By DAN KARELL
As Major League Soccer continues to look towards the southeast United States for expansion, USL Pro is looking west for theirs.
According to a report in the Colorado Springs Gazette, USL Pro will be expanding to Colorado Springs for the 2015 season. A news conference is scheduled for Thursday afternoon and USL Pro president Tim Holt, Colorado Springs mayor Steve Bach, and franchise owner Martin Ragain are all expected to attend.
The potential team does not yet have a name or a stadium, but is reportedly considering a number of options. The announcement is set to come one day after a proposal by a group called City for Champions for a multi-million dollar project that includes a 10,000 seat outdoor stadium as well as other venues in the area.
USL Pro will have 13 teams next year from across the country, with Oklahoma City and Sacramento as expansion franchises. USL Pro is likely looking to replace Orlando City in 2015 as they make the jump up to MLS.
Here are some more stories to catch you up around the lower leagues of U.S. Soccer:
SACRAMENTO REPUBLIC MAKE FIRST PLAYER SIGNING
On the one year anniversary of their inception, Sacramento Republic FC have signed their first ever player as they head into their first season in USL Pro.
The club announced on Monday evening that former U.S. Under-20 international Rodrigo Lopez has signed a deal with Sacramento Republic to become their first ever player. Lopez, who plays in midfield, has previously played on Chivas USA, the Portland Timbers USL and MLS team, and a short stint with Orlando City in USL Pro.
Sacramento Republic are holding an event at Hot Italian in downtown Sacramento to announce the signing as well as celebrate their first anniversary. Club president Warren Smith, technical director Graham Smith, head coach Preki Radosavljevic, and Lopez will all be at the event.
MINNESOTA UNITED EXERCISE OPTIONS ON 11 PLAYERS
Minnesota United FC have no plans of breaking up the core of their team heading into the 2014 North American Soccer League season.
Following the decision to keep former North American Soccer League MVP winner Pablo Campos with the club into next year, Minnesota United announced that they exercised the contract options of 11 players on their roster for next season, including captain Aaron Pitchkolan and forward Simone Bracalello.
“We are really excited about this core group of guys we have have decided to keep for the 2014 season,” Minnesota United head coach Manny Lagos said in a statement. “We can now focus on building a successful team from this core moving forward. We have some strong pieces in place now and we will continue to build our roster for the 2014 season.”
Bracalello finished last season with seven goals and six assists and will be looked upon to increase those numbers alongside Campos heading into the new season. In addition to the signings, former player and assistant coach Kevin Friedland has left the club to pursue other career opportunities.
What do you think of these reports? Like the idea of expanding USL Pro into Colorado? See Lopez as a good signing for Sacramento? What do you think of Minnesota’s chances in NASL next season?
Share your thoughts below.
I am surprise that San Diego has not soccer team at any level and is very clear is a good market
people are crossing the border every weekend to watch Tijuana.If I were MLS,NASL or USL I will
try to do a partnership with the Chargers Ownership and made a proposal showing them how Seattle is doing and using the Stadium not only the 8 times the Chargers play but revenues will be very attractive since the Stadium is going to be use minimun 20 times more,I believe the Chargers owners as a business people will be interested since the team is even not doing that well revenue wise.
3 years Holt will be gone and MLS will completely run USL Pro.
Will El Paso ever get uslpro or NASL one day….we definitively can support NASL but our stupid city rather support triple A baseball and the owners said, they want MLS…….really.
When you say USL Pro will have 13 teams next season, does that include the new LA team the Galaxy will be running?
Don’t think so. When they say USL I think they mean true usl clubs. I think FI Dallas may field a team to.
LA Blues are still around. If it’s 13, then it’s the 11 survivors of 2013 (Antigua and VSI were blammed), plus Sacramento and OKC.
I wonder how much longer Blues ownership will be willing to hang in there. Word is that they have been super frustrated with the lack of progress at the gate and the amount of money that they have been flushing.
Thanks for sharing the VSI Tampa Bay nugget.
Glad to see Colorado getting onboard. Colorado Springs is just far enough from Denver that they will have their own following but still be able to send players up and down on quick loan assignments.
Yep. I’m assuming there will be an association with the rapids
An affiliation with the Rapids would work well, as it has between the MLB Rockies and AAA Colorado Springs Sky Sox. Reserves are only an hour away and already altitude acclimated. Sign me up for Season Tickets!!
sorry to rain on yer parade, but the USLPro are a bunch of con men. check this out-
this has got another FCNY written all over it…
That’s a huge brush, my Man.
I’ve been highly critical of the USL1/2/PRO over the years but even with their debacles, there is still quality to be found affiliated with the organization.
I hope that SBI expands USL Pro coverage…it has dropped off over the last year. In other news, my hometown Pittsburgh Riverhounds announced a partnership with the Houston Dynamo: http://www.riverhounds.com/home/772407.html