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Sources: Red Bulls to launch USL Pro team

MLS: Champions League-New York Red Bulls at Montreal Impact

Photo by USA Today Sports


MLS is doing away with its Reserve League and requiring clubs to either have a USL Pro affiliate team or launch one of their own in 2015.

After much consideration, the New York Red Bulls have chosen the latter.

Multiple sources have confirmed to SBI that the Red Bulls have decided to start up their own USL Pro team for the 2015 season, with an announcement forthcoming. It is not yet clear where the team will play its home games, but some of the options include Red Bull Arena, the Red Bulls’ training facility, St. John’s University, and Columbia University.

The news is just another twist in the Red Bulls’ developmental saga. Sporting director Andy Roxburgh said back in March that the club was planning on launching a USL Pro team for the 2015 campaign, only to change his tune in September and say that the plans had been scrapped.

According to sources, the Red Bulls were leaning towards pinpointing a USL Pro affiliate because they did not want to launch a team without having an environment and playing field that they felt was appropriate.

Ultimately, the club decided it was better to invest in starting a third-division team of its own. That approach would be more cost effective and allows the Red Bulls to have more of a say as to which players play in which games and for how long.

New York will become just the latest MLS club to add a team to the quickly-expanding USL Pro, joining more than a half-dozen others who have already complied with the league’s new mandate.

The others who will field teams of their own are the LA Galaxy, Seattle Sounders, Portland Timbers, Montreal Impact, Vancouver Whitecaps, Toronto FC and Real Salt Lake.


What do you make of this development? Think this is the right move for the Red Bulls? Where would you like to see them play?

Share your thoughts below.


  1. To all of you trying to argue that NASL and USL Pro are such different levels, you are entitled to your opinion, but it it would be false to assume that and actually silly to fight that fight.

    For the most part these two leagues are very close in levels. Regardless of D2 or D3 status, most players here have chosen clubs based on geography, history, opportunity. Budgets are mostly similar, a couple NASL clubs possibly offer larger contracts, but competitively speaking it would be difficult to argue that if these two leagues competed against each other that NASL clubs would make up the top half of the table and USL on the bottom.
    Of course there are weak clubs in the USL just as there are weak clubs in the NASL, or clubs that have a poor year / roster, so to argue the strength of any one club (USL or NASL) based on one open cup game is a little silly.

    • Untrue, NASL pays quite a bit more than third division usl pro and players follow the money so the better one’s are in NASL. Budjets are not similar at all with usl pro having significantly smaller ones. usl has some teams with average attendance in the hundreds and NASL’ s worst team attendance wise was over 3K. usl pro averaged just over 3K this season in attendance while NASL averaged over 5500.The gap between the 2 leagues will get bigger as time goes on.usl pro is morphing into MLS’s minor/farm team league and thats there place in the pyramid on the 3rd level and theres nothing wrong with being the 3rd level league as their embracing it is proving though.Its good for soccer in the usa with MLS and NASL the top 2 independant pro leagues and usl pro developing players for them.

  2. Any news if FC Dallas is going to the same? Would love to see a team in the Mid-cities area rather than the far east of the metroplex.

    • If the team were still in Southlake I would go see them gladly! Keller to Frisco is a beating! I would go see them even if they played at Trinity’s stadium.

      • Bring your fc Dallas uslpro team to el paso tx, it would be awesome to have your team here. I want NASL but if fc Dallas does bring the uslpro team to El Paso tx, it would be sweet. El Paso is a soccer town and we need NASL or uslpro 🙂

  3. Personally, I’d like to think it was my endless complaining on this website about the failure to have a USL Pro team that forced RBNY to reconsider. Whatever the actual reason, I’m glad they did. Would prefer they play at the training facility because that would be the easiest place for me to catch some of their games but anywhere will do.

    • Maybe they’ll mix with the training facility and RBA. Maybe with some doubleheaders. They already had the “reserve” team play one or two of the games RB this year. Nonetheless, NYRB already has a team, stadium, fans, a USL Pro. Hopefully with time an MLS Cup will come. The team was really close. It was the lack of depth that kill the momentum of the team with Miller and BWP suspended.

    • What you mean strong bad, there already is nyrb, nycfc and cosmos but a uslpro team won’t count the same way.
      I have a question for New York and New Jersey soccer fans.
      Are you people surprise no MLS team in the New York New Jersey area has not chosen the name of Gotham or Empire?
      If I was the owner of the Yankees talking to man city, I would have request the name of New York City empire , New York empire or NYC Gotham.
      I’m very surprised MLS didn’t pursue those names.

