Today it was announced that the Cleveland City stars would be promoting to the USL1. In the Hound's first year back the City Stars were clearly our biggest rival, they have a supporters group about the size of the Steel Army, they were our closest road trip, and they are from CLEVELAND! It was a natural fit, but so it ends after only one year. Cleveland clearly got the best of it on the field taking all 9 points partly due to a heart breaking last second goal in the opener. In the stands however I would say that there were no losers as I'm sure the Green Army enjoyed the back and forth road trips as much as we did. Probobly a bit more given the results. That said I don't know what upsets me more, The fact that we lost everyones favorite rivalry, the fact that it's one less road trip for next year, or the fact that the Steel Army is now the only supporters group in the northern part of the USL. Hopefully Harrisburg can get thier act together and get some real support, although signs look promising that that the two maryland clubs may have some orginized support next year.
As for the Green Army I don't know what I'd think if I were them, on one hand you get to go into a bigger and better league, and you will get to see a few away games on national TV, (ahem FSC) also you'd get a few more home games, but on the downside the only away game that is a drivable distance is Rochester, rather than having half the league within distance of a day trip as you do with the USL2. Also keep in mind that the majority of the Green Army's support is college or High School age, so Portland and Miami are most likely out of the question. On top of that I'm sure a few of the Green Army Bhoys will miss the banter and back and forth chanting that the rivalry created.
Speaking of missing rivalries it's unfortunate that the biggest supporters group rivalries in both the USL1 and USL2 will dissappear in the same season, as Seattle becomes part of the MLS leaving the 'ole Portland Timbers behind, Cleveland Pittsburgh had that honor in USL2 (DUH!!!) So where does this leave the USL2? It looks like the USL2 will go from being a 10 team league to a 9 team league with rumors of Indy joining the league sometime in the future to again push it to ten. The rivalry based scheduling from last season will have to be adjusted, also every American team in the league will qualify automatically for the US Open Cup. (If you remember the Hounds just made the tournament last year by avoiding a last place standing on the arbitrary day that the qualifying was to end.) If the Indianapolis rumors are true then the league will have ten teams again soon, but before you get too excited there were rumors of a canadian team in the USL2 a few months ago and I haven't heard anything of that since. If your a fan of the City stars I suppose it's a good day, if your a fan of the rivalry it's a sad one, and as for the Steel Army we still hate Cleveland City which is about the highest honor that we can bestow on another team.
I leave you with a song...
"And it's no nay never, no nay never no more, cause we'll play Cleveland Shitty, no nay never no more!!!!"