new affiliations, preseason tours and more

Image, USL

by ANTHONY J. MERCED

USL has not been short on news this off season and it continued this week with some major headlines league-wide. Whether it’s the preseason schedule taking shape for teams like FC Cincinnati and Charleston Battery, or Colorado Springs locking in their winning talent, USL teams around the league have been making moves in the hope of grabbing on-field success in 2016.

Tim Holt Returns to USL as Managing Director of San Antonio

The team still doesn’t have a name or players yet, but they do have a veteran USL name in the front office by the name of Tim Holt. The former USL president joins the club looking to make it in time for the 2016 season. Holt will be the Managing Director after only one year as the President of Development for Orlando City SC. One of his major moves was assisting in the creation of the USL side Orlando City B which will take the field in 2016.

Holt was a member of the USL Board of Directors from 2003 to 2006 and later served as the league president. He has sixteen years of experience under his belt in the USL and can be very strong asset to the team now playing at Toyota Field.

It does appear that San Antonio stole a few of Orlando City’s development heads as their head coach is also from the organization, Darren Powell.

Charleston Battery to Host New York Cosmos in Preseason Friendly

The New York Cosmos are certainly getting around in early 2016, playing games in San Jose and now headed to South Carolina to play the Charleston Battery.

“We’ve got our own claim to history, so there was certainly a sense among the staff that in attracting the Cosmos to Charleston for the first time, we were creating a classic match-up,” said Battery president Andrew Bell.

The game will take place on Saturday March 19th and should be available on YouTube like all other Charleston Battery games.

Colorado Springs Bring Back Consistency

Colorado Springs Switchbacks, the team who made a strong run in the USL Western Conference Playoffs, have gone the extra mile to bring back the strongest parts of their lineup. Veterans Aaron King and Shintaro Harada will be making their return to team in 2016 with King being the team’s leading scorer last season.

The team also resigned Martin Maybin who had a strong first season with the Switchbacks last year and is hoping to continue the consistency of starts in 2016. Colorado Springs finished third in the Western Conference last season only one point shy of first place. The team was tied for most goals scored in the entire league and hope to duplicate that stat in the coming year.

Oklahoma City Energy Find a Partner in Dallas

Oklahoma City Energy FC will not be without an affiliation in 2016 as they made a deal this past week to work with MLS side FC Dallas. The affiliation would see some of the fantastic young talent in Dallas traveling to OKC where ex-KC goalkeeper Jimmy Nielson has had a very successful start with the new USL franchise. OKC made it all the way to the Western Conference Final and look to push it even further this coming season.

“Every time you have the opportunity to surround yourself with good people and a good franchise, it’s always a plus,” said FC Dallas Technical Director Fernando Clavijo. “Finding the partnership with Oklahoma City was a big plus for us. Being able to drive is a big plus… only three hours away. But I saw the qualities of the individuals. The quality of the franchise helped us make the decision.”


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