Yesterday the Rochester Rhinos announced they would leave the USL in favor of the new NASL for the 2010 season. This more-or-less leaves the USL First Division dead in the water for next year, although you should fully expect their lawyers to be on the case. This is a sign of the times though, just a month ago Rochester seemed to be firmly in the pro-USL camp.
One has to wonder what this means for Austin and Puerto Rico. It’s pretty much assumed that Cleveland will join Charleston in the Second Division next season, if they field a team at all, and 2010 is Portland’s last season in the USL before joining MLS as an expansion team for the 2011 season. FC New York is a bit of a mystery, and there are even some rumors floating about that they won’t even be prepared for their announced start date. It certainly looks like USL-2 will become the main professional division of the USL structure next year, but we still have to see what teams will be part of it.
The other announcement concerned the slot currently occupied by the Vancouver Whitecaps who, like Portland, will join MLS in 2011. That spot will transfer to Edmonton as the Drillers name will be revived. I’m not exactly sure about Edmonton, but it does have some soccer history. I just hope this team does a lot better than the Aviators did. In truth I was hoping for Victoria. Interesting though as the USL recently announced that they might expand to Edmonton. The hair-pulling and name-calling will continue, I guess.