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The USL Restructures & Rebrands

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I like what they are doing. So does this mean there will be promotion/relegation between the 3?

 

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17 minutes ago, hawk36 said:

I like what they are doing. So does this mean there will be promotion/relegation between the 3?

 

 

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USL Championship and USL League One are professional leagues and sanctioned by the USSF, while USL League Two is amateur and sanctioned through the USASA so unless the League Two becomes pro and sanctioned through USSF I dont see how Pro/Rel could work.

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Can these guys go a decade without some full-scale rebrand/restructuring?  I remember when it was the U.S. Interregional Soccer League.  That seems like it was 4-5 revamps ago.

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23 minutes ago, Mac the Knife said:

Can these guys go a decade without some full-scale rebrand/restructuring?  I remember when it was the U.S. Interregional Soccer League.  That seems like it was 4-5 revamps ago.

No, This is the rundown from their wikipedia page.

  • 1986 Established as Southwest Indoor Soccer League
  • 1989 Added an outdoor league known as the Southwest Outdoor Soccer League. This was soon changed to Southwest Independent Soccer League which included both the indoor and outdoor leagues.
  • 1990 Renamed Sunbelt Independent Soccer League
  • 1991 Renamed United States Interregional Soccer League
  • 1995 Renamed United States International Soccer League
  • 1995 Renamed United Systems of Independent Soccer Leagues and formally established professional Pro League and amateur Amateur Premier League
  • 1995 The USL W-League women's semi-pro league is launched.
  • 1996 Established Select League consisting of strongest teams from Division 3 Pro League and Amateur Premier League in hopes of gaining Division 2 sanctioning.
  • 1997 Select League and the former American Professional Soccer League merged to form A-League under the USISL umbrella.
  • 1999 Umbrella USISL changed its name to the modern United Soccer Leagues.
  • 2009 Nike sells organization. As a result, nine clubs left the First Division to form the North American Soccer League: Atlanta Silverbacks, Carolina RailHawks FC, Miami FC, Minnesota Thunder, Montreal Impact, Rochester Rhinos, Tampa Bay Rowdies, Vancouver Whitecaps, and the AC St. Louis expansion group.[2][3] United Soccer League was a division in the temporary USSF Division 2 league.[4]
  • 2010 USL announced the formation of USL Pro, which merged the USL First Division and USL Second Division.[5]
  • 2011 Inaugural season of USL Pro.
  • 2011 USL takes over operation of the Major Indoor Soccer League.
  • 2013 USL Pro and Major League Soccer announce a multi-year agreement, beginning that season, to integrate MLS Reserve League play with USL Pro teams, first through team affiliations and "interleague" play, eventually fully merging MLS Reserves into the USL Pro structure.
  • 2013 The W-20 League is launched, a youth league that is operationally aligned with the USL W-League.[6]
  • 2015 USL Pro renamed United Soccer League
  • 2015 USL W-League and W-20 League cease operations.[7]
  • 2017 USL is granted Provisional Division II status by U.S. Soccer.[8]
  • 2018 USL announces re-branding of its top league to the USL Championship, USL Division III to USL League One, and the Premier Development League to USL League Two beginning with the 2019 season

 

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The USL will now be modeled after a tried and respected international structure. One central brand, three leagues: USL Championship – the pinnacle of competition; USL League One– the foundation of professional soccer; and, USL League Two – the Path to Pro.

 

This is gobbledigook.

 

Just to be clear, League One is the second division of USL and the third division of the American soccer pyramid as a whole. I can't understand the need to be that unintuitive to the casual fan, even though I do understand why USL may not want to admit in its branding that its top level will never be above level 2. Nonetheless, there has to be a middle ground here.

 

I also think "international structure" is a bit of a copout when they're only jacking the most confusingly tiered system of England; the league system in Germany, France and Brazil to name a few have managed to survive even with a more logical ordering from the very top on down.

 

As the previous posts have illustrated, USL has long flailed for an identity, even by the standards of a minor league sports league operation -- a lot of the moves in the most recent era seem positive and point to a general settling down of our soccer landscape; thus I won't accuse them of going image-over-substance here, but this latest effort still strikes me as the sort of needless posturing that American soccer falls into too often.

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3 hours ago, Digby said:

I also think "international structure" is a bit of a copout when they're only jacking the most confusingly tiered system of England; the league system in Germany, France and Brazil to name a few have managed to survive even with a more logical ordering from the very top on down.

 

I don't know about Brazil, but the German and French leagues are numbered from the top down because the same entities control all the leagues.  That's not the case in either the US or England.  Not that I like this new naming convention.

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33 minutes ago, Gothamite said:

 

I don't know about Brazil, but the German and French leagues are numbered from the top down because the same entities control all the leagues.  That's not the case in either the US or England.  Not that I like this new naming convention.

Aren't they trying to follow England? Not that the leagues are in anyway comparable, but just trying to set up the system for a future Pro/Rel?

 

ENGLAND --> USA

Premiere --> MLS

Championship --> Championship

League 1 --> League 1

League 2 --> League 2

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27 minutes ago, hawk36 said:

Aren't they trying to follow England? Not that the leagues are in anyway comparable, but just trying to set up the system for a future Pro/Rel?

