That news is devastating: the Rochester Rhinos have ditched the NASL to drop down to "USL Pro"; and the ownership of the Aztex has screwed Austin's fans to become a third soccer franchise in Florida that no one will care about.
I've not had much of an opinion about USL although my impressions are generally negative.
But this is the organization that will control the future of lower division U.S. soccer? An organization that puts out an official release with this?:
Adding two clubs of this stature to already established sides like USL-2 champion the Charleston Battery and the Richmond Kickers, clubs with strong international ties in Sevilla FC Puerto Rico and River Plate Puerto Rico and up-and-coming clubs like the Dayton Dutch Lions, the shift USL is leading in the way lower-division soccer operates in North America and the Caribbean is undeniably underway.
"Undeniably underway?" Sure. That sounds great.
But what was that you just said about the team that ditched Austin to move to Orlando?
"We are thrilled to have two of the most accomplished clubs in the USSF Division 2-Pro League announce their participation in USL PRO," Holt said. "Not only have these teams achieved a high level of success on the field, they are also leaders in terms of the professional structure of their club and in their communities."
Communities? Good stuff.
Undoubtedly the thousands of fans in Austin appreciate those accolades. And, certainly, when you are struggling to make your mark in the American sports scene, pissing on thousands of diehard fans is a surefire way to change that scenario. Well played.
Real Maryland has not yet been announced as a USL Pro team and CP Baltimore seems unlikely to be a viable franchise and DC United has no prospects for finding a home in the metropolitan Washington area, so even better times for DC based fans of professional soccer.
To review, USSF intervened in the dispute between two rival groups of owners in the second division of U.S. soccer last year and, under the Federation's leadership, things are even more of a mess than what existed two years ago.