Six ownership groups that were previously part of the USL-First Division have joined forces with St. Louis Soccer United to form a new professional soccer league that will begin play in 2010.
The Atlanta Silverbacks, Carolina Railhawks, Miami FC, Minnesota Thunder, Montreal Impact and Vancouver Whitecaps have joined St. Louis in an as-yet-unnamed league that has submitted an application for the sanctioning of the new league as a Division 2 league. The league will apply to be a Division 1 league in Canada.
“This is not your typical new league,” said Montreal owner and league chairman Joey Saputo. “Most of our teams have existed for years. We have united some of the best owners, teams and markets around a new vision for a professional soccer league in North America.
“We look forward to elevating our teams and league in order to give more opportunities to players, coaches, media and sponsors, entertain our fans and play our role in helping soccer truly recognize its potential in the United States and Canada.”
The application for recognition of the new league must still be approved by the U.S. Soccer Federation.
As for the USL, it will continue operation in 2010 with as many as 11 teams. Austin, Cleveland, New York, Puerto Rico, Portland, Rochester, Tampa Bay, Edmonton and Ottawa had representatives at a recent meeting to discuss the future of the USL, while Baltimore and Detroit were also represented.
What do you think of this news? Like the idea of a new league to rival the USL? Hoping these leagues work with MLS to improve player development? Plan on watching any of these teams play in 2010?
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