U.S. Soccer’s divisional structure continues to be a hot topic, and the USL is set to expand in a big way in 2019 with the introduction of a new league.
The USL announced on Tuesday that the league will launch a third-division professional league to begin play in 2019. The league will be a follow up on the USL’s current second-division structure, which currently features 30 teams.
Professional ⚽️ Passionate ⚽️ Proven ⚽️
Completing the pro soccer landscape! This is #USLD3.
— USL League One (@USLLeagueOne) April 25, 2017
The league is set to target markets with populations ranging from 50,000 to 1 million for potential expansion. Among the criteria involved for a potential new team is a strong local ownership group with a primary owner possessing a net worth of $10 million and a soccer-specific stadium with the ability to seat 3,500 spectators.
According to the USL, the new third-division league will benefit from the recently-launched USL Productions, a $10 million broadcast and content division recently launched by the league.
In January, both the USL and NASL were awarded provisional Division 2 status by U.S. Soccer.