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Formation of a New League?

Posted by espo On 10:44 AM

Rumor has it that the infamous TOA is going to break away from the USL and form a new league in 2010. Montreal, Vancouver, Miami, Minnesota and Carolina will leave the USL and form a new 8 team league with St. Louis, Tampa Bay and former USL franchise Atlanta. If this happens, it will cripple the current USL First Division and potentially suspend play for the 2010 season.

So what can be done? Well, here is my proposed solution to the current dilemma!

First of all, what the league will need after the exodus is stability and improved product to strengthen the USL brand. Improving the product will mean adding better players at higher salaries. To do this, the league will need to cut the costs incurred by its franchises. The league should look to consolidate the remaining USL franchises into a single, regional division. Say goodbye to Bermuda, Western Mass, Portland, Puerto Rico and Austin because of the travel involved (Portland and Puerto Rico could potentially join the MLS). This leaves the USL with the following 10 teams to compete as a single division in 2010:

Cleveland
Rochester
Charleston
Pittsburgh
Harrisburg
Real Maryland
Crystal Palace Baltimore
Charlotte
Wilmington
Richmond

This division is full of natural rivalries and the close proximity would keep travel costs at a minimum. Teams could use that extra cash to strengthen rosters and increase marketing. If the USL is not willing to discuss lowering franchise fees and costs, these 10 teams would be wise to form a new owner-controlled league.

Stay tuned for more on this as things continue to develop over the next few weeks.
- edit -
the new configuration could also include the New York USL expansion franchise

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