      • New York Cosmos are a Premier D2 team that can compete vs MLS as evidenced by their dominance of the NY Red Bulls in USOC. NASL is D2 in name but aspires to a higher level.Third Division usl pro is a clear minor league development circuit for the MLS, existing to have their farm teams and affiliates farm MLS players not win championships.

      • Well if USOC results are something to hang your hat on then wouldn’t the fact that USL teams regularly beat NASL teams in that competition mean that NASL isn’t actually much, if any, better than USL?

        The fact is there are teams in the USL every year who are equal to or better than most if not all NASL teams.

      • “USL teams regularly beat NASL teams” in the Open Cup? Apart from Orlando City beating a poor Tampa Bay side (on a cow pasture not fit for youth soccer) this year, when have USL teams beat NASL teams? The only other NASL/USL matches this year were both wins for the NASL teams (Indy 5-2 over Dayton and Carolina 2-0 over Charlotte). I’ll grant you that the top few USL sides could compete in the NASL, but don’t think for a second that the two divisions are equal.

      • USL and NASL teams have played five times in Cup competition. NASL teams have won three and USL teams have won two. Yeah boy, that’s some domination right there.

        The two division aren’t equal. But the are a heck of a lot closer to equal than the NASL is to MLS.

      • The Cosmos had a dominant game against the Red Bulls B side on their undersized, turf lacrosse field. No Henry, no Robles, no Cahill, no Olave. You can’t honestly believe that the Cosmos would’ve stood a chance against the starting lineup of the Red Bulls. The Red Bulls that were a goal away from MLS Cup. Try dominating the NASL first.

      • Red Bulls also played the same lineup pretty much as they did the week before against New England so not a B team but yes missing some players like the Cosmos also were without their top player Marcos Senna and a few others.Not the Cosmos complete A team either, both missing key players but a dominate Cosmos 3-0 win.

        I do like the Red Bulls as well as the Cosmos though and watch them as well, hope for more fun games between them and hopefully a NY Cup for them and NYCFC to play for.

      • Well, RB was once called the MetroStars and they have a supporters club called ESC (Empire Supporter’s Club). I think Gotham is cool, but has too close of a link to Batman (copyright infringement??). NYCFC is owned by Man City. Their “brand” is to call all of their teams “City” (Man City, Melbourne City, etc).

  4. This is wonderful news but this means red bull won’t go away and rebrand any time soon. I’m actually having flash backs of chivas USA, when their fans want a rebrand or sell and the owner keeps being delusional.
    Let’s be honest, if you want to be a global known soccer team from MLS and specially New York, then the name of red bull will never get you there, never. However a name like NYCFC or Cosmos will and that’s where red bull fall behind.
    Another example, Los Angeles galaxy has a proper name to be a global know soccer team and we are talking about Los Angeles, so Los angeles2 team better think of a very unique name that will not leave in the shadows of galaxy, perhaps Los Angeles Hollywood sc/fc or Inter Hollywood .
    Other big market teams in MLS that should strive for global attention are Chicago, Boston, Houston and even Dallas .
    Those four cities I mention are very important for the United States and their team name should be a mix of the city history and sports history. The name can be simple and the crest can include the object they want to be known for, like the nickname.

    • I agree with Expansion Geek…naming the team after an energy drink is a turnoff to many potential fans. I of course have no problem with Red Bull being the shirt sponsor, but naming the team after a product is ridiculous.

      I think MLS was in a weaker position back then and had to approve the team name to get the monetary investment that RB provided to the team and stadium project.

      In the German league, they didn’t let them name the team the Red Bulls. Which I think was smart of them.

      What’s next? The Miami Carnival Cruise Lines? Who would want to support that?

    • But red bull belongs to New Jersey, by red bull New York going into New York with an uslpro team would be very awkward.
      They need to make their New Jersey fans happy and blossom there, why go across and blossom in a different place.

      • I get what you’re saying, but NYRB “belong” to New Jersey the same way the Galaxy “belong” to Carson. With NYCFC entering the league, the Red Bulls are smart to branch into New York proper, even if it’s doing so thru USL Pro.

    • My fellow post Rei Toei said it right, this is great news. The Red Bulls have so much good talent that they really do need this to get their young players meaningful games so they get the seasoning they need to become MLS contributors.


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