 

ENGLAND --> USA

Premiere --> MLS

Championship --> Championship

League 1 --> League 1

League 2 --> League 2


It's pretty obvious to me that's exactly what they're trying to do.

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They're borrowing the naming convention, sure.  But there's no way in hell they could adopt pro/rel.  It's doubtful that they could even do so among their "Championship" and "League 1", much less their own "League 2", and let's not even discuss the farcical notion that they could ensnare MLS into such a scheme.

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I'm fine with them not adopting pro/rel.  Just because that's how its done in Europe doesn't make it better.  I'm still not crazy about shirt sponsors on this side of the pond either.

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9 hours ago, Gothamite said:

They're borrowing the naming convention, sure.  But there's no way in hell they could adopt pro/rel.  It's doubtful that they could even do so among their "Championship" and "League 1", much less their own "League 2", and let's not even discuss the farcical notion that they could ensnare MLS into such a scheme.

But for me, someone who thinks Pro/Rel is a great thing, it at least gives me hope that it could happen one day. Especially if the USL can build it in over the next 10 years. Then it's set and then it's just a matter of working it out with the MLS. Sure, near impossible, but still more of a chance. That's all I'm looking for. 

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18 hours ago, gosioux76 said:

 

I read in one of these USL articles that they cannot do pro/rel just yet because US Soccer Fed has financial rules  for ownership at the different levels of soccer, and risking, what is now a League 2 (4th Division), team going bankrupt if they were to make it to the Championship and the added expenses of it. 

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45 minutes ago, kmccarthy27 said:

I read in one of these USL articles that they cannot do pro/rel just yet because US Soccer Fed has financial rules  for ownership at the different levels of soccer, and risking, what is now a League 2 (4th Division), team going bankrupt if they were to make it to the Championship and the added expenses of it. 

 

Exactly.  The different levels have different requirements for ownership group capitalization, stadium size, and the like.  And each league is required to have a set percentage of its teams in cities of a certain size, making pro/rel extremely difficult to put off. 

 

The only way I see it happening is if we adopted a Mexican-style system, where big teams can buy their way out of relegation. So in other words, not happening at all. 

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19 hours ago, Dilbert said:

No, This is the rundown from their wikipedia page.

  • 1986 Established as Southwest Indoor Soccer League
  • 1989 Added an outdoor league known as the Southwest Outdoor Soccer League. This was soon changed to Southwest Independent Soccer League which included both the indoor and outdoor leagues.
  • 1990 Renamed Sunbelt Independent Soccer League
  • 1991 Renamed United States Interregional Soccer League
  • 1995 Renamed United States International Soccer League
  • 1995 Renamed United Systems of Independent Soccer Leagues and formally established professional Pro League and amateur Amateur Premier League
  • 1995 The USL W-League women's semi-pro league is launched.
  • 1996 Established Select League consisting of strongest teams from Division 3 Pro League and Amateur Premier League in hopes of gaining Division 2 sanctioning.
  • 1997 Select League and the former American Professional Soccer League merged to form A-League under the USISL umbrella.
  • 1999 Umbrella USISL changed its name to the modern United Soccer Leagues.
  • 2009 Nike sells organization. As a result, nine clubs left the First Division to form the North American Soccer League: Atlanta Silverbacks, Carolina RailHawks FC, Miami FC, Minnesota Thunder, Montreal Impact, Rochester Rhinos, Tampa Bay Rowdies, Vancouver Whitecaps, and the AC St. Louis expansion group.[2][3] United Soccer League was a division in the temporary USSF Division 2 league.[4]
  • 2010 USL announced the formation of USL Pro, which merged the USL First Division and USL Second Division.[5]
  • 2011 Inaugural season of USL Pro.
  • 2011 USL takes over operation of the Major Indoor Soccer League.
  • 2013 USL Pro and Major League Soccer announce a multi-year agreement, beginning that season, to integrate MLS Reserve League play with USL Pro teams, first through team affiliations and "interleague" play, eventually fully merging MLS Reserves into the USL Pro structure.
  • 2013 The W-20 League is launched, a youth league that is operationally aligned with the USL W-League.[6]
  • 2015 USL Pro renamed United Soccer League
  • 2015 USL W-League and W-20 League cease operations.[7]
  • 2017 USL is granted Provisional Division II status by U.S. Soccer.[8]
  • 2018 USL announces re-branding of its top league to the USL Championship, USL Division III to USL League One, and the Premier Development League to USL League Two beginning with the 2019 season

Jesus... it's worse than I'd thought...

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1 minute ago, Mac the Knife said:

Jesus... it's worse than I'd thought...

 

And that is why trying to implement pro/rel would be downright irresponsible. 

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42 minutes ago, Gothamite said:

 

And that is why trying to implement pro/rel would be downright irresponsible. 


Pretty sure money is the real reason they'll never be relegation. No billionaire investing in an MLS team is going to be willing to let their investment drop to a secondary league.

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And nor should they.

 

We need significant investment in the sport's infrastructure.  That only comes with stability.

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