July 19 – The USL has announced a seventh and final new club for the 2019 season. Loudoun United, based in Loudoun County, Virginia, will play in the USL’s Eastern Conference and will be a subsidiary of MLS’s D.C. United which has just signed Wayne Rooney on a three-year deal.
Currently 20 of the 33 USL teams are affiliated to MLS clubs. For the 2018 season the USL added teams in Nashville, Las Vegas, Fresno and Atlanta. In 2019 the seven new additions will push the league to 39 teams – MLS’s Toronto FC is moving its USL team to the new USL D3 division which will start play in 2019.
“Loudoun County is one of the most impressive counties in the country – between the robust community and youth soccer presence, the creation of a professional soccer team is the perfect way to activate the two,” said Loudoun United COO, Adam Behnke. “With a team to call our own, a local professional sports entertainment option and youth soccer players having role models in their backyard to follow to one day play at the professional level, we can truly create something special in our community.”
A new 5,000-seat stadium is planned to be built adjacent to the current Bolen and Loudoun Soccer Parks.
USL CEO Alec Papadakis said: “Having another competitive team in the Eastern Conference strengthens our presence in the region, and Loudoun County is a thriving community, with a growing soccer fan base and all the elements in place for long-term success. We look forward to Loudoun United kicking off alongside the six additional newcomers next season: New Mexico, Austin, El Paso, Memphis, Birmingham and Hartford.”
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