USL Roundup: New partnerships, Vincent to DC United, FC Cincinnati, more

Image, USL

by ANTHONY J. MERCED

Last week was one of the busier news weeks for the USL as the league announced a new partnership, players moved on to MLS sides and preseason fixtures have delivered some spectacular moments.

All in all, it has been one of the more exciting offseason’s for the league in recent years. The USL’s growth will certainly be put to the test in 2016 — on and off of the field.

USL Partners with Alianza de Futbol

Last Thursday, the USL announced a partnership with the leading national organization dedicated to amateur Hispanic player development — Alianza de Futbol. The agreement would give USL teams access to thousands of families that participate in the program and the ability to recruit at a far more aggresive grassroots level. The deal will also allow the USL National Scouting Network to take part in the POWERADE Sueno Alianza showcase matches.

So what does this mean? In short, USL teams will be able to scout players in Latin American communities throughout the United States through an organization that is dedicated to the growth of the game. The group currently has teams up to the U-22 level and provides yet another piece of the developmental framework that USL has been cultivating.

Rob Vincent to DC United

MLS teams are certainly paying attention to what is happening in the lower divisions. If you need any more proof, just look at DC United’s latest signing Rob Vincent. The Pittsburgh Riverhounds forward scored twenty-four goals between 2013 and 2015 with twenty-one in 2015 alone. DC United is currently retooling their offense and adding a major part of the Riverhounds offense which scored fifty-five goals last season.

Vincent isn’t the only USL player making a move up the divisions. Earlier in the week, USL Rookie of the Year Ken Tribbett made the jump from Harrisburg City Islanders to the Philadelphia Union. Previously Matt Fondy also made the move to the NASL with the Jacksonville Armada.

FC Cincinnati Scores Big in First Preseason Game

FC Cincinnati’s first preseason game against KR Reykjavic may have been a 2-2 draw but Corben Bone’s volley from forty-five yards out will surely be what is remembered most. The goal came in the eighty-eight minute and was an equalizer to continue the positive momentum for the new club.

The game was the first of two for the club who is facing NYCFC in Iceland later today. USL sides across the league have been engaging in preseason fixtures with the season just a month away from starting.

FC Cincinnati, under the leadership of head coach John Harkes, is looking to make a huge splash in 2016 with their eyes set on future MLS expansion before the gates close as Don Garber has mentioned recently.