Last year, the United Soccer Leagues re-branded its leagues into three levels: the USL Championship (formerly the USL), a newly created USL League One, and USL League Two (formerly the PDL). With the creation of the new USL League One, which operates on the third tier of the U.S. Soccer pyramid, came expansion to several smaller cities in the United States, like Madison and Greenville, South Carolina. Other teams from the USL, like the Richmond Kickers, decided to drop a level to League One to cut costs and hopefully breed more regional rivalries. A couple MLS2 teams, like Toronto FC II, also decided to drop down to cut down on expenses, while others like Loudoun United (D.C. United’s new USL team) decided they wanted their players to develop by playing in the USL Championship, U.S. Soccer’s 2nd tier league.
Still, while many teams are forming in different parts of the country, there’s still a great number of cities and metropolitan areas that don’t have professional soccer. USL League Two is an amateur league that is considered on the 4th tier of U.S. Soccer’s pyramid, so while some cities have teams on that level, there is a growing urge for more teams to become professional to grow the investment into the game of soccer in this country. USL Championship will have expansion teams over the next couple seasons in San Diego and Oakland, while USL League One reportedly is losing the Lansing Ignite after one season but expanding to Omaha, resuming teams in Harrisburg and Rochester, and gaining two MLS2 teams for Inter Miami and the New England Revolution next season.
We all have our thoughts on which cities would serve a professional soccer team well, so our Community Corner this week asks you: which cities would you like to see have teams in the USL? Hit the comments to let us know which cities you would love to form a team and whether you think the USL Championship or USL League One is right for them!