taken from a recent article posted by Inside Minnesota Soccer
The USL also lost some teams in USL-2 this past year. Charleston dropped from USL-1 to USL-2 but that still is only 6 teams active for this season. FIFA normally requires 8 teams to run a league. I am hearing that you are working hard on an expansion of USL-2 (D-3). Can you give us any insights into that and where will these teams be coming from?
HOLT: USL-2 is the only USSF-sanctioned DIII Men’s Professional League and the longest-standing active American professional soccer league. No different than USL-1, the main characteristics for USL-2 include a high level of on-field competition, teams positioned to achieve profitability through the support of the USL office/structure, and a connection with our fans in all markets. Although it typically doesn’t get the same spotlight as USL-1, USL-2 is a very important league within our structure and the one which has the most immediate growth opportunity.
We will be expanding USL-2 to form a Western Conference for 2011, which will be comprised of some current PDL teams and expansion teams. At this base level of professional soccer maintaining regional competition and controlling expenses is imperative so there will not be teams traveling coast-to-coast with any regularity except for the post-season. Most USL-2 teams operate on a low to mid six-figure budget and are heavily reliant on local sponsorship, ticket sales, and camp revenue to cover expenses. The current roster of teams for 2010 includes amongst the best operated organizations in the USL system including the likes of the Charleston Battery, Charlotte Eagles and Richmond Kickers and boasts an average of 12 years of USL pro league participation. We believe that this regional competition format model is ideal for lower division professional soccer and that the next 3-5 years will represent a renaissance period for USL-2.