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United Soccer League Adds Two Teams

  • The USL is looking to add a New Orleans Championship team.
  • USL League One introduced Santa Barbara as its newest expansion club.
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Could Promotion-Relegation work in College Football?

The proposal aims to create an exciting media product while reducing travel for non-football sports.
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September 21, 2023 | Podcast
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The United Soccer League is picking up steam.

The soccer body, which is sanctioned by the U.S. Soccer, announced that it has entered an exclusive agreement with USL NOLA, a group aiming to bring professional soccer to New Orleans, with the intent of launching a USL Championship men’s team by 2025.

  • The agreement also aims to launch a team for the USL Super League — a Division II women’s competition slated to begin play in 2023.
  • USL NOLA is led by Warren Smith, who led Sacramento Republic FC’s and San Diego Loyal SC’s launches and first seasons, and Jamie Guin, who has worked on projects for Sporting Kansas City, LAFC, and Columbus Crew.

On the West Coast, USL League One — run by USL as a Division III league — introduced  Santa Barbara Sky FC as its newest expansion club on Tuesday. 

The team, which is led by former Liverpool FC CEO Peter Moore, will begin play in 2024. Details regarding the club’s women’s team have yet to be announced.

Popularity Points

In 2019, ESPN extended its three-year deal — reportedly “in the low seven-figure range” — to broadcast the second and third tiers, tripling the number of USL games aired previously.

The USL Championship — one division under MLS — and its union struck its first collective bargaining agreement last year. The five-year CBA guarantees players $2,700 per month with raises in future years.

Star athletes including Marshawn Lynch, Landon Donovan, Tim Howard, and DaMarcus Beasley have all invested in USL clubs.

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